How to Fix Chimney Odor

Is your home’s chimney causing an unpleasant odor in your home? Luckily, you don’t have to live with this odor when you invest in chimney cleaning in Sandy Springs, GA. Professional cleaning services find the source of the odor and get your house smelling fresh in no time at all.

What Causes Chimney Odors?

Sometimes the answer to this question is always obvious. The most common reason for odors is a build-up of creosote and soot.  It’s normal to smell smoke when you’re cooking out, but if those odors emanate from your fireplace, there’s a problem. These substances naturally form when the fireplace is used. However, during the summer months when fireplaces are dormant, heat, humidity, and rainy days create moisture that activates that dirty, sooty chimney smell. Unfortunately, instead of the smell leaving through the chimney and going outside, it usually filters back into your home.

Another reason that your chimney may smell is from decomposing material. You would expect a dead animal to smell bad. Its rotting carcass in your flue will create quite the stink. However, a living animal may find your chimney to be a nice place to live in the summer. Even if the animal is alive, its feces and living habits can become quite smelly. Many animals smell musky without even adding in their eating habits or what’s in the nesting area.

Chimneys are generally water-tight. However, sometimes cracks in the structure allow water into the area where it sits and becomes stagnant. Eventually, the smell infiltrates your home, and you’re left wondering where the smell is coming from. Moisture causes the damper to rust and can also result in damage to the flue lining.

How Do You Get Rid of Chimney Smells?

First, you must determine what is causing the smell. A professional chimney cleaning service should be called to the home to inspect the structure to determine the cause. The following are repair suggestions that should take care of bad smells:

A thorough inspection and cleaning of all the creosote in the chimney should easily get rid of smells caused by this buildup. Getting rid of creosote isn’t important just for eliminating smells, though. Chimneys with thick creosote buildup are at risk of developing chimney fires. So, having this service done takes care of two problems at once.

If a complete cleaning doesn’t do the trick, the course of action is to install a chimney rain cap, especially if standing water is the issue. This top-mounted damper is designed to keep rain and other forms of moisture out of the chimney. It also works wonders at keeping those annoying little critters from taking shelter in your chimney.

Another aspect that professionals focus on is the air pressure in the home. Ideally, the chimney draft pushes air out of the flue and away from the interior of the home. Sometimes, when negative air pressure is present, this doesn’t happen. What does happen is that air flow is reversed and pushed back into the house. This is a problem that is seen in many newer homes and also in homes when venting improvements or changes have been made. It’s possible that the installer didn’t vent the chimney correctly. Other thing that cause negative air pressure include damaged exhaust fans, central vacuum systems, and additional chimneys in the home.

Cracking a window temporarily relieves negative air pressure, but it’s not a permanent solution. The best way to correct the situation is to do the following:

  • Close the damper
  • Install a glass fire screen to keep warm air from leaving the fireplace
  • Have a chimney professional install a top damper

Chimney odors, while unpleasant, are fixable. For immediate results, contact your local professional for chimney cleaning in Sandy Springs, GA, and stay on top of any chimney repairs.