Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

WHAT is that Smell Coming From the Chimney?


It could be a number of things, and it is good that you are not taking it lightly because it signals an unsafe fireplace system. A chimney should remove smells from the home, not introduce them, so something is interfering with proper draft. Whatever it is needs to be corrected and the chimney needs to be inspected before you can safely build a fire.

Smells Bad - Baton Rouge LA - Basic Chimney Sweep

Damp and Musty

If it is a stale, damp smell, check around the fireplace carefully for other signs of water entry. Look for stains on the ceiling and walls around it, and feel the walls of the fireplace, to check for obvious dampness. Make sure your chimney cap is still up there and if you are up to it, inspect the mortar and flashing for cracks or gaps.

Smoky and Acrid

This could be either creosote deposits heating up or a nest obstructing the chimney and sending smoke back into the house. Either one of these really needs to be checked by a certified chimney sweep to ensure it is done properly and safely. Some nests are protected by law and can only be removed with a permit, and the dangers of creosote are well known.

Rotting and Foul

A critter probably got stuck in the chimney. Even if it is within reach, you probably do not want to deal with this yourself either. Since its being there indicates a real problem with the chimney, you can let the professional that checks it do the dirty work. A different kind of “rotting and foul” might be the smell of mold, and you are back to water damage.

Whatever It Is, It’s Bad

Regardless of what accounts for the smell, the chimney is not drafting properly and the fireplace cannot be used. Furthermore, whatever its cause, more serious ramifications have to be prevented by a professional inspection of the chimney. As a result, that smell coming from your chimney is an announcement that you need a CSIA certified sweep.

By on April 19th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment


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