Common Causes of Chimney Odors
It does not have to be prime fireplace weather for someone to notice unpleasant chimney odors emitting from the firebox. In order to properly take care of this issue, it is important for homeowners to understand exactly where it comes from in the first place. There are a few common situations that could lead to an unfavorable odor coming from the chimney and fireplace.
One lesser-known cause of chimney odors is the buildup of creosote in the chimney and in the fireplace. Creosote is a combination of chemicals that is left behind when wood and coal burn in the fireplace. Not only does it cause an unpleasant odor, but also it can lead to several serious skin and respiratory issues if it is not cleaned up immediately. All chimney cleaning issues should be handled by a chimney sweep but this one in particular can be dangerous for the average homeowner to tackle.
Another common issue that causes an odor coming from the chimney is an accumulation of moisture. This may become a particular problem after a big storm but it can manifest itself at any time. If this moisture is not taken care of, it can allow mold to grow, which is most likely the source of the smell. Like creosote, mold is not only unpleasant to smell but may lead to health issues for people in the home.
It is also possible that the smell is the result of animals setting up their homes inside of the chimney. The smell, in this case, may be coming from animal waste or from the material that they use to set up their nests. If animals are living in the chimney, it is important to keep in mind that they may be carrying diseases or bugs and should be removed as quickly as possible. Sometimes, a certified sweep has to remove a deceased animal from the chimney. This isn’t a job you want to tackle yourself.
Having an unpleasant smell coming from the chimney is certainly annoying, but it can also be dangerous. It may be the result of dangerous chemical accumulating in the chimney or of moisture that is leading to mold. It is also possible that animals are living in the chimney and that their waste is causing the smell. In any event, a professional chimney sweep can help you pinpoint the origin of the odor and ensure your fireplace is in good working order.