Why Your Chimney Smells | Five Main Causes Of Chimney Odor
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Reasons Your Chimney Smells 

With the colder months just around the corner, fires will be a cozy part of your days again. But, as you burn more in your household fireplace, you may notice an increase in smells. Of course, with an increase in fires, you’ll smell smoke during and just after, but when it lingers it may be less desirable. 

That’s not the only smell you might notice, though. Read on for the 5 most common smells and learn the culprits. 

Chimney Inspections in Rochester NYCreosote build-up

The number one culprit of unwanted smells from your chimney is creosote. This is completely normal and expected when you have a fireplace. However, if it’s neglected for more than a year, you may notice a stronger smell. As it collects, it also poses a risk for house fires and emits somewhat toxic fumes. Because of this, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual inspection and cleaning.

Moisture or water collecting

If you notice a musty or mildew smell, there may be a leak or water collection area in or around your fireplace. You can take a look at the interior and exterior of your chimney for signs of water damage, such as efflorescence (or a white stain), damaged or cracked mortar, and damaged bricks. 

Unwelcome animal visitors

Unfortunately, chimney caps and covers can get damaged, dislodged, or end up missing. When this happens, you’re more susceptible to critters finding their way inside your chimney and fireplace. If this happens, you may smell their droppings. They may also get stuck inside and pass away leaving a different smell. All around, it’s important to ensure your cap and cover are intact and undamaged to avoid smells of this nature. 

Debris collection

Connected to the last source of smell, it’s also possible that debris or leaves can make their way inside your chimney. If this happens, you may notice a mildew smell along with an earthy smell. You can easily lessen this smell by regularly clearing out your firebox if any debris collects there. If you can’t find the source, make sure to schedule your annual inspection and cleaning so professionals can clear out hard-to-reach areas

Ash build-up

The more fires you have, the more ashes will collect in your firebox. Of course, with this comes a smell.

chimney cleaning in Williamsville, NY

To avoid that smell overtaking your home, you can clear out the ashes weekly. Make sure to wait until the ashes are completely cooled off, roughly 12-24 hours depending on fire size.

Tip: Don’t put those ashes to waste! Did you know that you can scatter these in your garden to help your plants and flowers grow? 

Noticing you have a smelly chimney? Call Felgemacher Fireplace

Felgemacher Fireplace is a third-generation fireplace company dedicated to providing the best quality service to Rochester, NY; Buffalo, NY, and surrounding residents. We have 60 years of experience in chimney cleaning, maintenance, and installation. Call 716-907-4914 In Buffalo or  call 585-308-4914 in Rochester.