Smokey Fireplace…. HELP!
A common problem among fireplace owners is smoke leaking into the house. This can be caused by many issues but all of them need to be addressed as they can lead to other issues if not taken care of never mind the issues that arise from having a smoke-filled house on its own. Smoke in your house can make all of your furniture and clothing smell of smoke as well as cause breathing problems in the people in your house especially if you have members of your household that are afflicted with asthma or other breathing ailments. Luckily there are solutions for all of the issues that lead to smokey fireplaces and most are relatively easy.
The first step to take if you notice smoke coming out of your fireplace into your home is to call a certified chimney sweep to come out and do an inspection. This should uncover the culprit. Many times it is something as simple as a blockage in the chimney or a partial blockage that has changed the air circulation patterns in your chimney. A simple sweeping will take care of this which should be performed once a year anyways. Sometimes however the problem can be more complicated.
Occasionally smoke in your home can be caused by a crack in the chimney liner or perhaps there is not liner at all! This needs to be fixed immediately. Again a proper chimney inspection by a chimney sweep will reveal this and they will be able to take the necessary steps. It is always important to have a chimney liner and to make sure it is in proper working condition. This helps to keep the smoke in the chimney as well as protect the masonry from the heat and byproducts of a wood-burning fire.
Sometimes the cause can be more serious. It could be a structural problem that is allowing the smoke to seep into the home. This can be caused by a crack in the masonry that travels all the way through to the liner and allows the smoke to get into the house. If this is the case the chimney sweep will advise you on the best course of action. Sometimes it can be a relatively easy fix involving repointing of the chimney but in other situations it may take serious masonry work.
Whatever the reason for the smoke an inspection from a certified chimney sweep should be able to identify the cause and solution. If you follow the suggested procedures of having your chimney swept and inspected every season you will catch problems like this early and will be able to enjoy the fireplace season without sitting in a room filled with smoke!