What IS that smell?
You’ve built your fire, but notice a really nasty smell coming from your fireplace. Is it normal? Is it something to be concerned about? Give us a call because more than likely – it’s your chimney and you need a cleaning and an inspection.
The development of odor signifies that something is accumulating in your chimney. There are different types of smells that are generated by the different causes. If your chimney gives of a musty odor, then the cause is most likely the water that’s sitting in your smoke chamber. If you smell a bad barbeque or asphalt scent coming from your chimney then that can be coming from some creosote build-up. But if you smell a rotting odor, then the culprit is none other than the gnarly mixture of leaves, damp soot and a rotting chimney, or even a decaying animal or animal waste.
Water, animals, birds and debris often find a way into your chimney, settling in your flue. Not only can this cause a terrible smell, it can also compromise the draft in your chimney. Why does this matter? If your draft is impeded, you will not get optimal heating from your fireplace. You may also risk a carbon monoxide leak inside your home — dangerous gases must be free to exit the home. Moisture can always cause mold to grow, which can exacerbate respiratory problems and allergies.
If you smell something, you need to schedule your annual cleaning and inspection. The inspection can help determine what is causing the odor and remove it from your system. A cleaning can restore proper draft.
To prevent water, animals, debris and birds from getting into your chimney, you want to have a properly-sized chimney cap installed. We’d be happy to answer questions you may have about this simple and effective addition. There are also other steps we can take to waterproof your chimney.
Bottom line – if something makes your nose wrinkle, you should call a CSIA certified sweep before using your fireplace again. Ensuring your safety and upping the performance of your heating system are why we are here.