Chimney Care Company's Blog

Ew! Why does my chimney smell?

Inside every chimney, there’s a dirty secret: Chimney odor. All chimneys smell, but under normal circumstances, chimney smells draft up and out of the chimney. From time to time, however, homeowners are stuck with foul odors from their chimney invading their homes. Chimney odor drafting down into your home can be embarrassing and frustrating. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with chimney owner.

What is that smell? Ew! Why does my chimney smell Image - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care Co

The first step in ridding your home of chimney odor is to identify the cause of the chimney odor. There are a few common culprits for chimney odor, and depending on the nature of the smell, you might be able to determine a likely cause. Common chimney odors include:

  • A burning smell. A burning or smoky smell is one of the most common chimney odors. When smoke travels up your chimney, it deposits creosote on the chimney walls. That creosote comes with a smoky smell, or even an acrid smell when it comes into contact with moisture. Even clean chimneys can fall victims from creosote odors because the odor is absorbed by the porous chimney masonry.
  • A damp smell. Musty, damp odors also commonly eschew from chimneys. Whether it’s due to a missing chimney cap, a crack in the chimney, damaged flashing or simply water being absorbed by the masonry materials, mold and mildew can form in the chimney, causing this unpleasant odor.
  • A rotting smell. One of the foulest smells that can enter your home through the chimney is the smell of decomposition. From time to time, birds or animals can make their way into chimneys and become trapped. Or, animals who make their homes within the chimney might leave behind nesting materials, waste or prey. When these decompose in the chimney, the odor can be truly terrible.

How do you get rid of chimney odor?

When your chimney stinks, you don’t have to live with the smell. There are a few steps you should take to get rid of the chimney odor. Some strategies for alleviating chimney odor include:

  • Having your chimney swept and inspected. The first step to eliminating chimney odor is to have your chimney swept and inspected. The sweeping with clear away any debris that could be causing odors, and the inspection will locate any other problems — such as leaks or poor drafts — that could contribute.
  • Protect your chimney from water. Nearly all chimney odors are made worse by moisture, and some chimney odors have moisture as their root cause. Repair chimney leaks or faulty flashing, make sure you have a sturdy chimney cap covering your chimney flue and consider having your chimney waterproofed to prevent water absorption.
  • Address drafting issues. If chimney odor is a chronic problem in your home, it might have to do with poor chimney drafting or an air-tight home. To truly solve chimney odor in your home, you have to be sure that air is flowing up and out of your chimney rather than being drawn back in.

What do I do if my chimney smells?

You don’t have to suffer from foul chimney smells in your home. If you’re experiencing unpleasant odors in your home, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment — we can help solve your chimney odor problems!

Now’s The Time To Make Your Chimney Sweeping And Inspection Appointment

Fall has arrived! Cooler temperatures are just around the corner. Before you know it, you will be ready to light your first fire of the fall. However, before you ignite a fire in your fireplace, you need to have your chimney swept and inspected. To avoid missing out on some of the fire-burning season, now is the time to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection appointment. So, why is it so important to have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected before you use your fireplace?

Chimney Sweeping And Inspection Appointment Image - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyPrevent a chimney fire.

The most important reason to have your chimney swept and inspected before you use it this fall? Preventing a dangerous and damaging chimney fire! Every time you burn a fire in your fireplace, the smoke that travels up your chimney deposits fire byproducts on the walls of your chimney. Over time, those deposits harden into creosote. Creosote is incredibly flammable. Consequently, if it’s allowed to build up too thickly, a spare spark or extreme heat from your fireplace can cause it to ignite. To prevent chimney fires due to creosote, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you have your chimney swept and inspected at least once a year.

Make sure your chimney is free from obstructions.

If you haven’t used your fireplace within the last year, or if you didn’t use it frequently last winter, you still need to have your chimney swept and inspected before you light a fire. Animals can make their way into the chimney and become stuck or build nests. Leaves and twigs can find their way into uncovered chimneys. When animals or debris become stuck in your chimney, they will prevent smoke from exiting your home. Chimney blockages can even cause dangerous carbon monoxide to build up within your home.

Spot chimney or fireplace damage.

The inspection component of your annual chimney service is just as important as the sweeping. Your inspection ensures that your fireplace and chimney are properly functioning. In addition, free from any signs of damage or leaks. Unnoticed chimney or fireplace damage can be a fire hazard, and unaddressed chimney damage can worsen to the point where the chimney structure or your home structure becomes compromised. With a chimney inspection, you can spot and address damage before it becomes a major problem!

Enjoy fireplace upgrades.

Of course, your annual chimney sweeping and inspection isn’t all drudgery; you can take the opportunity to ask questions or perform the fireplace or chimney upgrades you’ve been considering! Whether it’s a new fireplace insert, new fireplace doors, or a more efficient top-sealing damper you’ve been considering, your chimney technician can answer your hearth-related questions and help you plan your hearth upgrade.

Are you ready to schedule your chimney sweeping and inspection? If so, call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today! We’ll make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean, damage free and ready to warm your home this fall and winter. Don’t miss out on a single fire this fall: Now is the time to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection!

Summer is a great time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected!

Come summer, most homeowners forget about their fireplace and chimney. Then, as fall begins to chill the air, everyone rushes to schedule their annual chimney cleaning and inspection! However, don’t wait. For a variety of reasons, summer is a great time to schedule your chimney sweeping and inspection!

Take advantage of summer weather.

No homeowner likes to think about the possibility of chimney repairs.  Having said that, one of the main purposes of your annual chimney sweeping and inspection is to spot repairs.  Schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection for the summer. By doing this, you give yourself time for any repairs that might need to be made to your chimney. In fact, many masonry repairs can’t be performed in cold or damp weather and are ideally completed in the summer. This means that if damage is spotted during the fall, you might need to wait until spring to have the damage repaired. That could mean rendering your chimney unusable for an entire winter season! In addition, allowing damage to worsen as you wait for suitable weather for repairs.

Avoid a stinky chimney!

When you burn fires in your fireplace, creosote builds up within your chimney. During the cold winter months, you might not give much thought to creosote. Unfortunately, during the summer, creosote in your chimney mixes with hot, humid weather. This can make creosote stink like hot asphalt! By having your chimney cleaned in the summer, you can avoid having your home filled with foul chimney odors all summer.

Plan for improvements?

Have you been thinking about improving your fireplace or chimney? Whether it’s with a new fireplace insert, fireplace doors, or cosmetic masonry repairs, summer is the time to consult with chimney professionals! When you have your chimney swept and inspected in the summer, you can ask your chimney technician about possible improvements. Afterwards, have those improvements completed before you’re ready to use your fireplace in the fall!

Beat the fall rush.

Most homeowners plan their annual chimney sweeping and inspection for the fall. Fortunately, you can skip the fall rush by scheduling your sweeping and inspection for the summer! When you wait to schedule your annual chimney maintenance until the fall, you risk calling the chimney sweep after his or her schedule has filled up for the season. That could have you waiting weeks for you annual sweeping and inspection. This could delay your first fire of the season!

Scheduling a summertime chimney sweeping and inspection comes with a host of benefits. Not to mention, it allows you to check something off your home maintenance to-do list. Enjoy the benefits of a summertime chimney cleaning and inspection. Call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule your appointment today!

Why a Chimney Inspection Matters When Buying and Selling a Home

Summer is peak real estate season, when eager sellers put their houses on the market, and anxious Why a Chimney Inspection Matters When Buying and Selling a Home- Cincinnati OH- Chimney Care Co-w800-h597buyers hit the streets looking for their next homes. If you will be buying or selling a home with a chimney this summer, make sure a real estate chimney inspection is part of the process.

Real estate inspection for sellers

If you have a home with a chimney you are planning to sell, a real estate inspection can be an asset in marketing your home. Most buyers love fireplaces and list them as one of their top preferred features in a home. At the same time the chimney can be a source of anxiety for homebuyers. Potential buyers may worry that chimneys aren’t structurally sound, are overdue for a sweeping or require costly maintenance. When you have your chimney swept and inspected before you sell your house, your realtor can use the inspection and sweeping to assure buyers that the fireplace they admire doesn’t come with any hidden complications.

Real estate inspections for buyers

Real estate inspections protect buyers in several ways. First and foremost, they ensure that the fireplace and chimney are safe for use. A new homeowner should not use a fireplace and chimney without first have an inspection to protect against the risk of a chimney fire, home fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Secondly, real estate inspections protect a buyer’s investment in a new home. A new house is the largest investment most people will ever make. A real estate chimney inspection helps protect buyers from purchasing a home with a structurally unsound or otherwise damaged chimney, which could mean thousands of dollars in repair costs.

The real estate inspection difference

Most home sales include a home inspection, but that is not the same as a real estate chimney inspection! Home inspectors are not chimney experts, and while they may take a glance at the fireplace and chimney, they do not have the tools or the knowledge to prove that a chimney is sound and in good working order. At The Chimney Care Co., our real estate inspections include a video inspection of the chimney flue to reveal any cracks, evidence of past chimney fires or other deterioration that might jeopardize the safety of the chimney. We also inspect all chimney masonry, the firebox and the damper to make sure there are no other defects. When we’re finished, we provide you with the video, still photographs and written recommendations for any necessary repairs, so you have a full report to present to the sellers.

If you are buying or selling a home with a chimney this summer, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule your real estate inspection today! As a seller, the inspection gives you a valuable marketing tool, and as a buyer, it protects your investment and leaves you confident in your decision to purchase a new home.

Why Does My Chimney Stink?

 

Stinky chimney problem? Hold your breath no more! Call us and say goodbye to that stench in your chimney.

Stinky chimney problem? Hold your breath no more! Call us and say goodbye to that stench in your chimney.

Chimney odor problems may be attributed to a variety of different things, the most notable of which come from creosote deposits — a natural byproduct of burning wood — inside your chimney. The odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high, on rainy days, and/or when your air conditioner is running. A visit from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep can help eradicate these unwelcome odors from your home!

The Root of the Problem Lies Beneath the Surface

Due to the nature of the porous masonry construction inside your chimney, creosote impregnates its smell deep beyond the masonry’s surface. A chimney sweep will remove the surface buildup of creosote to limit the possibility of a chimney fire; however, the odors that have absorbed into the masonry itself are still left behind. How can you keep the smell out of your house? The answer to this question should come as no surprise.

Don’t Let the Draft Problems get You Down

The real problem is air coming down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems. Normally, as long as the draft is working correctly and there is no negative airflow in the home, the inherent smells will remain in the chimney. Upon closer inspection, in the event that your chimney has developed a drafting problem, the intruding air brings the chimney odors right along with it as it comes down your flue. It’s likely that your chimney is just the victim of a negative pressure problem. A quick solution to the negative air pressure issue is to simply crack a window at all times to let the pressure change through the window rather than the chimney.

Is Your Chimney’s Odor Putting a Damper on the Mood?

For a more permanent approach to keeping the smell that’s exuding from your chimney’s masonry inside the chimney and away from your nose, you need to limit the amount of air that’s able to come down your chimney and into your house in the first place. Closing your throat damper is a good start, however, the metal-on-metal closure here is anything but airtight. A top-sealing damper can help to minimize the airflow and accompanying unpleasant odors from coming down your chimney. In addition to limiting the airflow problems, the top-sealing damper will keep rainwater and moisture out as well.

There’s never a bad time to have your chimney inspected. Chimney sweeps are available year round to inspect and clean your entire chimney system. Why allow these smells to become a problem if you don’t have to? As soon as you first notice unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, contact the chimney professionals at The Chimney Care Company right away. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 513-248-9600 or fill out our online appointment request form. We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you keep your family safe and warm for years to come!

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140