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Have you noticed a funky smell coming from your chimney during the warmer months? You’re not alone – hot and humid weather makes chimney odors a very common problem during the summer.
To stop odors and keep your home smelling fresh, you’ll need to identify what’s causing the problem. Here are some of the most common causes of summer chimney smells and how to deal with them.
There are a variety of things that can result in an off-putting smell coming from your chimney. The most serious is an animal trapped in your chimney. Birds and rodents can make their way into your chimney, especially if you don’t have a chimney cap in place. These animals will need to be removed as quickly as possible to prevent the odor from getting worse.
A much more common cause of chimney odors is creosote buildup. Creosote is a byproduct of wood-burning fires that can build up over time, especially if you don’t clean after each fire. Large amounts of creosote buildup can be a fire hazard, and it can also cause a very intense smoky smell. Humidity can make this smell more intense.
Finally, musky odors from your chimney can be caused by a buildup of water. If water has seeped into your chimney during the winter and spring, it can lead to smelly mold and mildew. These odors can be particularly prominent if your chimney isn’t sealed properly. Air conditioning or fans can pull the air from the chimney into your house, taking these odors with it.
If you’ve noticed unpleasant chimney odors, don’t worry – there are steps you can take to get your chimney smelling fresh again. Start by sweeping away any loose ashes and sprinkling a box of baking soda throughout your fireplace. After letting it sit for a few days, vacuum it up. Baking soda is very effective at neutralizing odors, and you will likely notice that the smell is less intense.
Another substance that is very effective at neutralizing chimney odors is vinegar. Simply placing a bowl of white vinegar in your firebox can lessen the smell. If you’re still having issues with odors, consider installing a fireplace plug at the base of your chimney. This will prevent fans from pulling these odors out of the chimney.
If you’re still having issues with a smelly chimney after trying these DIY fixes, it’s time to bring in a professional. A professional chimney sweep can assess your home to determine what is causing the odor and how to fix it. This might mean a deep clean to remove creosote, debris, or animals, as well as repairs to seal your chimney tighter andkeep water out.
Regular chimney inspections and cleanings can prevent these odors from developing in the first place. Scheduling a chimney inspection at least once a year is the best way to keep your chimney in good condition. If you need chimney inspections, cleaning, or repairs in southern middle Tennessee or the Tennessee Valley, A1 Chimney can help. Give us a call at (931)-967-3595 in Tennessee or (256)-285-4895.