What’s That Odor Coming from Your Chimney?
When winter turns to spring we celebrate the sun and warmth until we start smelling the musty and smoky odor that is coming from your chimney system or even worse, the “there’s something dead in there” smell.
Everyone’s first reaction is that it just needs to be swept, which in some cases is the answer. In most cases, it’s something different entirely. What happens is when the air becomes warmer and your chimney is holding a bunch of water since bricks are porous, your chimney starts to grow mold and mildew, combined with a reverse draft from the warm air outside, and you get a smelly chimney. To solve this problem, in most cases you simply need to clean the chimney thoroughly, and waterproof it so that it has a chance to dry out and breathe, making it much harder for mold and mildew to thrive.
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Animals Do Die in the Chimney
Unfortunately, animals can get trapped in the chimney and die. We have pulled out dead birds, raccoons, opossums, snakes, rats, squirrels, and mice. We’ve even pulled out a dead duck from one chimney. The thing about animals dying in your chimney is twofold: the odor and the possibility of clogging up the flue.
The easy fix is to prevent this from happening in the first place with a good solid chimney cap with a screen that will not let animals or birds enter into the flue. You must be careful with the gauge of the screen so it is large enough to let the soot and debris out of the flue when being used yet small enough to keep the pests out.
Making sure the chimney system is inspected and cleaned each year also prevents animals from entering the flue. We go up on the roof to make sure the cap and screen have not been damaged and, if it is, repair or replace them with your permission.
Keep Repairs at Bay
While this is not pleasant, urine and feces from animals as well as rot can fall and sit on the smoke shelf and potentially cause rust and will cause odors to come into your home through the fireplace even with the damper closed. Making sure animals cannot enter the flue means this will never be an issue.
Creosote can damage the side of the flue over time and the best way to remove it is through chimney sweeping. So to keep the odors at bay, repairs caused by not properly caring for the system and your family safer when using your system is all accomplished by the same annual services; inspection and sweeping.
What are you waiting for? Call The Chimney Company today and let us take care of getting that smell out of your house and your chimney & fireplace in good working order.