Avoid Summer Chimney Smells
Winter is over, and you may think that all your chimney issues are in the past. Unfortunately, summer can be the time when chimney issues sneak up on you. Especially unpleasant odors. Here are several causes of a smelly chimney and what you can do to prevent it.
When firewood is burned, unburned particles and byproducts float up into the flue and condense with other chemicals to form something that looks like tar. This is creosote, though a somewhat natural occurrence it is highly toxic. When the high heat and humidity of summer occur, it can cause your chimney to have a smokey odor. Imagine an old grill that hasn’t been cleaned.
The Fix: A good old fashion professional chimney cleaning. Why professional? Professionals have special tools that can get to hard-to-reach areas and tools that are specifically made to efficiently clean a chimney. Professionals can also address any issues that caused excess buildup to occur in the first place.
The freeze and thaw cycles of winter can leave your chimney in bad shape. The water expands in the masonry of your chimney during freezes, causing cracks in the brick. This happens over and over again possibly widening the cracks. This can happen out of sight and a homeowner will have no idea what has happened until a musty or moldy odor pervades the home. Water mixed with soot can even start to smell rotten.
The Fix: Small leaks can be fixed with adhesive sealant sprays, whereas larger leaks need the attention of a professional. The chimney cap, crown, and flashing should all be checked to make sure they are in good working condition and not the cause of excess water entering the chimney in the first place.
Many homeowners have heard the chirp, chirp of birds nesting in their chimney or worse yet, have smelled the horrible smell of something gone wrong when an animal decides to make their chimney a home. Animal droppings accumulating in the chimney during sweltering heat or an animal that has died will cause terrible odors in your chimney.
The Fix: The animal nest and animal if it is still there, will need to be removed and the chimney should have a thorough cleaning. This is a job better left to professionals.
They are used to dealing with all sorts of obstructions and have the tools necessary to completely clean the chimney. The installation of a chimney cap is imperative. If the animals are still alive, they will more than likely try to return to their snug little home and ruin all of your hard work. The chimney cap will cover the mouth of the chimney and prevent critters and debris from re-entering your chimney. Keeping your chimney odor-free this summer doesn’t have to be intimidating and it doesn’t have to mean you diving into the own knowns of chimney repair. Call Burlington Fireplace at 262-763-3522 for your annual chimney inspection. We will provide a detailed inspection and give your chimney the service it deserves.