What Can I Do About My Smelly Chimney?

Few things are more unpleasant than foul odors coming from a chimney and fireplace. The smell can permeate your home and ruin your peaceful and happy environment. The certified chimney technicians at Bethesda Chimney of Montgomery County, MD, help homeowners throughout the Washington DC, and Northern Virginia areas resolve their smelly chimney issues. Here’s what you need to know.

Smelly Chimney Solutions in Fairfax, VAWhy Do Chimneys Smell?

There are four primary reasons for a smelly chimney. All of them are fairly easy to fix.

1. Moisture mixing with creosote and soot

A chimney leak can let water move into the interior chimney and mix with creosote and soot. This produces a smoky, tar-like odor. Solve this problem by having your chimney professionally swept.

2. Tree debris

Leaves and twigs can eventually give off a damp, musty smell when allowed to remain inside the chimney flue. Proper chimney sweeping is the solution. Having a chimney cap installed will keep tree debris out of the flue in the first place.

3. Animal nests and deceased animals

Just as with tree debris, old and rotted small-animal nests can send odors into your home. Certain animals actually die inside chimneys, and this produces a very offensive odor. Again, a thorough chimney cleaning and a chimney cap will solve the problem.

4. Negative air pressure in the house

A home that’s too airtight won’t provide enough air to create a draft through the fireplace. If air in the flue can’t move up, it may move down and enter your home. Solve this problem by keeping a window cracked near the fireplace and being aware of exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and windows.

Solutions for a Smelly Chimney

Here is some additional information you’ll find helpful.

Creosote Buildup

Creosote builds up in the flue every time you burn wood in your fireplace. All creosote is flammable, but 3rd degree creosote is responsible for the most devastating chimney fires in America each year. Creosote can smell, but it can also destroy your home.

CSIA-certified chimney sweeps have the tools and training to safely remove all types of creosote, thereby reducing the odor and helping to prevent chimney fires.

Chimney Leaks

Leaky Chimney Repairs in Silver Spring, MD

Chimney leaks are the beginning of many problems, with smelly chimneys often being the least of them. A cracked chimney liner, damaged chimney cap, warped chimney flashing, crumbling chimney crown and other issues can lead to leaks and eventual widespread damage.

Solving chimney leaks begins with an inspection to determine the source, cause and extent of the leak. Proper repair work can then be done.

Chimney Caps

A proper full-width chimney cap covers the entire top of the chimney. It protects the flue opening from water, debris and small animals while protecting the concrete chimney crown, which is a common source of chimney leaks.

A custom chimney cap should be installed only by chimney technicians who are trained in this task. The same goes for any work being done to your chimney.

Custom Full Width Chimney Cap Installation in Fort Totten-Upper, Washington DC

Call your Montgomery County, MD, chimney experts for solutions to all your chimney problems

When a smelly chimney is too much to live with, or when your chimney has other problems that require the right solutions, Bethesda Chimney is standing by to help. Reach an experienced chimney professional by calling (301) 969-4444 or (703) 935-4444. You can also get in touch by using our handy contact form.

We serve Kensington MD, and Washington DC, along with Springfield VA, Manassas VA, Sterling VA, Montgomery Village MD, the District of Columbia, and other area communities.

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