If you are like most homeowners, you don’t give your chimney much thought during the hot, summer months. However, when foul smells start seeping into your home through your chimney, you can’t help but think about your chimney and fireplace. With the heat and humidity, summer can intensify any odor-causing substances in your chimney. Those smells can become overpowering and incredibly frustrating for homeowners. If unpleasant chimney odors have caught your attention this summer, the team at Environmental Chimney Services is here to help! 

What causes chimney odors?

white masonry chimneyChimney odors can be caused by a variety of things that are lurking in your chimney. Some of the most common causes of chimney odors are:

  • Creosote buildup – Creosote builds up on chimney walls each time wood is burned in the fireplace. When it mixes with moisture and hot summer temperatures, creosote can put off a strong, burning smell that’s highly unpleasant.
  • Moisture retention – Unless your chimney is completely sealed off and preventative measures are taken to stop water intrusion, musty smells can overwhelm your chimney and home. It can cause unpleasant smells and damage to your chimney. Mold and mildew are smells commonly caused by chimney leaks.
  • Animal intrusion – Animals love to find their way into chimneys for shelter and warmth. They can also build nests or leave behind food particles and waste to stink up your chimney and home. Sometimes, they can become trapped and even die within the chimney, and this can create an intense and foul chimney odor.
  • Debris accumulation – On windy days, debris like leaves and twigs can enter through the chimney. If they buildup and become trapped, they can begin to decompose and create an unpleasant smell.

How do you stop chimney odors?

The primary concern for most homeowners with summertime chimney odors is how to get rid of it. If your chimney stinks, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Get a chimney sweeping now – Many homeowners wait until fall to have chimneys swept. If your chimney stinks, have your chimney swept immediately to remove stinky creosote, animal waste or debris.
  • Address chimney leaks – If your chimney odor is caused by a chimney leak, you should not ignore it. Chimney leaks can cause serious damage. Repairing the leak will help to eliminate the odor, and it will save your chimney from further water damage.
  • FIx the chimney draft – If the smell from your chimney chronically fills your home, you might have a problem with the chimney draft. Odors can enter your home via the chimney when air is pulled down through your chimney, in reverse of how the chimney should flow. Cracking open a window should help, or you can install a top-sealing damper to permanently eliminate this problem.

Chimney odors can make the air inside your home unbearable during the summer. Don’t suffer through it; call in the experts to help! The certified chimney sweeps at Environmental Chimney Service can sweep and inspect your chimney to help identify the source of chimney odors and provide you with a solution. If your chimney stinks this summer, call Environmental Chimney Service or schedule an appointment online today!