Chimney care isn’t something you usually think about in the summer when your fireplace isn’t in use. But when strange odors start to appear, it might be time for an inspection. As the chimney cleaning specialists of Howard County, Columbia Chimney Sweeps explains there are a few potential causes for bad smells, but in most cases, the source is creosote.
Creosote is the buildup that occurs naturally when you burn wood in your fireplace. In the summer — especially in areas like Columbia, MD — heat and humidity can add moisture to the equation and produce a smell that’s familiar to a barbecue. If the scent is musty, it could be related to trapped moisture or decomposing leaves. If left untreated, thick deposits of creosote can pose a risk of fire.
Whatever the cause of your chimney’s bad smell, it’s a good idea to call a professional chimney sweep for a thorough cleaning. In most cases, this will eliminate the majority of the problem. However, if the creosote has settled into the interior of the chimney, it could be more difficult to remove.
When the odor sticks around after chimney cleaning, ask a professional about deodorizing products that can neutralize the space. In many cases, you may need to redirect air flow in some fashion to prevent the odor from coming into your home. Closing the damper, for example, can be a good fix. In more severe cases, your chimney repair specialist may need to install a top-sealing damper to more adequately block the airflow.
While there are several solutions to bad odors, it’s best to take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place. For example, chimney liners are useful for keeping creosote deposits at bay.
When you notice bad odors coming from your fireplace this summer, look into chimney cleaning with Columbia Chimney Sweeps as soon as possible. If your chimney is scent-free, it’s still recommended to get it inspected and cleaned at least once a year. To schedule an appointment, contact them at (410) 997-3181.