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What Smells? Odors Your Chimney May Have

Chimney care is an important part of owning a home, and it's one that many first-time homebuyers don't always understand. In fact, many homeowners don't understand that sometimes a chimney can have a foul odor. Not only do you need to know that this can happen, but you also need to know what kinds of things can cause it. Here's a look at what you should know if you've noticed a bad smell coming from your home's chimney.

Animal Odors

During the off season, when your chimney isn't in use, it's a prime place for all sorts of animals to hide. From birds to raccoons, animals can nest in your chimney in the effort of finding a place that's sheltered and safe.

Unfortunately, if an animal gets into your chimney, they sometimes get stuck. If an animal gets trapped, they will die inside the chimney. This causes a foul odor as the animal's body decomposes. 

In addition, you can also find that odors will accumulate from animal droppings in your chimney if they are in there long enough for waste to build up. In either situation, you'll want to have the chimney thoroughly cleaned by a chimney sweep to eliminate the source of this odor.

Creosote Buildup

Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood. If your chimney is attached to a wood-burning fireplace or a wood stove, you may notice an odor that's caused by creosote accumulation. Since creosote is highly flammable, it is important that you have this addressed as soon as possible.

You'll know you have a problem with creosote accumulation by the type of odor that you notice. Creosote naturally smells a lot like hot asphalt. If you are smelling an odor like this, you should stop using your chimney until you can have it cleaned. The risk of a chimney fire is a serious threat.

Musty Odors

Your chimney is exposed to the elements at all times. When your chimney cap isn't providing adequate protection, you can end up with moisture accumulation inside the chimney. Left unaddressed, this can cause mold and mildew growth inside your chimney.

When that happens, you'll notice a musty odor coming from the chimney. Since mold spores can lead to respiratory issues for your family, you'll want to have your chimney cleaned as soon as possible to eliminate the mold. While you're at it, have the chimney cap inspected to keep additional moisture out. Talk to a company like A & A Chimney Sweep to learn more.


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