What Causes Fireplaces to Smell?

July 19, 2021 4:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why does my fireplace smell?” you’ll find that there are several potential causes of the problem. Luckily, there are also some very effective solutions that eliminate smells and allow you to use your fireplace safely.

Here’s a basic guide to help you determine why your fireplace smells as well as strategies for how to clean a smelly fireplace.

Common causes

Knowing why your fireplace smells is the first step in getting rid of the odor. While it’s always best to get a professional opinion from an expert, here are some of the clues that can point you toward the cause of a smelly fireplace:

  • Animals or insects in the chimney: It’s not uncommon for animals to get stuck in a chimney and die. As you might expect, this can cause a horrible odor that can make its way into your home. Bees and other insects can make themselves at home in a chimney, too, causing your fireplace to smell and even affecting your allergies.
  • Soot and creosote buildup: Without regular maintenance, a fireplace can start to smell simply from general use due to soot and creosote. These elements form from the smoke of a fire. If soot and creosote sit too long on the inner surfaces of a fireplace, it starts to smell more and more, releasing a charcoal-like odor throughout the house.
  • Moisture in the chimney: A chimney that isn’t properly protected can allow snow and rain to enter. As moisture gets trapped in the chimney, you’ll start to notice a musty odor throughout your home. It’s crucial to get this problem taken care of immediately, since trapped moisture leads to mold growth which is hazardous to your health.

Common remedies

No matter what’s causing your fireplace to smell, it’s best to get the situation handled professionally without delay—the best types of fireplaces are the ones that don’t smell! Here’s how to clean a smelly fireplace and get this special feature smelling fresh once again:

  • Chimney sweeping: This is the most effective way to remove smells and debris from a fireplace. Not only does regular chimney sweeping remove nasty odors from your fireplace, but it also ensures that your fireplace is safe to use.
  • Waterproofing: Moisture is one of the most common culprits behind nasty fireplace odors, so waterproofing your chimney is a must regardless of how much rain or snow your area receives. Always work with a professional chimney care company to install waterproofing the right way.
  • Keep the damper closed: Always close your fireplace damper when the fireplace isn’t in use. Damper doors prevent outside odors (as well as drafty winds) from entering your home. If your damper is broken, contact a chimney care expert right away to keep outside odors where they need to be—outside your home.

Instead of constantly wondering, “Why does my fireplace smell?” take action and get the problem handled by the professionals. Contact Custom Fire Art today to learn more about the causes and cures of a smelly fireplace and to start enjoying this special feature in your home once again.

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