Did you know people, in general, are now thought to be able to detect at least one trillion distinct scents?

Now, you’re probably thinking, well, that’s interesting… but what does it have to do with my chimney? Well, chimneys are actually responsible for a number of smells entering your home and, most of the time, these smells are not pleasant ones.

So, men, if the women or children in your life are picking up on something you’re not smelling, don’t discount them just yet. Rather, consider the role your chimney could be playing in all of this. (And if you’re noticing odors yourself, then it’s really time to take action!)

And, ladies, if you smell something suspicious, don’t ignore it. Rather, call in our experts to check it out today.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has lots of experience with these smell-related issues. There can be several reasons why your chimney is giving off an unpleasant odor, but here are some of the more common ones.

1. Creosote Buildup

Generally speaking, if your chimney smells like tar or asphalt, it’s probably coming from a buildup of creosote on your chimney walls. This is the most common cause of chimney odors, and any creosote-related smells usually get worse in the summer because people crank up the air conditioning to fight high levels of humidity.

If you’re ready for a solution, call in our sweeps for an inspection and sweeping. We can clear out that accumulated creosote, and if there are any other issues that might be triggering foul smells, we can look into those, too.

2. Negative Air Pressure

Another common reason for bad odors is negative air pressure in your home. Modern homes are typically sealed up very tight. Although many look at this as a good thing, it can also have the negative side effect of causing drafts to reverse in your chimney. This means outside air is drawn in, sending drafts and bad odors right into your home.

An easy, short-term solution to this is to crack open a window. This will invite some make-up air in, thus ensuring that the balance of air coming in and air going out isn’t thrown off. But, unless you want to keep your windows open all the time, further action should be taken. This could mean something simple like installing a top-sealing damper, or it could be that more extensive repairs are needed. Either way, we can help!

3. Water Intrusion & Excess Moisture

Are the odors you’re noticing musty in nature? This likely indicates some sort of water intrusion. Excess moisture and water leaks can damage chimney linings, cause rust and rot, and trigger decay and deterioration throughout your masonry, so if this is the cause of your chimney odors, it’s time to address the problem ASAP.

Your solution may be something as simple as having a chimney cap or top-mounted damper installed, but it could be that bigger repair jobs, like tuckpointing or a crown rebuild, are in order. Either way, you won’t know what you’re dealing with until Northeastern Masonry & Chimney can take a look.

4. Unwelcome Critters

If a critter gets caught in your chimney, there are a couple ways bad smells could ensue. Once settled, they might set up camp, have babies, and/or use your chimney as their restroom indefinitely. Or they’ll be unable to get out on their own, pass away, and cause bad smells that way. We’re guessing that none of those sound like a welcome option.

All in all, animal-related issues are not the most common cause of chimney odors, but they bear looking (or smelling) into.

5. Leaves, Twigs & Other Debris

Rotting leaves and other debris are prone to trigger smells in a hurry, especially when they combine with creosote and moisture. Like we said, animals might leave behind nesting materials that decompose and stink up the place, but it could be that these materials are simply blowing in on their own, too.

An easy solution? Install a new chimney cap! This won’t just keep out debris, but it will keep out animals, moisture, and downdrafts as well – can’t beat that.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney Today

Your fireplace should enhance your living area, improve ambiance, and give off that desired warmth whenever you need it. However, if your fireplace is producing bad smells, it can make your living areas really hard to be in.

Instead of merely speculating about the potential causes of your chimney odor problem, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney to take a look. Our CSIA-certified technicians will give you a professional diagnosis and suggest practical and affordable options to fix the problem based on our vast knowledge and many years of experience.

To top it off, we prioritize professionalism and customer satisfaction above all else – you won’t find better care anywhere else!

Call us today at 518-767-9315 or make an appointment online. We can’t wait to hear from you soon!