Trust Pristine Sweeps to Troubleshoot Your Chimney

First things first: Don’t feel powerless if something’s going wrong in your chimney system and you can’t figure out why. Chimney systems are a lot more complex than they might look. The design and installation of components contributes to proper (or improper) draft, and the various sources of protection against the ill effects of heat and moisture can (and sometimes do) fail.

Understanding chimney system problems requires a complete and total understanding of chimney systems, from the bottom up. If you’re having trouble with your system, you can count on the technicians at Pristine Sweeps to have that complete and total understanding, Our sweeps are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), so when it comes to chimney knowledge and chimney troubleshooting, we’re your local pros.

Call 206-574-8414 or schedule with us online today.

Common Signs of Chimney or Fireplace Damage

Your senses are almost always going to alert you to a problem with your chimney system’s proper function. You may see or smell smoke. You might catch a musty, dank odor coming out of the fireplace or stove. Or you may notice that your once warm and toasty fire is struggling to light or barely building beyond a smolder.

The most common calls from clients regarding chimney troubles include:

  • A chimney emitting an odor (a properly-functioning chimney shouldn’t give off a smoky or mildewy odor)
  • A chimney that’s allowing smoke to come into the room (a properly-drafting chimney will pull that smoke up and out, and not let it get into your living area)
  • A gas fireplace that won’t light
  • Fires in your wood-burning fireplace or stove that are smoldering
  • Other unusual sights or smells that result when the heating appliance is lit

These issues could be indications of simple user issues that we can help you clear up, or they might be pointing toward a larger issue in your chimney system that makes repairs necessary.

Chimney Troubleshooting & Problem-Solving: Pristine Sweeps Can Help

Our first step in clearing up your problem is diagnosis — as with any system, symptoms point to root causes, and Pristine Sweeps’ experienced, CSIA-certified technicians have dealt with every kind of chimney issue. From smoky chimneys to smelly chimneys and leaky ones – we know where to look and what to look for. We’ll likely ask you about your practices, to rule out user error. For example:

  • Are you overdue for a chimney sweeping appointment?
  • Is your flue opened all the way when you’re lighting a fire?
  • Are you using kiln-dried or seasoned hardwood, or have you allowed your wood to dry for at least six months to a year before burning it?
  • Do you have energy-efficient windows and/or doors that might be limiting combustion air? (You can try cracking a window when you light your fire.)
  • Are you starting your fire with a particularly cold flue? (You can try holding the lit end of a rolled-up newspaper up into the flue to “prime” it, and see if it helps.)

If simple user issues don’t appear to be the cause of your troubles, Pristine Sweeps can thoroughly inspect your system, troubleshoot your problem, and present solutions – from making you aware of damage and necessary repairs to completing those repairs and getting your chimney system working the way it should again.

Book With Us Today

If you live in the Seattle area and are having chimney troubles, call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 — our CSIA-certified technicians are always ready to help! You can also schedule online.


You don’t have to put up with annoying smoke problems. You can rerly on our chimney inspection and sweeping services so you can relax and enjoy your fireplace again.