Smelly Chimney? We Have Solutions

A smelly chimney isn’t just an annoyance and an embarrassment – it can be an indication that trouble is brewing in your chimney system, from leaks to draft problems to poor installation issues.

When your system is working the way it should, you should be able to enjoy your heating appliance without intermittent or lingering odors affecting your day-to-day life. If you have a smelly chimney, call Pristine Sweeps. We’ll assess your system, figure out what’s causing your odor issues, present solutions, and make any repairs you need.

Different Odors Indicate Different Issues

Pristine Sweeps’ technicians can inspect your chimney system to pinpoint the specific problems leading to chimney odors. A couple of the most common smelly chimney issues are a smoky, campfire-like smell or a damp, musty odor.

Smoky, Dirty Smell

Yes, your chimney has its share of contact with smoke, but that doesn’t mean you should be smelling (or seeing) smoke in your living area. When your chimney is functioning properly, smoke is successfully moving up and out of the home. And a clean, well-maintained chimney won’t give off strong, smoky odors.

If there’s a lingering smoky smell in your home, it could mean that you’re overdue for a chimney sweeping appointment – along with increasing the possibility of a fire hazard, creosote buildup creates a dirty, smoky odor. If strong smoke odors (or smoke itself) are coming into your space when you’re using your appliance, it could be an indication of any number of issues – from malfunctioning parts (Is your damper stuck closed?) to an improperly installed system to a flue that needs resizing.

Dank, Moldy Or Mildewy Smell

When we notice that telltale moldy or mildewy smell in a basement or bathroom, we’re all aware of what it means: There’s a moisture issue of some kind or another. A dank, mildewy smell coming from your chimney is no different.

A properly-designed and installed chimney has a variety of components built in to help keep moisture from getting inside the flue (and inside your home), from a chimney cap and chimney crown or chase cover to chimney flashing. If any of those parts fail, moisture intrusion is likely. If you have a masonry chimney, joint cracks and eroded bricks can also lead to moisture issues. So if your nose is noting that musty odor, it’s likely that it’s warning you of damage that needs to be addressed, before more water – and more damage – comes into your life.

If you’re keeping up with annual chimney inspection appointments, odds are Pristine Sweeps’ technicians will find potential moisture issues before they’re able to become big headaches. But in between inspections, if you’re noticing a moldy odor, give us a call – we’ll root out the cause.

Trust Our Certified Crew for Chimney & Fireplace Services

If you’re dealing with a smelly chimney – or any other chimney or fireplace issue – in the Seattle, WA area, call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 or book with us online – our CSIA-certified technicians are here to help!


Sometimes our chimney inspection uncovers lighting or burning issues with your fireplace system. You can rely on our experience to resolve whatever the problems are.