Summer is in full swing following the Fourth of July. Here in the northwest corner of the U.S., in the rainiest climate in the country, the weather can take a toll on your chimney system. The rain in Seattle, our proximity to the ocean, and summer humidity can all be a factor when your chimney smells. Every chimney and home is different, and environmental or structural factors will create different results in your chimney. At this time of year, we get calls about chimney odors on a regular basis. Our experts at Pristine Sweeps can tell you it depends on the chimney.

BBQ/Smoky Odor

A common spring and summer complaint is the barbecue or smoke smell permeating the house. The fireplace and chimney spend all of burn season becoming coated in soot, creosote, and ash. If these materials aren’t removed during a routine chimney sweep, they will begin to stink. This effect worsens when humidity mingles with the soot and creosote, and it is also more corrosive to the chimney.

Avoid a BBQ/smoky smell with annual chimney sweepings after each burn season. This protects your chimney from corrosion and prevents this foul and unwelcome odor.

Mildew/Mold Odor

Your chimney is the perfect space for bacteria to grow, since it is dark and warm during the summer. Combine this with a chimney leak, big or small, and you will have mildew and mold in no time. Moldy or mildew odors coming from the chimney or fireplace mean you have a leak that has been there long enough for bacteria to grow! Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your masonry and should be corrected immediately. It can lead to rust, deterioration, malfunction, and a drop in efficiency and safety.

Avoid foul mildew odors and water damage by having your chimney inspected annually. Between appointments, keep your eye out for signs of chimney leaks so they can be repaired before damage or bacteria growth can occur.

Decomposition Odor

Organic materials including leaves and branches or even animals and their fur or droppings will produce a pungent odor of decomposition if left inside the chimney. Not only will the odor run you out of the house, but whatever is in the chimney system may also be obstructing the airflow, flammable, and producing gases that are harmful to breathe.

Avoid foul odors by sweeping your chimney at the end of burn season. An annual sweeping removes all odor causing materials from the system. In addition, prevent animal intrusion by professionally installing a chimney cap. The cap will also keep rain out of the flue as well as keep burning embers from escaping.

Call a professional to inspect and cure your chimney or fireplace odor. At Pristine Sweeps, we diagnose chimney odors year-round, and we can’t wait to help you! Call 206-574-8414 to schedule your chimney diagnosis!