Chimney odors become more noticeable in the summer season, when heat and humidity are at their peak levels and intensifies the source of the smell. In today’s post, chimney relining and repair contractor Chimney Doctors take a look at the most common causes of chimney odors.
- Creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood, and can accumulate in chimney flues during the winter season. This oily and sticky substance can emit a strong and acrid odor that’s similar to hot asphalt. But the odor should be the least of your worries, as creosote buildup presents an increased risk of a chimney fire. If the odor of creosote is coming from your chimney, have it cleaned by a professional as soon as possible.
- Trapped animals. Small animals like birds and squirrels can make their way into chimneys and, unfortunately, sometimes cannot find their way out and ultimately die from starvation or injuries. As time passes, the smell of putrefaction becomes more pronounced and can spread throughout the house. If you can hear an animal trying to escape from your chimney, call Saratoga County Animal Services for help. On the other hand, if the smell of rot is coming from the chimney, make an appointment with your local chimney sweep for a thorough chimney cleaning.
- Bats. Another kind of animal that often makes their home in chimneys are bats. Among the signs of the presence of bats are their distinct high-pitched noises and the overpowering smell of guano, or bat droppings. Due to its high ammonia content, guano smells like a dirty litter box. Contact Animal Services to have them removed, then have a chimney professional clean and inspect your chimneys to make sure no droppings are left behind and to eliminate potential access points.
- Trapped moisture. Moisture in the chimneys can mix with soot and creosote, which can result in a musty or damp smell. It’s never a good idea to let moisture remain trapped in the chimneys, as it can damage masonry. If you notice a persistent musty odor coming from your chimney, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional, keeping in mind that it can help prevent unexpected and costly repairs.
Chimney Doctors is one of the most trusted chimney companies serving Clifton Park, NY, and the surrounding communities. To learn more about our services, including chimney masonry repair, give us a call at (518) 882-5009. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.