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Smelly Chimney

If you understand the clues, chimneys often indicate something is wrong. Sometimes it's a subtle hint, like water dripping in the fireplace, while at other times, it is more glaring, like a very smelly chimney. It can also come at an unpleasant time, just before guests arrive for a fireside dinner.

Why Is There a Smell Coming from My Chimney?

Many Minnesotans in Burnsville, White Bear Lake, and around the Twin Cities area experience a smelly chimney at some point. So, why is there a smell coming from your chimney? Here are five of the most common reasons for these chimney problems:

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Creosote Build-up: Burning solid and fossil fuels create several contaminants, including creosote. This substance, mainly carbon and tar, sticks to the venting system's interior walls and other areas. Without regular chimney sweeping, it will continue accumulating and hardening into a crusty, tarry, and highly flammable material. It typically smells like burning asphalt or a BBQ gone bad.

Animal Nests: Chimney swifts, raccoons, squirrels, and other small animals are often found nesting inside chimneys in the Minneapolis area, also known as the "City of Lakes." These critters often make a mess inside the flue, making your chimney very smelly. In addition, the decaying organic matter will also attract rodents like mice and rats, making the stench even worse.

Poor Ventilation: Another common cause of smelly chimneys is poor ventilation due to negative air pressure in the house. This often occurs after installing new windows, a roof, an exhaust fan in the bathroom or kitchen, or modifying the venting system. When a home is too well-sealed, foul odors in the chimney may enter the house through the fireplace instead of venting up the flue.

Gas Leak: If a pungent odor smells like "rotten eggs," you may have a gas leak. IMMEDIATELY evacuate everyone from your house or building, staying as far away as possible. Then, call 9-1-1 to report a possible gas leak.

How Do I Get the Smell Out of My Chimney?

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Of course, you can burn incense candles or deodorize your house. Still, these are generally ineffective because they mask the smell rather than eliminate the source causing the foul odor. So, the best method for getting rid of the bad smell to begin breathing fresh air again along with a sigh of relief is to schedule a professional chimney cleaning and inspection. Our chimney professionals have the specialized tools, equipment, and supplies to give your entire chimney and venting system the thorough cleaning it needs.

A smelly fireplace may signal a severe problem as it is often caused by a build-up of soot and creosote, which can be a fire hazard. So, if you notice a smelly chimney, call Twin City Fireplace at (952) 941-2685 (Minneapolis/West Loop area) or (651) 204-0112 (St. Paul/East Loop area) to schedule a professional chimney cleaning as soon as possible.