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Smoky Chimney

How often have you heard of this idiom, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." So, seeing a smoky chimney in your Eden Prairie, downtown St. Paul, or Twin City Area home is naturally alarming. But, while smoke pouring out of the stack can be a sign of a chimney fire, there could also be several other causes.

A chimney is designed to discharge smoke and exhaust away from the house. However, issues can arise when a chimney isn't drafting correctly—not pulling enough outside air up and out of the house. This is a drafting issue, and it's essential to address it promptly to reduce smoke coming back into the home and other gases coming into the flue from attached heating appliances like furnaces or water heaters connected to the same chimney.

Smokey chimney repairs in Edina & New Prague MN

Common Causes Of A Smoky Chimney

A smoky chimney is a common problem in Minneapolis – St. Paul. Since there can be several reasons, as noted below, it's crucial to take action to correct the problem as soon as possible.

  • Creosote Buildup
  • Flue Obstruction
  • Insufficient Draft
  • Flue Liner Cracks
  • Masonry Damage
  • Burning Unseasoned Wood
  • Cold Chimney Syndrome

Smoky Fireplace Vs. Chimney Fire

Smokey chimneys being fixed in Chaska & Plymouth MN

Chimney fires are a potentially dangerous and destructive event. If you have a smoky chimney, that means incomplete combustion occurs in your fireplace. When this happens, soot and creosote can build up in your chimney; if these materials are not removed, they can lead to a devastating fire. In addition, a chimney fire can be hazardous because it can quickly spread to other parts of your home, putting you and your family at risk.

What Does A Smoky Chimney Mean?

A smokey chimney usually indicates a problem with the fireplace or chimney. The most common cause of a smokey chimney in Minneapolis – St. Paul is lighting a wood-burning fireplace in a cold chimney. When the temperature outside is cold, the air inside the chimney is also cold. It can cause the smoke from the fire to condense and form a fog that comes out of the chimney or, worse – create a backdraft that pushes smoke and debris out of your fireplace! Another cause of a smokey chimney is a blockage in the flue. It can be due to soot or creosote buildup, a bird's nest, or a blockage further up the chimney or in a connector pipe.

Since a smoky chimney may signal a severe problem such as a fire, creosote buildup, or drafting issue, 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 and inspection right away. If you cannot extinguish the fire safely, or if flames accompany a smoky chimney, immediately evacuate everyone from the house and call 9-1-1 to report a possible chimney fire.