Diagnosing Chimney Odors

By Doug Hetsch

May 30, 2017

Chimney Maintenance

During the summer months, All American Chimney Service receive many phone calls asking for help with stinky chimneys! It can get hot and humid here in Louisville. This can stir up unpleasant odors in your chimney. We have years of experience at diagnosing these bad smells. So, fortunately, we have learned a lot about exactly what problems cause which odors in chimneys. We would like to share with you why your chimney could be smelly this summer. In addition, how we can help prevent these causes, keeping your home smelling fresh and clean as the weather warms up.


Creosote so flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has called it a leading cause ofchimney fires! Additionally,this natural compound has a very strong odor that is similar to hot tar or burned barbecue. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace that you use regularly during the winter? If so, you likely have creosote deposits sticking to the inner walls of your chimney.

The residue of smoke, gases, and other byproducts of combustion forms creosote. This happens during the condensation that occurs as the byproducts exit the cooler upper walls of the chimney. The humidity in the summer makes creosote smell even stronger. So, All American Chimney Service recommends that you schedule your annual chimney maintenance tasks in late spring or early summer. By doing this, you will be preventing both chimney fires and unpleasant odor invasions!


If you notice a musty smell coming from your fireplace, you may have a water leak problem. All American Chimney Service specializes in diagnosing leaky chimneys! Contact us to schedule an inspection. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will check to make sure your chimney cap is in good condition. If you do not have a chimney cap or your cap is old and damaged, we can help you pick out a new cap. Afterwards, we’ll professionally install it to ensure water stays out of your chimney. You can also prevent birds and wild animals from nesting inside your chimney with a chimney cap that is equipped with mesh metal sides. If a critter gets into your chimney and becomes trapped, you may end up with the horrible odor of a dead animal in your home.

Keep your home smelling sweet this summer.Contact usat All American Chimney Service to schedule your annual professional chimney sweeping and inspection today!

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