In the middle of this hot Indiana summer, it’s likely that you haven’t thought much about your chimney. That is, until you could no longer ignore that persistent musty, smoky odor. It’s normal for a chimney to have a scent, but if your chimney is noticeably smelly, especially in the summer, there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you are struggling with chimney odor this summer, the following are some steps you can take.

Schedule a Chimney Sweep

There are several possible causes of chimney odor, including:

  • Creosote
  • Standing water
  • Rotting debris
  • Animal scat or remains

In order to diagnose the problem and find a solution, you should first schedule a chimney sweep and inspection. A Brick + Ember Outfitters certified chimney sweep will evaluate the situation, locate the source of the odor and recommend a course of action. The most likely scenario is that excess creosote buildup or debris in your chimney is giving off a stronger odor in the humid weather. In that case, a thorough sweep may be enough to take care of the problem.

Install a Damper and Rain Cap

Standing water in your smoke chamber could also cause a musty smell in the humid summer weather. To stop this from recurring, you must seal the chimney from water penetration. Our Outfitters can install a top mount damper or chase cover and rain cap to keep rainwater and moisture out.

Address Air Pressure Issues

The root issue of chimney odor, particularly in the summer, is often air pressure and drafting problems. If a chimney is drafting properly, it will expel air—odor and all—up through the flue and out of the home. When chimney odor persists, it likely means that the draft has reversed, and air is flowing down the chimney and into your home. This tends to occur in newer, weatherized, energy efficient homes. During the summer, the air pressure in these homes is lower than the outside air. Air then comes in through the chimney to equalize the difference.

There are a few ways to address this negative air pressure. The ventilation of the entire home can be evaluated, and makeup air can be introduced elsewhere. Closing the fire damper tightly, implementing a glass fire screen and installing a top mount damper will help seal the chimney system more completely.

Don’t put up with a smelly chimney. Contact your local Brick + Ember Outfitters today to assess the problem and eliminate the odor.