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​Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires which can cause severe damage. Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to contain fires safely. The chimneys job is to expel the byproducts (water vapor, smoke, gases, etc.) that fire produces. The residue that these byproducts create that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote. If creosote builds up significantly, and the internal flue temperature is high enough, the result could be a chimney fire.

  • ​Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. We recommend that you have your chimney inspected annually, and cleaned on a regular basis.

​There are many potential causes of a smoking fireplace. If your chimney persistently smokes, there could be many things affecting the draft. First, make sure that the damper is fully open. If the damper is fully open, then make sure that nothing is blocking your chimney flue.

  • The construction of the fireplace and chimney could also be causing issues. If the opening of the fireplace and the size of the flue are not proper ratios, the smoke won't be correctly directed out of the home.
  • The wood that you are burning can also create a smoking fireplace. Burning unseasoned or green wood can produce a very smoky fire. Half of the weight of a piece of freshly cut wood is water. To properly season wood, it can take nine months or longer.
  • Chimneys should be inspected annually to prevent creosote buildup or other potential issues.

Humid summer days and rainy days adding moisture will produce undesirable odors from a dirty chimney. Having your chimney cleaned will dispose of any decomposing materials and will also clean the creosote out of the chimney. If the chimney cleaning and inspection don’t get rid of the odor, the next course of action would be to seal the chimney from water sitting in the chamber and causing a musty smell. Adding a chimney cap to your chimney will keep water, debris, and animals out of your chimney. Below is a list of what your chimney might smell like with what is most likely causing that smell.

Dead animals/ feces

Animals entering your chimney and not being able to escape


Fallen leaves combining with damp soot

Musty odor

Water sitting in your smoke chamber

Barbeque/ asphalt

Most likely due to creosote buildup

You can’t always tell if your chimney is functioning correctly. However, there are some visible signs that your chimney might need repair. One common problem is damaged mortar joints. Damaged mortar joints are dangerous and should be repaired as soon as possible. What seems like a minor issue can quickly become a significant issue. When water seeps into small masonry cracks, they can turn into large cracks. Ultimately if the chimney isn’t repaired, it could face severe damage.
​A typical home inspection concern for homeowners is ceiling stains. Ceiling stains may occur if your chimney was installed correctly, or if there has been damage to your chimney. The most common cause of a ceiling stain is an improperly flashed chimney. If your chimney is wrongly flashed, it could cause roof leakage. The most obvious concern with ceiling stains is roof leakage because it can be costly and lead to more severe issues.

There is nothing pleasant about unwanted smoke seeping into your home through your fireplace. Some factors can cause smoke that escapes through the fireplace opening. If you are experiencing this, your chimney may need to be cleaned. Creosote build up in the chimney can reduce the flow of exhaust gases which can cause fireplace smoke. A shattered flue can also cause drafting problems. Our technicians can inspect your chimney for damage and clean out the vent. Another cause could be due to how well your home is insulated. An airtight house may not be able to supply enough outside air to the fire which results in negative pressure inside the house.