Every summer, American Chimney & Masonry receives calls from our customers asking for help getting rid of unpleasant chimney odors. The heat and humidity can stir up stinky smells in your chimney from a few different sources. Even worse, problems with the chimney draft can add to this smelly issue by making it easier for air in your chimney to go back into your home through the fireplace, rather than exiting out of the chimney. Since 1989, we have been dealing with stinky chimneys in the Portland area, so you can feel confident that your home will be smelling sweetly again after we diagnose and solve the odor problem. We would like to tell you more about the most common causes of chimney odors and how we can keep them from occurring.

Soot and Creosote

Creosote Buildup Pipe - Portland OR - American Chimney Have you noticed an odor that smells like bad barbecue or asphalt? If so, the odor source is most likely a build-up of creosote and soot inside your chimney. When you use a wood-burning fireplace or stove during the winter, these byproducts of combustion accumulate on the inner walls of your chimney. A professional chimney sweeping in the spring or summer is the best way to avoid smelling creosote and soot, and you will have an easier time scheduling your appointment with American Chimney & Masonry for this service because it is our off-season. Getting all of the creosote out will also reduce your risk of a fire hazard. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you have your chimney professionally swept annually because creosote is the biggest cause of chimney fires.


Do you have a good quality chimney cap on top of your chimney? If not, you probably have standing water on your smoke shelf, and this can give off a musty odor. Without a chimney cap, you probably also have leaves, dirt, and other debris mixed in with the water, and this can create a rotting and decomposing smell. Our staff at American Chimney & Masonry are here to keep water and leaves out of your chimney with a wide selection of chimney caps. Once you pick out your perfect new cap, our chimney professionals will install the cap to protect your chimney from water penetration.

Dead Bird or Animal

An uncapped chimney is also vulnerable to invasions from birds, bats, squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals. Sadly, one of these critters can get stuck inside the chimney and eventually die. You will definitely know if this horrible accident occurs in your chimney. American Chimney & Masonry can prevent this situation from happening by installing a chimney cap that is equipped with mesh metal sides on the top of your chimney. These sides will keep wild animals from getting inside your chimney.
A couple of professional chimney maintenance services can keep your home smelling fresh this summer. Contact us at American Chimney & Masonry to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection today.

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