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When you think of the smells that come from your fireplace, the scent of wood burning most likely comes to mind. However, the hot temperatures and heavy rains of summer can sometimes cause unpleasant odors from your chimney to enter into your home through your fireplace. At Ashbusters, we are often asked by our customers why their chimneys smell badly. Our experienced technicians can pinpoint the causes of stinky chimneys, and we would like to share some of these common causes of smelly fireplaces with you to help you know what could be behind the unpleasant smells coming from your fireplace.

Creosote Buildup in Flue - Nashville TN - Ashbusters


If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you most likely have accumulations of creosote deposits sticking to your chimney walls. If the smelly odor coming from your fireplace smells like burned wood, that is a sign that creosote is the culprit behind the unpleasant odor. What exactly is creosote? A naturally occurring residue, creosote is left behind from when smoke, vapors, gases, tar fog, and other by-products of combustion exit the cooler, upper chimney walls during the process of condensation. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), large amounts of creosote deposits in your chimney are dangerous fire hazards because creosote is highly combustible. All it takes to start a chimney fire is your chimney flue reaching a certain internal temperature. The CSIA-certified chimney sweeps from Ashbusters have been trained extensively in the removal of all creosote deposits when they perform a professional chimney cleaning. Not only can they remove the source of the stinky odor in your fireplace, but they can also protect you from a hazardous chimney fire by cleaning away the creosote deposits from your chimney.


Is the smell from your fireplace musty and mildewy? Have you had problems with water leaks of your chimney? If the answers to these two questions is yes, there is a strong possibility mold is growing within your chimney and causing the unpleasant odor. Mold growth anywhere in your home is a serious health problem and should be addressed immediately. Breathing in mold spores can cause chronic respiratory issues. If you ever notice the distinctive smell of mold coming from your fireplace, you should contact Ashbusters as soon as possible so we can inspect your chimney and get rid of any mold growth.


Unfortunately, sometimes birds and animals make a new home inside chimneys, and the debris and droppings they leave behind can definitely be the cause of unpleasant chimney odors. Even worse, a bird or animal may become trapped within your chimney and eventually die. If this occurs, an extremely bad odor will be left behind, as well as the possibility of disease and a rodent infestation. If you ever experience animals moving into your chimney, you should contact Ashbusters to help you get the animals safely out of your chimney.

Have a smelly chimney? Contact Ashbusters to schedule an inspection to determine what is causing the bad odors and take care of this issue for you.