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Reasons Your Belleville Illinois Fireplace Smells

A wood-burning fireplace is an attractive feature in a home that’s designed to provide warmth and beauty. There should never be any bad smells emitting from your fireplace, but there are times when you may notice an unpleasant odor coming from your fireplace. When this happens, it’s time for chimney cleaning by the professionals at Clean Sweep Chimney Services in Belleville Illinois. Our professionals will identify the source of the smell and take action to correct the problem so you can once again enjoy your fireplace.

Negative Air Pressure

A leading cause of unpleasant odors coming from your chimney is negative air pressure. Many homes, especially newer ones, are sealed too tightly. This odor means that air cannot enter through windows, doors, or cracks. You probably won’t notice this problem during the winter months while your fireplace is in use because the updraft causes the air to go straight up the chimney. But when the fire goes out, the reverse will happen. Cold air from the chimney will come back inside the home, bringing the smell with it. One solution is to leave a window cracked so that replacement air will come from the window instead of the chimney.


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Animals, whether dead or alive, can cause your chimney to smell. Many animals, including birds, raccoons, and snakes, can make nests within your chimney. Droppings and urine can accumulate, creating a bad smell. Some animals themselves are enough to emit a bad smell. And, if an animal dies in the chimney, you will smell the decaying corpse, which is extremely unpleasant. A good way to combat this problem is to cap your chimney with mesh. This mesh will prevent birds and other creatures from entering your chimney and creating problems. If you have wild animals living in your chimney, removal may be dangerous and even life-threatening if you attempt to do it yourself. You’ll need the professional services of Clean Sweep Chimney Services to get the job done safely.


If you notice a musty odor coming from your chimney, then you’ve got water in the chimney. This water is a common problem because when it rains, the rainwater will naturally fall into the chimney. It’s important to correct the moisture problem to prevent damage to the damper and flue lining.

Creosote and Soot

A chimney that smells like asphalt or a bad barbecue has excess creosote and soot. Creosote is a dark-colored flammable tar that’s produced from burning wood. Soot is a black powdery substance made of amorphous carbon. It is a result of wood that has not been completely burned. One way to combat the problem of creosote and soot buildup is to burn wood that has been dried for at least six months. Scheduling regular chimney cleaning services will drastically reduce the problem of creosote and soot building up in your chimney.


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A common source of bad smells in your chimney comes from leaves. If you live in an area with lots of trees, then you’re going to have a problem with leaves getting into your chimney. And, just like all organic matter, leaves will decay and emit an unpleasant smell. The only solution is to have your chimney swept to remove the decaying leaves. The best way to prevent leaves from accumulating in your chimney is to have your chimney capped.

If you’re noticing bad smells coming from your chimney, your best option is to leave your concerns with trained professionals who can provide top-notch chimney cleaning services. Don’t ignore unusual odors in your chimney. If you smell something, that is a sign that something isn’t right. Call the professionals at Clean Sweep Chimney Services to see how we can help you.

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