Many homeowners with a chimney and fireplace are asking themselves that same question. Unfortunately they won’t like the answer that I have for them. If you’ve noticed a recent, foul, and unpleasant smell in your house, it’s most likely because you have a chimney leak. Houston experienced heavy rainfalls and precipitation over the past winter, Khou reporting that the warmer than normal January led to a rainy start to February with rainfall ranging from 2″ near shore to .75″.
And chimneys that spring a leak result in strong odors due to the creosote that has accumulated over time. And although we have the tools and training to clean the fireplace and chimney surfaces clean, the water mixed with soot leave a strong smell that will require additional work. Even if we removed every particle of soot in the chimney, there’s a good chance the odor would return unless we were able to find and correct the real cause. In most cases, a leaky chimney tends to be the main reason for the smell.
In some cases the chimney’s structure has been compromised by the effects of age, wear and tear and water. In other cases, the odors may be caused by poor thermal evacuation that causes due to the mix of hot air inside your house and cold air in your chimney.