That sour, sickly odor you have is the odor of creosote. The odor is almost always oresent in the chimney, but is usually carried up and away by the draft. Unfortunately, when warm weather comes, the draft is sometimes insufficient to carry the odors away and can even reverse itself, carrying the odor into the room. Warm weather may coincide with the rainy season, and high humidity further aggravates the problem by increasing the strength of the odor. Here are some steps to take to help eliminate the odor:
- Have your chimney cleaned by a professional. Often this will eliminate the problem. However, sometimes this will not take care of it. If you have clay flue tiles, creosote has probably soaked into the tiles for years and a Complete cleaning cannot coax the soaked-in creosote out of the flue.
- Ask your chimney professional to install a chimney cap. Having a chimney cap will help keep the rain out of your chimney. This will help in preserving your chimney and eliminating odors. But cap or no cap, humidity can still get in the chimney.
- Ask your chimney professional to install a top sealing damper. These dampers are designed to be closed when not in use. They help seal out rain animals, etc., and help sealin heating and air conditioning. This will help with utility bills. A top sealing damper will keep out rain, but it also cuts off the airflow, so be sure to also use a chimney deodorant.
- There are several good deodorants on the market that can eliminate the problem. There are deodorants that sit back behind the damper and help absorb the odor through a raised wick. And there are sprays that can be used in the firebox and smoke chamber to eliminate odors.
- One last culprit that may be causing your chimney to have an odor is badly deteriorated masonry. This can cause moisture to seep through to the inside of the chimney, causing a bad odor. In this case, you need to talk to your chimney professional about getting the chimney repaired,