Fireplaces are supposed to provide us with comfort and warmth during harsh winters, but now and then, a strange odor emanating from the fireplace can make it very difficult to feel comfortable in your home.

The fireplace itself is rarely the problem here; the majority of the time, the odor comes from the chimney.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might be dealing with a stinky chimney:

The Buildup of Soot and Creosote

Creosote is a flammable substance that builds up on the chimney lining as you use the fireplace. Not only is its accumulation a fire hazard, but it also is the source of a strong burning smell.

If your house smells like burnt barbeque, you probably have a creosote problem, in which case you should immediately call a chimney sweep to clean your chimney.

Although there is no way to stop creosote and soot from being released into your chimney, you can clear it out with proper maintenance.

There are around 25,000 chimney fires in the US every year—most of which occur due to poor chimney maintenance. By conducting annual chimney inspections, you can keep your home and family safe.

Buildup of Moisture

Does your home have a lingering musty smell to it? Unless you have water leaking in your house somewhere, you likely have a moisture problem in your chimney.

Chimney Buildup of Moisture

If your chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap, rainwater can easily make its way into the structure.

When combined with creosote, water in the chimney causes rust in the chimney’s interiors, as well as a rotten, musty smell.

The combination of water and creosote can also cause the flue lining to deteriorate.

A Dead Animal

If you thought the smell of creosote was bad, you don’t know how awful the smell of an animal carcass in your chimney can be.

Animals sneak into chimneys all the time to seek refuge from predators. Regardless of whether the animal is alive or dead, they will stink up your home if they’re stuck in the chimney.

To remove the animal, you’ll have to call chimney technicians to inspect the chimney with a camera to locate it and see whether it’s alive or dead. Depending on the state’s laws, you may have to call Animal Control Services for its removal.

After the animal is removed, the chimney sweep will clean the chimney, and a technician can place a mesh on the chimney cap to prevent animals from entering.

Regular chimney inspections will help you identify any problem areas in your chimney and ensure it’s free of creosote and soot.


Creative Masonry & Chimney provides reliable fireplace and chimney repairs in Bristol and Simsbury, CT.

The company has a team of masonry contractors and chimney experts that offers masonry building, fireplace installation, and fireplace and chimney cleaning services in CT. Its technicians even give you video footage to help you make an insurance claim.

Contact them to get a free estimate.