When it comes to chimneys, seemingly small issues may be symptomatic of something serious brewing that can have major repercussions down the road. As such, if any unusual scents are coming from your client’s fireplace, you should help them get to the root of the issue before listing it on the market. Here are the most common origins of those pesky odors.

Creosote Buildup

Creosote is the black or grey substance that adheres to our chimney walls each time we use our fireplaces. After prolonged fireplace usage, creosote buildups will start to occur, leading to highly unpleasant burning scents (and an unsafe fireplace). If you notice a creosote buildup in a client’s chimney, it is very likely time for a Level 2 chimney inspection.


If a musty, unpleasant odor is coming from a chimney, there is very likely moisture trapped inside of it. A chimney cap will generally keep more moisture from entering, but you’ll want to have the chimney cleaned before the existing creosote and moisture combine and damage the interior lining, leading to costly repairs.

Nesting Visitors

When colder weather comes around, animals seek shelter from it any way they can. This often leads them to visit our chimneys for some much-needed warmth. Unfortunately, some pungent scents can start to spread through the surrounding area as a result. As is the case with moisture, a chimney cap will generally prevent any more animals from having visits in your client’s chimneys.

Debris Accumulation

You might not think that leaves and twigs entering the chimney could lead to unpleasant smells, but this is a very common issue we run into. Once outdoor debris gets trapped in a chimney, it will start decomposing over time and leave behind an unpleasant, rotting scent. Just another reason to fit chimneys with a cap!

Clean Sweep Is Here to Help!

Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all of your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you have a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of a slate roof inspection or repairs, we are here to help.