If you’ve noticed a musty odor coming from your chimney this summer, there is likely a creosote buildup. Because creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood, the only way to solve this problem is by limiting the amount of creosote buildup. An annual inspection and sweeping from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified professionals at Old Dominion Chimney Service can ensure your chimney have less than dangerous levels of creosote. However, creosote alone is not the only problem, there could be other contributing factor to the musty smell.
A Cracked or Broken Chimney Crown
Creosote smells worse when mixed with moisture. If the odor is worse than normal, you could have a leaky, cracked, or broken chimney crown. Other signs of damage is crumbly mortar, soft or stained ceiling, or stained and peeling walls. If you see water in the firebox, then there is most likely a leak. And chances are a broken chimney crown is the cause of it.
A Chimney Crown Vs. a Chimney Cap
If you look up at the top of your chimney, you may notice two structures on it. One is made of metal such as stainless steel or copper, this is the chimney cap. A chimney cap is not a necessary component of your chimney. It is very useful for keeping precipitation and animals out. However, every chimney should have a chimney crown. This is the concrete structure at the very top of the chimney, and it serves an important purpose for your fireplace.
A chimney crown protects your chimney from water damage. It is an actual part of your chimney structure, and it should be constructed of a mix of portland cement. This is often a problem area for chimney crowns because sometimes contractors take shortcuts by using mortar rather than portland cement. Mortar isn’t resilient enough to withstand the tough weather conditions that your chimney needs to withstand.
Your chimney crown also needs proper overhang to steer precipitation away from the chimney itself and the joint where the chimney meets the roof. This place is especially susceptible to water leakage, so your chimney crown needs at least a two inch overhang to accompany it.
Let Us Fix It
If your chimney crown has damages or it was improperly constructed, we offer expert repair or rebuild services. We’ve been in service for almost thirty years, so you know that our employees know fireplaces and chimneys. Give us a call today to get your chimney crown in tip-top shape!