Winter is on the way, and lighting up the fireplace is always a comfort. However, a smoky fireplace can cause serious damage to your home. The smoke that doesn’t go up the chimney or flue can indicate a serious problem. Likewise, it’s a safety hazard for you and your family.
Fireplace smoke can permeate your upholstery, carpeting, and furniture, as well as leaving soot on your walls and ceiling. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why your fireplace is smoky.
Why Does a Fireplace Smoke?
A chimney or flue should create an updraft that draws the hot air and smoke up and away, out of your home. If a chimney or flue doesn’t pull the smoke away from the fire, the smoke will go into the house.
A Cold Flue
A cold flue will cause a fire to burn too slowly, and subsequently cause the smoke to flow into your home. This results in the smoke flowing in front of the fireplace instead of rising through the chimney. This can happen when the fire is dying out. Furthermore, a column of cold air inside the flue can also block the flow, causing smoke to escape into your home.
A Closed Damper
Always check the damper before you start a fire. If it’s closed, the smoke will go into the room resulting in smoke damage.
Over time the chimney will become blocked with creosote build-up. Likewise, a bird’s nest or animal debris can also block a chimney. If this is the case, a professional chimney sweep needs to deal with it, to prevent house fires and smoke damage in the home.
Bad Chimney Design
Sometimes, the chimney is improperly designed. For example, a chimney that’s too short for the home can create smoke issues when a fire is lit.
Using Green or Wet Wood
Firewood that’s too green or wet produces more smoke than dry wood. Your flue may not be able to handle it and smoke will flow into your home, permeating everything.
Getting Rid of Fireplace Smoke Damage from Your Home
Once fireplace smoke has damaged your home, it’s hard to get rid of the smell. You can run fans and open the windows to try and clear it out, but once the smoke penetrates your home, it will take a professional smoke and fire damage service to remove the smoke odor completely.