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Old 08-07-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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Fireplace Smell ...help wanted !


Hi,
We are living in a home that is only 4 years old and we aren't the original owners. During this summer we have noticed that on days when the sun is beating down on the side of the house where our gas fireplace is that it seems to smell from the fireplace. At first we didn't know if was coming from the fireplace and thought it had something to do with our dishwasher or something but then we determined where the smell was coming from.
It only smells on days when the sun is out and usually from mid afternoon to early evening ( i.e. when the sun is on the side of the house with the fireplace ). The fireplace is a gas fireplace with a vent to the side of the house which I have checked and it didn't seem to have any animals in it. The smell is kinda a musty smell. I've read on some sites that it could be the insulation in the fireplace unit but I'm not sure. Also , the smell is occurring when the fireplace is off ( we don't use it very often ) .
Any ideas would be great because it's driving us nuts !


Thanks In Advance
Jason

Last edited by jasonb72; 08-07-2010 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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From the information you provided, I would guess you have a moisture problem. Water can enter through the top of chimney if there is no chimney cap. The sunlight may be heating the outside surface and causing evaporation, thus the musky smell.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
From the information you provided, I would guess you have a moisture problem. Water can enter through the top of chimney if there is no chimney cap. The sunlight may be heating the outside surface and causing evaporation, thus the musky smell.
The fireplace doesn't have a chimney ( I don't think it does ). I think there is only the vent out to the side of the house.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
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It may be a water problem that is unrelated to the chimney, other than the odor escapes via the fireplace opening.
When the sun shines, the dampness may evaporate and carry mold spores into the house.
I think that you should remove the fireplace and make a close examination for signs of moisture and mold.
Also, the outside vent should be removed and recaulked, along with any area's over-head on the roof, the soffit and siding that may allow water to get inside.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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We took off the front glass of the fireplace and didn't find anything. Once the glass was off the smell seemed to go away due to the air from the room mixing with the fireplace air. I also checked the insulation in the fireplace unit and there is nothing wrong with that. We put some baking soda in there to take away any other smells and then closed it up.

I also checked in the basement where the gas line leads up to the fireplace to make sure there wasn't any moisture or mold and there was nothing.

Thus at this point I'm stumped. I will maybe check outside again to see if the vent on the side of the house has anything in it but I don't think it does.

Any other ideas ?
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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Charcoal will also absorbe odor
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
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So we thought we maybe had this one figured out but it still seems to pop up now and then when it's humid outside. I'm wondering is there even anyone we could call to have them come out and see what it is ? We can't seem to pinpoint what or where it's coming from.


Thanks Again
Jason
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:19 AM   #8
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Hi jasonb72, we just bought a home and it smells like we have the same problem you had with the musty odor from the fireplace. Our's also vents out the side of the house and we have an unfinished basement (dirt ground) below. Did you ever find out what was causing the musty odor and find a solution?

Thanks!
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: Fireplace Smell ...help wanted !


Hi KW and welcome to the forum.
This thread is 8 years old and Jason hasn't visited the site since the original post so low probability he will respond. Recommend you start a new thread so we can expand on your problem and give you a solution.

The short answer is probably summer stack effect but more details are needed to be sure and to suggest a fix.

Bud
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:16 AM   #10
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Re: Fireplace Smell ...help wanted !


I had the same problem and figured out what was going on. The framed-in fireplace area is actually opened up under the house in the crawlspace. The floor joists continue on over the foundation to the framed-in fireplace. So in the summer, when extremely moist & humid, it was creating a draft pulling the crawlspace air up through the vents. I placed in some extra insulation and problem solved.
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