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Old 06-12-2002, 06:23 PM
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Hi Renee,

I sell real estate, homes and land, and usually around here the prospective buyer hires an engineer or house inspector to go over the house before signing a contract of sale. The engineer produces a report, and if there is any aspect of the house that is not "up to code" or problematic in any way, it comes out in the report. If you did hire an engineer, check his or her report or call and ask if there were problems with the fireplace.

If you didn't have your house inspected, and in any case BEFORE you call another chimney company, go on down to your local Town Hall to the building department and find out exactly what code applies to fireplaces. The building department staff are knowledgeable, patient and helpful, at least around here. You may be able to request a (free) visit from a town inspector who will be able to tell you if your fireplace is up to code and, if not, what needs to be done. The building department may be able to suggest a reputable contractor.

And GMC44's tar-around-the-chimney suggestion sounds good, too!

Best wishes, Carolyn
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Old 06-12-2002, 10:41 PM
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I have had a similar problem and I am searching for a solution, also. On humid days, my house smells like creosote. Is that the smell that you have from your fireplace. We have tried blocking certain air vents and that has helped. We also have had our fireplace professionally cleaned and only burn cured wood (such as applewood which burns hot.) Now that it is summer, we are not having any fires and the smell is constant. I am going to try the BBQ charcoal idea. Keep me posted if you have any other good ideas. Thank you.
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Old 06-13-2002, 03:25 AM
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I had this same problem in a woodburning stove and the smell was horrid especially during humid or rainy weather.

I fixed it by placing a bowl of white vinegar inside the stove and just let it sit there.Actually,I forgot about it for a month or so .It did the trick and haven't had any problems since.

Hope this works for you. You might want to try opening a box of baking soda and placing it in the fireplace.
Keep Smiling,
Fumasmom
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Old 06-13-2002, 01:59 PM
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My DM (God bless her) cleaned what she could reach of the fireplace today. She even took the insert that holds the glass door out. She was as dirty as it was! We will try the fiberglass tomarrow after it has more tome to dry out. It seems to smell better, but it wasn't as humid today as other days.

Beachplum, We had a licensed Engineer do a house inspection before we bought. All he said was that there wasn't a damper. I had decided to check what the codes are before handing out $1,650.! That is a good idea.

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Old 06-13-2002, 05:41 PM
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Sorry to hear about the stinky fireplace...But I don't think that is something I'd mess with ....check your phone book for a professional chimney sweep.....it just might need a good cleaning, and it really shouldn't be used until it is professionally cleaned. Creosote build up can cause major problems. Just ask any fireman....Hopefully the cleaning will take care of the problem. However, a good home inspection, or inspection by one or two chimney companies would be advisable.

Jeannie
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Old 06-19-2002, 02:24 PM
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Ours stinks too and I never thought anything about it. I will have to try the charcoal thing! That sounds like it would work!
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Old 06-19-2002, 05:51 PM
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Thanks, Renee, and by the way, congratulations on your new home! I'm rooting for you! Best, Carolyn
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Old 06-23-2002, 02:07 PM
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I had the exact problem when we bought our house 4 years ago. I had it professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep. The previous owners had converted it to gas logs but never had it cleaned. The chimney sweep suggested we seal the brick inside the fireplace using black grill paint or engine paint (so it could withstand high heat). This helped tremendously! We also had a problem with water dripping down inside the chimney when it rained and this contributed to the odor. DH found areas in the chimney top that allowed water to get in (poor design when originally built). He used concrete to fill the holes and since then, we've had no problems. Hope this works for you!
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