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Question DetailsAsked on 5/13/2014

Why does the carpet in my family room smell like car exhaust?

Carpet in family room, chimney in family room needs rain cap could this be it? We have a mud room separating FR from garage and it does NOT smell so ruled out mower or car exhaust in garage.

Not a new carpet either - maybe ten years old?

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1 Answer


I think you identified it - wet creosote smells like half burned gasoline or like tar - a constant slow flow of air down the chimney past wet creosote would spread out across the floor and could put a smell into carpet. Similar smell is water is dripping down into the dirty firebox - remove any wet ashes. A good hot fire in the fireplace could temporarily stop the creation of more smell, as would a chimney cleaning. When fireplace is not in use, close your damper off till you get a raincap.

To remove the smell from the carpet will probably take a chemical steam carpet cleaning.

The other possibility - peel back a corner ofthe carpet and smell the padding - some foam-backed carpet padding and foam carpet pad start breakingdown after about 10 years and release chemical smell in the process - if it is getting crumbly that might be the source.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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