Our Company Blog

Stop The Freeze/Thaw Process With Waterproofing

Cold weather can bring about a lot of fun moments as kids build snow forts, go sledding, and more. Snowy days also promote that festive, Christmas-y atmosphere that people cherish year after year and, if you ask us, nothing is better than gathering around the hearth on a chilly evening.

Unfortunately, this type of weather can also bring some issues when it comes to keeping your home and chimney better protected. One problem that is important to avoid is the freeze/thaw process. Learn more below, then contact us today for the best care in Lake Norman and its surrounding areas. SirVent Chimney has your back through it all!

What Is The Freeze/Thaw Process?

The freeze/thaw process occurs when temperatures go below freezing. Your chimney’s brickwork is very absorbent, so it can easily soak in a lot of water throughout the warmer months. When temperatures go below freezing, this pre-absorbed moisture will turn to ice and expand, causing your masonry to expand slightly, as well.

This ice will melt on warmer days, then freeze when the weather gets cold again. As the freeze/thaw process occurs multiples times a season, your chimney ends up facing a lot of wear! These small shifts may not seem like a big deal, but they wind up putting a lot of extra strain and pressure on your system, triggering all kinds of issues down the line.

All in all, moisture in and throughout your chimney’s masonry is something you want to avoid. Leaks and water damage can cause all kinds of deterioration to occur, and soon enough you’ll be facing cracks, holes, clogs, decay, rust, rot, and more. It’s not worth facing these expensive and timely repairs, when you can invest in preventative maintenance ahead of time!

Don’t compromise the structure of your chimney and fireplace. Get help from us today!

We Can Waterproof Your System

A surefire way to prevent water from soaking into your masonry is by investing in professional waterproofing services from our team here at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service. Unlike many paints and sealers that you can buy from the store, we use products that are vapor-permeable, ensuring any moisture already inside of your system doesn’t stay trapped.

Working with our team will give you the protection and peace of mind you deserve this holiday season. Your system will be more durable than ever! The moisture already inside of the brickwork will be able to escape, but nothing else will be able to get in. Our products are the best around, so you can rest easy lighting countless cozy fires throughout Christmas and New Years. Trust in us for it all!

We Can Tackle All Of Your Chimney Needs

Along with waterproofing, we can provide inspections, sweepings, repairs, and more. Whatever you need to get your fireplace in tip-top shape, we can cover! We’re ready and eager to help, so give our team a call today. There’s no time to lose!

Are You Using The Right Wood For Your Fireplace?

From time to time, we hear from homeowners who are concerned about draft issues or losing heat. They assume it’s due to a malfunction with their fireplace, but most of the time, these issues are caused by something else much easier to fix – unseasoned firewood. Using the appropriate fuel for your system is vital for burning more efficient and hotter fires. In this case, you need to invest in seasoned wood.

Unseasoned wood is not good to use in your fireplace, as it has lots of moisture that your fire has to burn through. This takes up a lot of energy, and it results in a lot of acidic water going into your chimney, which leads to build up and clogs quicker. It also leads to a smokier fire, and you won’t get as much heat, either. All around, seasoned wood is a much better option to use in your fireplace.

Identifying Seasoned Wood

pile of firewoodSo, what should you look for when purchasing wood for your fireplace? Here are some surefire signs that the wood you’re picking is well-seasoned. First of all, keep an eye out for pieces that are darker in color, shorter in length, and split at the ends. These are all good signs that the wood has been drying out for a long time and has been stored appropriately.

Looking for another test? Trying hitting two pieces together, then listen carefully. If they sound hollow, then this is another indicator that they are good firewood. The pieces should also feel lighter in weight since there is less water inside of them. Overall, the wood you use shouldn’t look or smell freshly cut, as these pieces likely haven’t being dried out for the recommended six month period.

Storing Your Own Fuel?

Now, if you want to know for sure that the wood you’re burning is going to burn well, then we recommend storing your own wood. Here’s the best way to get the results you’re looking for!

First of all, store the wood pile off the ground, so that the logs at the bottom of the pile aren’t left to rot. The shed you store it in should be well-protected, yet open enough that the logs can dry out effectively. A building with open sides and a strong roof is ideal! You’ll want to keep the ends as exposed as possible, so that water can effectively escape.

Finally, wood should be stored for at least six months before use. This ensures the moisture levels have enough time to escape significantly, so you’re not left struggling to build long-lasting and enjoyable fires this winter.

Need Some Help With Your Chimney? Call On Us

Having some great fuel stored up is a key part in guaranteeing a safer and cozier burning season, but you’ll need to ensure your chimney is in a good shape, too. At, Sirvent Chimney and Venting Service, we can help! Call us in to get your inspection and sweeping out of the way, so you know you’re good to go when the temperatures start to drop.

Safety Tips For Decorating Your Fireplace Mantel

Whether you’re adding spooky spider webs for Halloween, leaves and turkeys for Thanksgiving, or snowmen and reindeer for Christmas, decorating your fireplace mantel can be a fun activity for any holiday! That being said, it’s important to keep some safety tips in mind to avoid potential damage and unsafe situations.

Fortunately, the team here at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service is here to offer advice and guidance to help homeowners avoid a catastrophe this holiday season. Check out these tips for decorating your mantel in the upcoming months.

Be Cautious With Flammable Decor

A lot of holiday decorations are flammable, so it’s important to keep them a safe distance from any potential flames. On this same note, do not intentionally burn any old decorations, wrapping paper pieces, garbage, old boxes, or similar items in your fireplace, as these items all encourage the build up of creosote, which is known for triggering chimney fires.

It’s also important to keep your tree, as well as any gifts, away from the fireplace. The needles and sap in live trees are very flammable, and it’s not worth taking any risks! If you choose to buy a fake tree, make sure it is fire-resistant to reduce the chances of a house fire. If you do buy a live tree, never burn it in the fireplace at the end of the season as this, too, encourages creosote to accumulate.

Extra Steps For Protecting Your Home

Since fireplaces are put to use more often during the holiday season, it’s important to keep fire safety tips in mind throughout your burning period. For example, ensure that all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are equipped with new batteries and working properly, as these devices could make all the difference in getting everyone out of the house safely.

Also, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, be cautious when disposing of ashes. Be sure you’re storing them in a metal bucket and on a non-flammable surface for at least a few days until all embers are definitely extinguished. Along with this, be certain everyone knows at least two ways out of the home, should a fire occur, and practice potential escape plans to ensure everyone is ready in case of an emergency.

Schedule An Inspection With Us Today

One of the biggest steps you can take to keep your home protected is to invest in regular fireplace care. By scheduling an inspection every year with a CSIA certified chimney sweep, you can spot any build up or damage well ahead of time and have it addressed before the holidays really kick off.

Have you gotten your inspection on the books yet? If not, count on our team to help you out. We offer level 1, 2 and 3 inspections, so we’ll have you covered, no matter what your fireplace needs are. Give us a call today to set something up!

Do I Need A Level 1, 2, Or 3 Chimney Inspection?

With fall upon us and winter fast approaching, homeowners are anticipating colder weather, which means more fireplace use. Not to mention, a crackling flame sets the perfect aesthetic for every holiday gathering! Annual inspections are a must for fireplace owners, and we tend to get a lot of calls for them right around this time of year.

Ensure your home and family stays safer and more comfortable this year by calling on our CSIA certified crew to help you out. Inspections help us determine whether or not you have clogs, build up, or damages, all of which put your system at risk if not addressed in a timely manner.

Avoid chimney fires, gas leaks, smoke back-up, and more by depending on us from the very start. Call now, and we’ll set you up with an appointment right away!

All About Your Next InspectionChimney being inspected

At SirVent Chimney & Venting Service, we offer three levels of chimney inspections, each of which offers something different based upon your unique needs. Learn more about these below, then give us a call, and we can set you up right.

So, let’s say you’ve consistently invested in annual inspections over the years and haven’t done anything to change fuel types or modify your fireplace’s structure. In this case, a level one inspection should be all you need. The sweep will review all readily accessible parts of your chimney and evaluate whether or not any further maintenance is required.

A level two inspection is needed when your chimney system needs a more extensive look. Have you undergone major reconstruction or changed your fuel type? Then, we recommend a level two inspection. They are also necessary after a big storm or bad weather event has occurred, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, or something similar. Finally, if property is being sold or purchased, a level two inspection is required.

What makes a level two inspection different than a level one? The biggest difference is that it involves the use of video equipment, allowing sweeps to view more of your system’s interior. This guarantees every part of your chimney is analysed and inspected, so that any necessary problems can be spotted and taken care of.

Finally, there’s the level three inspection. These are less common and require the sweeps to actually take apart pieces of your chimney and/or fireplace to access parts that are potentially damaged. This will only be done if there is no other option to locate the source of your chimney’s issues.

Call Us In Now Before Winter Weather Strikes

Soon temperatures will drop low, and once that happens you won’t want to wait to get a fire going. Ensure everything is ready to go and in the best shape possible by calling our team of experts in now! Fall is our busy season, so you don’t want to waste any more time. Pick up the phone and set up your appointment today.

Schedule A Sweeping With Us Before Fall

Clogs, creosote, and excess debris all hinder a fireplace’s performance significantly, as well as put your home and family at risk. If you’re in need of sweeping this fall, don’t hesitate to call us in. You deserve to enjoy your holiday season to the fullest, and this is a surefire way to guarantee countless comfortable and cozy evenings indoors when temperatures are freezing outside.

Our trained and experienced crew is ready to serve. Schedule now, so we can find a time slot that works well for you. It’s our busy season, so there’s no time to lose!Brick chimneys in the background of a pile of leaves on a roof

Avoiding Gas Leaks & Carbon Monoxide

One thing regular sweepings help to minimize is the risk of gas leaks and exposure to harmful fumes, such as carbon monoxide. When there’s a lot of build up inside of your system, you won’t get good air flow, which is vital for safer functioning all around. When the fumes and smoke produced by the fire cannot find enough pathways to escape outdoors, they’ll simply turn around and enter your home, putting your loved ones at risk.

Smoke in the living room is never ideal, and it can stink up your furniture and belongings in a hurry. However, carbon monoxide gives off no odor so it won’t leave bad smells in your home, but this is a disadvantage when it comes to keeping your loved ones safer. Because this gas is so hard to detect, people often don’t realize they’ve been exposed until they are feeling ill and this results in multiple carbon monoxide-related deaths every single year.

Avoid potential risks by letting us look things over to see if a sweeping is in order. We also suggest having carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home, so you and your loved ones can be alerted at the first signs of danger. It’s an easy step that can make a huge difference down the line!

Dangers Of Creosote

Creosote is another substance that threatens the safety of your home and family. It needs to be regularly removed and, when it isn’t, it can clog up your chimney and threaten the structural integrity of your brickwork and mortar.

The biggest threat against your chimney is actually flammable nature and the increased likelihood of experiencing a chimney fire. Chimney fires break down your chimney’s interior, making you more prone to a collapse, and they also create pathways in which flames and fumes can escape into your home. If a homeowner uses a fireplace that has undergone a chimney fire, their risk of experiencing a house fire or gas leak increases significantly.

Give Us A Call Now, Before Cold Weather Strikes

If you’re eager to put your fireplace to use on the first cold days of the year, then give us a call right away to schedule your sweeping. When it comes to the safety of your home and family, there’s simply no time to lose! Our team is ready to serve you.