Our Company Blog

Keeping Your Chimney Odors In Check

As temperatures continue to rise with the soon arrival of Spring, homeowners with a fireplace may start to notice some less than pleasant aromas coming from their appliance. You see, when you run your air conditioning on those warmer days, this can cause air from the chimney to sweep through your household, and these breezes are unfortunately known to stink things up a bit.

So, what causes these bad smells in the first place, and how can they be avoided? Learn more below, then feel free to contact the team here at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service for help in resolving the issue. We’d be happy to help you find the best solutions for your unique needs!

Why Am I Experiencing Bad Odors In The First Place?

One of the biggest causes for bad fireplace smells is creosote. Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood in your fireplace, and it’s bad odor can easily enter your home if it isn’t regularly removed. The accumulation of creosote can be slowed down by burning your fires hot, using only seasoned wood as fuel, and by ensuring you have good airflow, but unfortunately, its presence can never be entirely prevented.

Another reason you may be experiencing bad odors is excess moisture in your system. Water throughout your masonry causes rotting, decay, and deterioration, and if it combines with materials that are lodged inside your flue, it’s bound to create an unpleasant musty smell. The sooner you address any water-related issues, the better!

Think animals may have found their way into your system? This is another cause of concern. It’s not uncommon for squirrels or racoons to get stuck inside your chimney and pass away, and this unfortunate event can obviously produce some pretty foul smells. In other cases, birds and other critters may defecate in your flue, which again sends bad odors floating through your home.

And what could cause any of these smells to be enhanced? Downdrafts. If the air pressure is off throughout your home or chimney, you can bet you’ll get some foul-smelling winds flowing through your living space.

Fortunately, we have resolutions for any issue you may be experiencing, and you can bet that we’ve seen just about everything when it comes to chimneys and fireplaces, so we know exactly how to handle it all. There’s no better time to reach out, so get on the phone with our staff today, and we can discuss your options!

How Can I Eliminate Unpleasant Chimney Smells?

So, we’ve gone over what causes your chimney smells, but how are these issues then best addressed? Well, first things first, a thorough sweeping will make a big difference. Like we said, creosote is one of the main reasons for bad smells from the fireplace, and the sooner we clear it out the better! Not to mention, this highly flammable substance is known to break down your brickwork and mortar, and if it ignites, you’ll have to deal with the aftermath of a chimney fire, which can be costly, dangerous, and time-consuming.

Scheduling this service also gives us the opportunity to clear out any debris, nesting materials, or dead animals that may be producing some foul odors.

All in all, a sweeping is never a bad idea, and we urge our customers to invest in them on a regular basis to ensure their system stays in good health. The safety of our service area is always a big priority, and we value ultimate satisfaction above it all. Get your sweeping scheduled, so you can experience a stress-free spring and summer ahead!

And if we spot moisture-related issues, we have the tools and training to address those, too. We’ll make certain your chimney cap, flashing, and chimney crown are all in good condition and able to do their job effectively and, should problems be uncovered, we can set you up right with new devices or repair services, so you rest easier as we move into our rainy season.

We can also discuss the possible need for masonry repair services, and you’ll definitely want to get your masonry professionally waterproofed. Our team uses effective products that seal your brickwork, without leaving an unsightly/glossy coating, and they are vapor-permeable, as well, so anything preabsorbed will easily be able to escape over time. This is one investment you won’t regret making.

Finally, we can work together to resolve any issues with downdrafts. A strong and sturdy chimney cap, or even a top-sealing damper, can help prevent harsh winds from swooping through your home, or we can do some inspecting to see if the dimensions of your chimney need to be adjusted. In some cases, opening a window makes all the difference, as this invites some make-up air into the home. Regardless, we would love the opportunity to help you find a solution!

Our Experienced Crew Is Here For You

The team here at SirVent has many years of experience under our belts, and we work with highly-esteemed organizations like the CSIA, the NFI, and the NCSG to ensure we stay knowledgeable and up-to-date on it all. Ready to learn more about everything we can offer you? Great. Pick up the phone and give us a call now, or reach out to us on our website. We’d love the opportunity to serve you!

Ways To Protect Your Chimney

Worried your chimney is facing more wear and tear than it can handle? These structures are known for being strong and sturdy, but only when they are adequately protected from the elements. Fortunately for folks throughout the Lake Norman area, the team here at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service is here to help with it all. Follow our guidelines below, then reach out for further professional assistance from our qualified crew. We’d be happy to help with it all!

chimney damper

Have A Chimney Cap Installed

Every chimney needs to have some type of cover installed over the opening at the top. Otherwise, water, dirt, debris, animals, and more will work their way in causing clogs to form and significantly damaging the structure. An easy and affordable fix comes in the form of a chimney cap. A chimney cap is something that is fitted over the fireplace opening, and it blocks out all of these harmful things, so your system stays free and clear, no matter what.

Along with keeping out woodland critters, birds, snow, rain, and all kinds of leaves, twigs, and other nesting materials, chimney caps are also known for stopping downdrafts, which ensure your system stays running as efficiently as possible. And you won’t have to worry about cold, smelly winds sweeping through your living space, either!

All in all, the issues one faces when their chimney cap is missing are expensive and time-consuming to address. You’ll be forced to invest in a thorough sweeping, a lot of repair work, and the animal removal process can get messy, too. Avoid it all by getting our team on the job now. We can set you up with the perfect fit for your needs.

Invest In Waterproofing Services

Another big must for those looking to keep their chimney in the best shape possible is investing in waterproofing services. If your masonry isn’t protected, water will quickly get absorbed into your brickwork and mortar, resulting in cracking, crumbling, and all kinds of deterioration. All in all, it leaves your entire system vulnerable, and it won’t be long before various chimney components start breaking down, rusting, and corroding.

Your home will also face damages in the form of rotting woodwork, stains on your walls and ceiling, clogs in your flue, and more. And if the freeze/thaw process occurs (which it likely will multiple times), then your structure becomes a lot more vulnerable to settlements and collapses. All in all, it’s not worth skimping on this effective preventative maintenance!

Thinking of doing it yourself? Unfortunately, store-bought sealers aren’t as effective as the high-quality products our professionals use, and attempting to paint the structure won’t do you any good, either. These strategies will leave your masonry looking worse at the end of it all and, while water will be effectively blocked out, any pre-absorbed moisture will stay trapped inside, where it will continue to wreak havoc.

For the best results possible, trust in our team to get the job done right with our vapor-permeable sealants that don’t affect the look of your structure whatsoever. We’ve got the tools and training to set you up right!

Switch To An Energy-Top Damper

Throat dampers have been doing an effective job for homeowners throughout the past few decades, but nowadays many of our customers are switching to something even better – an energy-top damper! These devices are installed at the top of your chimney, rather than the throat of it, and they are secured with a rubber gasket, so there’s no more worrying about air seeping through that metal-on-metal seal.

These units also work alongside your chimney cap to keep out rain, snow, and excess debris, so you get all that extra protection you desire. And they’re designed to be discreet, so you won’t need to stress about them turning your chimney into an eyesore. Ready to get yours? Our team can get this process going. Call today.

Have Your Chimney Flashing Looked At

Flashing consists of metal pieces that cover the vulnerable area where your roof and chimney meet. Since these two parts of your home are made from different materials, they expand and contract at different rates, making it easier than ever for water to work its way in and cause damage.

With properly fitted flashing in place, you won’t need to stress about moisture working its way into your home. Ask our professionals about setting you up with everything you need to live safer. We’ve got the know-how to get the job done right.

Schedule Your Annual Inspection

While all of the solutions we’ve discussed will do wonders for your chimney’s health, one of the most important steps a homeowner can take is investing in annual inspections. This gives your sweep the opportunity to spot creosote accumulation, debris build-up, and any damages that need addressing. The sooner these things are detected, the quicker your techs can get them fixed, ensuring you face as few issues as possible down the road.

Don’t wait any longer – our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are here and ready to set you up with everything you need to keep your home, chimney, and family better protected in the months ahead. Ready to get your inspection on the books? Call now to guarantee a spot that works best for your schedule. We’re ready to speak with you soon!

Why A Chimney Inspection After Winter Is Important

Winter is still upon us, but that doesn’t mean that the springtime sunshine is far away. If you are like most, your fireplace and chimney are still being put to use on these chillier, snow-filled days. But soon enough it will be time to get an inspection on the books. Many homeowners put chimney maintenance on the back burner until later in the year when it cools down again. However, this puts a bit of a strain on your chimney sweeps appointment books because everyone waits until the last minute.

This is one of many reasons we urge homeowners to schedule their appointments now! By ensuring we get in right at the start of spring, you guarantee a well-functioning system when temperatures eventually lower again in the autumn. Learn more below, then give us a call right away to get this process going as soon as possible. The SirVent team would love to help you out!

white house with chimney in the spring

Scheduling At Your Convenience

Our schedule gets pretty full during the fall and winter months, which can make it hard for busy families to get their annual inspection when they want it. We do our best to offer services during timeframes that work best with your calendar, but this isn’t always possible during our busy season.

If you want to avoid rearranging any dates and appointments, then simply schedule a spring inspection with our team. You’ll easily be able to book a day and time that works well for you, and should we find any damages or build-up, we’ll be able to get it taken care of well before the start of your burning season come fall.

All too often, we see homeowners getting inspections completed late in the season, only to discover more services are required before they can safely light their fireplace. This means many are left without cozy fires during the holidays or on especially chilly evenings. As a crew that loves the ambiance a crackling flame creates, we hate to see families experience this! Play it safe by getting in touch with our qualified sweeps today.

Avoiding Further Damages

Another big advantage of scheduling maintenance now is you avoid any decay or deterioration that occurs during the warmer months. The snow, sleet, and ice of winter can really take a toll on your system in more ways than one. First, there’s the freeze/thaw process. If moisture was able to penetrate your brickwork, then it’s very likely that your masonry experienced it as the water froze and melted numerous times throughout the season.

Water breaks down your chimney components in a hurry, so correcting any water damage as soon as possible is a must! It’s also important for the sweep to look over your metal components, as they could be rusted or broken down. They can check for other signs of moisture, as well, such as clogs, rust, rot, stains, and more.

Aside from water-related problems, there could easily be other kinds of damage throughout your structure. This could come in the form of a faulty liner, crumbling mortar, a cracked chimney cap, or a number of other things. All in all, getting a professional eye on the situation is vital for keeping your system in tip-top shape, and the longer any issues are avoided, the worse off you will be.

To top it all off, we can provide you with all kinds of preventative maintenance, such as damper replacement, waterproofing, tuckpointing, brick replacement, relining services, and more. All of which ensure you stay better protected all year long. When it comes time to bring out the pumpkin-themed decor and spooky Halloween costumes again, you’ll be happy to have all of this work done and out of the way!

Preventing Smelly Odors & Chimney Fires

Unfortunately, repair work isn’t the only thing you’ll want to get scheduled. There’s a good chance you’ll also need a sweeping! If we spot any debris or excess creosote in your flue, then having all of these obstructions removed is a must. Not only will they cause smoke and potentially hazardous gases to enter your home, they also contribute to inefficiency and a lack of heat.

Even if you don’t put your system to use, creosote can really stink up your home during the humid summer months. As you run your air conditioner, the musty air from inside of your flue tends to swoop through your home, bringing all kinds of unpleasant odors with them. This is less than ideal, but a thorough sweeping can reduce the risk of bad smells in your home significantly.

Along with this, creosote is highly flammable, so having too much could increase your likelihood of chimney fires. These dangerous events put your home and family at significant risk, making it more likely for house fires and carbon monoxide leaks to occur. A chimney fire will make your fireplace unsafe for use, too, until repairs are administered.

Put Your Trust In Us!

By working with organizations like the CSIA, the NFI, the NCSG, and more, we stay up-to-date and knowledgeable on it all. You can bet we also excel when it comes to keeping our loyal customer base completely satisfied. Don’t put off the care you deserve any longer. Count on our team to help you out right away

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

At SirVent Chimney & Venting Service, we take pride in keeping our customer base as safe as possible. That’s why we take the time to invest in things like CSIA certifications, memberships with the NCSG, and countless other educational opportunities. Thanks to these credentials, as well as our many years of experience in the industry, we are equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to set you up right year after year.

As we approach the holidays, there are a few extra precautions homeowners need to take to stay better protected from fires, smoke, and poisonous gases. Follow some of our guidelines below and, if you have any other questions, please reach out to our team right away. We are always happy and eager to serve!

Using An Artificial Tree?

Artificial trees are far less messy than their living counterparts, but just because you’re not putting real branches and leaves in your home doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk of the tree going up in flames. Be sure to invest in one that is flame-resistant, and never put it up close to the fireplace or any other heat sources in your home. Also, have fun decorating, but never adorn the tree with lighted candles, and never plug in more than three strands of lights into each other.

Do You Purchase A Real Tree?

If you go with the more traditional option of buying a real tree every year, then there are some important considerations for you to keep in mind, as well. As with artificial trees, keep them far away from any flames or sources of heat, as this increases the likelihood of a fire in your home. It is also vital to water them on a regular basis to ensure they don’t dry out, which would make them much more prone to catch fire.

Finally, don’t leave the lights on when you leave home or when you go to sleep. Always unplug everything to keep your home and family as safe as possible in the weeks ahead!

Invest In A Fireplace Inspection

Yet to get an inspection in the books? The CSIA recommends investing in a fireplace and chimney inspection at least once per year to ensure your system stays running efficiently. This step will also allow a professional to check for any cracks, holes, or other damages throughout your structure, as well as any buildup or creosote accumulation. All of these things increase your chances of gas leaks, house fires, chimney fires, and more, so don’t take any chances, and get an appointment scheduled with our team right away. We’d love to set you up right!

Burn Only Seasoned Wood

Own a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove? Then, ensuring you only burn well-seasoned wood in your appliance is a must! You can tell your logs are ready to use when they are split at the ends, darker in color, shorter in length, and lightweight. Another to test them is to smack them together. If they made a hollow, clunking noise (as opposed to a dull thud), then you should be good to go!

Looking to season your own wood? Just be sure to cut the pieces short and store them in a place with open sides and a sturdy roof. You’ll also want to ensure they are off the ground. It’s recommended that wood be stored for at least six months before use – this makes certain that the moisture content has significantly lowered!

Do You Own Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Another vital step of maintaining safety over the holidays is investing in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In a time where your home is filled with bright lights, candles, and flammable decor, it’s a sad fact that your risk of experiencing a house fire increases dramatically. Your increased use of the fireplace doesn’t help matters, either! All in all, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors help you enjoy the holidays to the fullest, without fear that your family members are at risk.

These devices often offer the first warning signs of danger within the household. Be sure to regularly check the batteries in yours and replace both the batteries and the units as necessary.

Don’t Put Off Fireplace Repairs & Sweepings

Did an inspection reveal excess creosote in your flue, cracks in your brickwork, and/or rusted chimney parts? Don’t put off repair work and sweepings! Using a chimney that isn’t in good shape greatly increases your chances of experiencing carbon monoxide exposure, house fires, smoke inhalation, and more. Not to mention, the longer you put off repairs, the worse any issues will become. An easy and affordable fix now could easily turn into a time-consuming and expensive restoration job down the line. Make the right choice, and get our experts on the job right away.

Our team is here to help, and we would love to give you everything you need to make this holiday season the best one yet. Don’t wait! Call today to set up your appointment, then move forward with the peace of mind you deserve this winter. We’re eager to work with you soon.

Why Are Chimney Sweeps So Busy In The Fall?

Hoping to get a chimney sweeping or inspection scheduled soon? If you’ve made a few calls, you may already know that most companies have a bit of a waitlist this time of year. Fireplace usage is on the mind of countless homeowners as the holidays approach, and many are eager to ensure everything is safe to use and ready to go for any upcoming festivities.

If you’re one of the many who didn’t get their annual maintenance done earlier on in the year, then we have some options for you. Learn more below, then get in touch with the experienced and qualified team of experts at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service today.

Have You Heard About Our Wait List?

To try and relieve some of the pressure on our schedule books, we have created a waitlist for those hoping to get booked as soon as possible. Once on this list, you’ll be in line to be scheduled should any cancellations come up. This could provide you with the relief you are looking for, and we are able to stay hard at work keeping homes in the area as safe as possible for the upcoming winter months.

If you want to learn more, or if you’re hoping to get your name added, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We love going above and beyond for our loyal customer base.

Left Waiting For Weeks? We Ask For Patience

In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to look up do-it-yourself tutorials online or find products that require no professional knowledge to operate (such as creosote sweeping logs). If you’re impatient to get your fireplace up and running, we urge you to hold off on these methods and wait for a CSIA certified sweep to perform any necessary sweepings and repairs.

Why wait for an expert? Well, any product on the market will not do as a thorough and in-depth job as a pro and attempting any repair work or other services yourself can result in more damage to your structure. It takes weeks of training, studying, and dedication to become knowledgeable on the ins and outs of your chimney and fireplace, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t know what you are doing.

All in all, even a minor mishap can lead to smoke in your living space, carbon monoxide exposure, chimney fires, house fires, and more. In the end, it’s much more worthwhile to wait a few weeks for care than attempt to tackle the job yourself, and it definitely not worth taking any chances when it comes to your family’s wellbeing. Hold off and count on our experts to set you up as soon as we can!

Don’t Forgo Maintenance, Either!

Another option many consider is to simply go without an annual inspection and use their fireplace anyway. We get the temptation of doing this but strongly encourage against it. Even if you invest in care right away next spring, you could wind up facing extensive damage before that, as well as put your home and family at risk.

Consider this. Creosote builds in your system as you light fires and, if too much is present, your risk of experiencing a chimney fire increases significantly. Chimney fires cause extensive damage and create many gaps and holes, all through which gases, fumes, smoke, and flames can escape into your home.

Creosote is just one of many threats you could potentially face. Your system may also be weakened from water damage and need replacement parts or waterproofing services performed. The only way to check for any potential threats is to get an inspection in the books! We would be happy to look things over as soon as we get a chance.

What To Expect From Our Team

So, what can you expect when our team arrives for a sweeping and inspection? Well, these services take around an hour and a half to perform, so figure on setting aside a good chunk of time from your morning or afternoon. We’ll check for blockages, excess creosote, and any visible damages. Should any issues be present, our crew is equipped to address it all.

What can you do to prepare for your appointment? Well, you won’t want to burn any fires for a full 24 hours before our arrival. This ensures our team and your home stay as safe as possible, and minimizes the risk of stray sparks and embers causing any injuries or damages. We also ask that you clean out your ash box, so our experts can get an accurate evaluation of your system.

Do you have lots of knick-knacks and holiday decor around? It’s advised to remove anything from the mantel or around the fireplace before we arrive. This makes our job go a lot smoother, and it guarantees your belongings don’t get damaged.

Keep in mind, too, that you’ll get a video inspection along with a report of our findings so that you are guaranteed the most in-depth and accurate analysis possible.

Have multiple chimneys you need swept? We’ll discount $99 if you book us to sweep 4 or more flues or chimneys. If you have a big home with lots of hearths, this is a deal you simply cannot beat! Reach out today for more information.

Call Today

If you need maintenance, the time to call is now. We would be happy to help you as soon as possible!