Our Company Blog

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.

What Is Creosote?

When it comes to chimney care, there is one fact everyone agrees on. This is annual inspections and cleanings are essential! This regular maintenance ensures that all necessary repairs are addressed in a timely manner. In addition, no blockages are messing things up. Also, that all parts of the chimney are working as efficiently as possible.

These things are all very important for the health of your chimney. However, there’s another reason cleanings are so important! The removal of creosote. Many have heard of this substance, but have little knowledge of what it is and just how harmful it can be. Learn more about it below!

What Does It Look Like?

Creosote can take on various forms, and it will always be darker in color. Sometimes is it brittle and flaky, while other times is textured more like tar. The worst form is when it is shiny or glossy and very hard. This is difficult to remove and is a sign that buildup has been occurring for much longer than is safe.

Why Is It Harmful?

No matter what your creosote looks like, it is always dangerous. When too much accumulates, you are more prone to chimney fires, which damage your chimney and put your entire household at risk. You see, creosote is very flammable, meaning any stray sparks or out of control flames could lead to a big mess and hazardous situations.

How does it damage your chimney? It weakens masonry, melts mortar, causes cracks to form, warps metal, and can cause separation to occur between chimney parts. Basically, your entire unit will function less efficiently and not be safe for regular use. No matter the material, brand, style, or age of your chimney, a chimney fire will always cause lots of costly damage!

Always keep an open eye for signs that a chimney fire has occurred. These include puffy creosote, warped metal, missing or cracked tile pieces, discoloration, heat damage, poor air circulation, creosote on the ground or roof, damaged roofing materials, and cracks in your chimney. Knowing your stuff and staying ahead of the game will help you out a lot in the long run.

How Can I Avoid It?

You can avoid the accumulation of creosote by burning smartly. That is, only use seasoned wood, don’t burn odd materials (trash, paper plates, etc.), watch your temperature ranges, and make sure your air supply is not blocked off. All of these factors will help keep creosote buildup to a minimum.

That being said, avoiding creosote altogether is impossible. Some will form, no matter how careful you are, and you will always want to schedule an annual cleaning to ensure your home and family stays as safe as possible.

That’s why you should turn to SirVent Chimney & Venting Service today! Give us a call at 704-621-9373, so we can get you in the books. We look forward to working with you!

Creosote and Your Chimney

When it comes to fireplace maintenance, there can be a lot of information to take in. Between regular inspections, waterproofing, fixing up brickwork, and more, homeowners often find themselves investing a lot of time and money into their chimney.Creosote and Chimneys Image - Lake Norman NC - SirVent Chimney
This hard work always pays off when they are sitting around a cozy fire with loved ones, but finding ways to reduce time spent on chimney upkeep is always welcome.

One way to lighten the load is by increasing your awareness of creosote build-up and learning ways to avoid it.

What Is Creosote?

Creosote is a stubborn substance that forms as you burn fires in your chimney.
Sometimes it is flaky, while other times it forms into a sticky tar-like material. Regardless of how it appears, it is not good for the health of your chimney. Not only does a dirty chimney break down the brickwork and mortar, but a build-up of creosote will often be the cause of a chimney fire.

Removing Creosote

When it comes to removing creosote, doing it yourself is typically not the best option. If you miss anything, you leave open the potential for fires and harmful toxins entering the home. Also, knowing which chemicals and tools are appropriate can be challenging, and the wrong combination of products could be bad for chimney health.

When you hire a professional, you know that all of your bases are covered. A fireplace should be inspected and cleaned at least once per year, so be sure to ask your regular sweep about your creosote situation next time they come around. Hiring someone who is trained and certified, like the staff at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service, will always be your best option.

Avoiding Creosote

There are ways to avoid creosote building up in your chimney. On top of scheduling your annual cleaning and inspection, follow these guidelines to slow the rate at which it forms.

  • Burn Seasoned Wood: When you pick out your firewood, make sure it is light in weight, cracked or split at the ends, and that it makes a clinking noise (rather than a dull thud) when you hit it together. All of these are signs that the wood is properly seasoned, which will decrease the amount of creosote that forms when you burn it.
  • Maintain Air Flow: Ensuring that air can move properly throughout the chimney is a large component in reducing creosote build-up. The longer smoke and other toxins are allowed to stay within a chimney, the more debris you will end up storing.
  • Keep Temperatures High: Burning seasoned wood and burning it quickly are both key factors in maintaining hot fires that produce a smaller amount of toxins. You will need to refuel a bit more often if you want to keep the fire going, but it will be well worth it to avoid excess creosote sticking to your brickwork.

The best way to avoid too much creosote is to call in the experts at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service. Schedule your inspection with us today!

Why Chimneys Tend to Smell Bad in the Summer

Fireplace smells and chimney odor problems may be attributed to a variety of different things. Fireplace smells come from creosote deposits—a natural byproduct of burning wood—inside your chimney. The odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high, on rainy days, and/or when your air conditioner is running. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can help minimize your fireplace and chimney odors!

Creosote Buildup - Lake Norman NC - SirVent

This image is courtesy of Dennis Lamb of Mad Hatter Chimney Service in Indianapolis IN.

When in doubt, always blame the creosote

Creosote absorbs into the porous masonry construction inside your chimney, embedding the fireplace smell deep beyond the masonry’s surface. A chimney sweep will remove the surface buildup of creosote to limit the possibility of a chimney fire; however, the odors that have absorbed into the masonry itself will remain. So how can you keep the smell out of your house? The answer to this question should come as no surprise. A chimney sweeping will go a long way towards removing those unpleasant odors from your home!

You could be dealing with negative pressure problems

The real problem is air coming down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems. Normally, as long as the draft is working correctly and there is no negative airflow in the home, the smells should remain in the chimney. In the event that negative airflow becomes a problem, the air brings the inner fireplace smells and chimney odors right along with it as it comes down your chimney. It is likely that your chimney is just the victim of a negative pressure problem. A quick solution to the negative air pressure is to crack a window at all times to let the pressure change through the window rather than the chimney.

Top-sealing dampers to the rescue

For a more permanent approach to keeping the smell that’s exuding from your fireplace and chimney’s masonry in the chimney and away from your nose, you need to limit the amount of air that’s able to come down your chimney in the first place. Closing your throat damper is a good start, however, the metal-on-metal closure is far from airtight. A top-sealing damper can help to minimize the airflow and accompanying fireplace smells from coming down your chimney. In addition to limiting the airflow problems, the top-sealing damper will keep rainwater and moisture out as well.

There’s never a bad time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned (although the wait time for an appointment is greatly reduced during the non-peak times—spring and summer—of year). Keeping up with annual inspections and sweepings allows you and your family to enjoy the warmth and ambiance that your fireplace brings, without worry. The professionals at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service are available all year round to inspect and clean your chimney. Let us give you the peace of mind you’re looking for—call or click to schedule your sweeping today! Don’t allow these smells to become a problem for you. As soon as you first notice unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, nip the problem in the bud.