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Magic Sweep Blog

Let Us Address Your Chimney Repairs

If you are a responsible homeowner, and periodically look over your home’s interior and exterior, you might notice some issues with your chimney. It may have some loose flashing, a damaged cap, or even cracks and stains in the masonry. These problems can occur over time, even in a well-constructed masonry chimney. The best thing you can do is schedule professional services to resolve them. The worst thing you can do? Try to do it yourself.

Saving Money Costs MoneyLet Us Address Chimney Repairs

The most common reason that homeowners attempt to D-I-Y home repairs is to save money. In an attempt to do so, the cheapest parts are often bought (and if they aren’t cheap enough in-store, they’re ordered online). This means you save money on parts, but you’re installing parts that are made out of the cheapest materials, and at the fastest rate possible. The reason that parts are cheap is that they were cheap for the manufacturer! Furthermore, ordering parts online is the best way to ensure that the products do not comply with your federal, state, and local fire safety code regulations.

Did You Know…

  • new mortar will weaken your masonry if it doesn’t match the old mortar in consistency and strength exactly? It also needs to match in color for the sake of your property value and curb appeal.
  • your flashing should be installed specifically for the material and slant of your roof, no nails should be exposed, and no sealant should be placed on the flashing? In fact, flashing is one of the most difficult installations in the industry!
  • sealants, water repellents, and cleaning agents that you buy in the home improvement store are cheap copycats of real quality products that are especially made for working on your chimney without damaging it or becoming a danger to your home or family? Many products in the stores are sealants and repellents designed for other things and transitioned into use for chimneys in order to make a buck but only cause harm to the chimney system.
  • your homeowners’ insurance will not honor chimney repairs or maintenance that is done by the homeowner or an uncertified contractor? CSIA is the industry standard recognized by fire protection professionals, legal professionals, insurance companies, and more.
  • Magic Sweep, Corp. is licensed, and certified for chimney maintenance, and the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in the Hampton Roads area.

We Service and Repair Year-Round

You can call and schedule with Magic Sweep year-round. A certified technician is always a phone call away, whether you suspect interior damage from an animal infestation, if a storm has dislodged exterior parts, or if your masonry is badly damaged from water penetration. No matter the problem, we have a solution, and the training, experience, and materials to back it up.

We specialize in:

  • Fireplace and chimney sweeps and inspections
  • Fireplace and chimney repairs
  • Chimney Relining
  • Chimney caps and dampers (repair, replacement, and installations)
  • Routines services and installations of appliances and parts

If you haven’t had your chimney swept or inspected in the last year, call today, and schedule with Magic Sweep. If you suspect a problem with your system, give us a call, and we’ll send someone out to diagnose the problem right away. Our goal is comfort and safety for all our customers, friends, and neighbors. Start with us.

Call 757-523-2400.

What Does the Magic Sweep Process Look Like

Have you recently scheduled your chimney services for 2019? Maybe you’re not sure what to expect. Maybe you’re not convinced this is necessary. Whatever you’re thinking, we’ve thought about it. Our staff at Magic Sweep are homeowners–not just that, but we’re fireplace owners! We know how nerve-wracking it can be to have people coming in and out of our homes, and to work on something that we don’t see. However nerve-wracking, it is necessary, and we hope we can help.

Count on Magic SweepThe Magic Sweep chimney cleaning process

Once you schedule your chimney sweep, we’ll provide you with a window of time in which our technician will show up for the service. Our certified chimney sweeps will arrive on time and in a company vehicle that is clearly marked with the Magic Sweep name. We strive to schedule at the most convenient time for you and provide expert and professional services every time. We’ll keep your home clean, and keep you aware of the process every step of the way.

What to Expect in a Chimney Sweep

Before your chimney sweep, it’s necessary to stop the use of the fireplace or appliance 24 hours before the appointment. This keeps our chimney sweeps safe and allows for complete services. We will start the appointment by using drop cloths and tarps to protect the floors and nearby furniture. We’ll also cover the inside of the fireplace and use an industrial HEPA filtered vacuum unit to contain all the soot and dust that we’ll stir up during cleaning.

The job isn’t finished until we scrape the firebox with tools and brushes and clean the inside spaces with poles, brushes, and scrapers. These tools and our technique allows for cleaning away the soot and creosote, without damaging the flue or masonry.

What to Expect in a Chimney Inspection

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends annual chimney inspections, and this is also required by most home insurance policies. Before your inspection, you can expect the same type of prep as the chimney sweep, as most chimney inspections include a sweep (and most sweeps include a level 1 inspection). The main difference in the actual process is that we will spend more time assessing the chimney, possibly even opening basement or attic doors in order to visually see the chimney. We will also use a video surveillance system to gain access to the most out-of-site portions of the system. If you’re interested to learn about the different levels of inspections and what they include, check out the descriptions on CSIA’s website.

What to Expect for Repairs

When we recommend repairs, you can expect prompt action. We do not leave damage unrepaired and will work with our customers to get the work done to prevent further damage and safety risks. When you schedule a repair with us, you can expect all of our work to be within federal and municipal safety codes. We use the best and most dependable products and most up-to-date techniques. When you choose a company that stays on top of continued education and industry advancements, you can expect the best service.

Count on Magic Sweep for all your routine chimney services and repairs, and you will be safe and warm this winter and year round. Save money, prevent damage, expect the best, choose Magic Sweep.

Call us at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online.

Add a Chimney Cap or Damper

Winter is the best time to have a fireplace. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a crackling fire on those cool evenings, this helps to save money on heating costs. Another plus is you get to enjoy the ambiance of a natural fire for the holidays. In order to get the most out of your fireplace and chimney all winter long, you need to take steps to prevent any issues that may arise.

Prevent Winter Damage

pretty chimney capThe worst thing that can happen to any chimney is water damage. When water invades your chimney system, it can cause lots of problems such as rust, deterioration, stains, mold, mildew, and structural issues. These can all cost lot of time and money to repair or restore. Water damages that occur during the winter is the worst, the damage happens fast and cause more severe damages.

This is due to the freeze/thaw cycle that occurs in the winter. First, a small amount of water fills a small crack or gap. As temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands. While it expands, it breaks apart the masonry. When the chimney warms up, the water thaws and moves further into the damaged masonry. This process repeats throughout the winter season, which can cause serious damage by the end of burn season to your chimney.

Protect Your Chimney With a Cap or Damper

You can protect your chimney from the top to the bottom by adding a chimney cap or top mount damper. Not only is a cap essential for preventing precipitation, wind, and debris from entering the flue, but it also keeps animals out all year-round.

  • Chimney Caps – Every flue need a cap. The metal mesh prevents small animals and debris from falling into the flue opening. It is topped with a metal roof, which helps water fall off and onto the chimney crown below. Many homeowners choose caps to match their home in style. You can find copper and stainless steel caps, which are durable and efficient.
  • Top Mount Dampers – They are often called energy saving dampers, and they are installed at the top of the chimney instead of the throat. They are more efficient than throat dampers, since they can double as a cap when open, and provide an airtight seal when closed. When the fireplace isn’t in use, the damper can be closed to save you up to three times in utility bill. Heated air and conditioned air won’t be able to escape. They also look just like a cap, and they are just as stylish and durable as a cap too!

Let Magic Sweep Handle Your Install

With help our experts at Magic Sweep, you can have a new cap or damper installed in no time, and according to code. We only install the best caps and dampers on the market, and we provide the best services to the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area. Call 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online today.

Wood, Pellet, and Gas Stoves

Now is the time to think about heating your home with fire. Fall is nearly past, and you’ve undoubtedly seen your utility bill go up as you’ve been heating your home. Here in and around Chesapeake, we’ve seen cool weather sooner than usual, and homeowners are scratching their heads at all the options available. We don’t like to see our friends and neighbors running thermostats low to save money, and we don’t like to see unsafe appliance installations. Let us install a beautiful and efficient stove that will help heat your home, will keep working for you for years to come, and will bring new life into your home.

The Benefits of Stovesstove

We are not talking about kitchen stoves. No, we’re talking about heat machines installed right into your living space. A quality stove, regardless of fuel type, will generate enough heat for zone heating, supplemental heat during a power outage, or may even become your new primary heating source.
Location!
We can install a stove anywhere that a flue can be piped up. Using refractory materials that are stylish and compliment your stove design and home interior, we can even install in a corner safely. No matter the size of your space, we can find a product that fits, and a product that works.
Variety
There are a variety of products that we sell, install, and service. When you choose a stove, you can choose any size, any location, and any style. Many new homes look great with a sleek and contemporary model, while others may opt for a rustic and traditional look.
Fuel Type
At Magic Sweep, we sell wood, pellet, and gas stoves. Each has their own benefits and uses, and many homeowners have their preferences. Not sure what you want? Let the professionals help you out!

Gas Stoves

Easily the most convenient option for stoves and all other fire appliances is gas. Gas burns cleanly, keeps your home clean (with no ash, very little smoke and soot, and no creosote), is eco-friendly, and low maintenance. Many gas appliances have a push-button or easy light, precise temperature control, and immediate off features, and none of the issues a gas fireplace will give you. This means you only use the fuel you need to get the warmth you need with no damage to your home. Many believe gas units are safer than others. With new advances in technology and production, all fuel types can benefit from the same safety features.

Pellet Stoves

Pellets are the second-runner-up for efficiency. Since pellets are manufactured from wood byproducts, they’re eco-friendly and burn cleanly. They also allow for burning of a variety of other biofuels, including 100% corn, sunflower seeds, and wheat. This allows you to choose what is best for your area and then enjoy the fire! Pellet stoves feature a hopper that feeds the fire consistently for a steady temperature and flame. Most models also have a push-button ignition as well.

Wood Stoves

Still, a very popular option is the wood stove–especially for homeowners with land and forest to cut from. It offers high heat and unrivaled ambiance. The only drawback to wood stoves is that you can ONLY burn properly seasoned firewood in a wood stove. Do not attempt to burn trash, clothes, or alternative fuels in your unit.

Contact a fire expert at Magic Sweep today to find your new stove today!

We Service and Install Gas Appliances

One of the most popular calls we get this time of year is for new fireplace installations. When a homeowner calls on us for a fireplace, they often don’t even know what it is that they want or what kinds of possibilities exist. When you want a fireplace and you call the professionals, the possibilities are almost endless.

It’s our job and pleasure to help these customers get the best products and best services possible. That’s why we recommend gas appliances. They offer the most versatility in design, size, style, are safest, easy to use, and simple to install. Gas is the best option for homeowners looking to add a fireplace, for those looking to upgrade, and even those who wish to raise property value before a sale or refinance. Gas appliances will do just that. It’s important to hire a professional for gas appliance installation to avoid complications later.

Why Choose GasWe can service and install gas appliances for you this holiday season

Gas appliances are a fast growing favorite among homeowners, contractors, and even apartment managers and hotels. There are several reasons gas is so popular:

Location:

You can install gas anywhere. A professional can build a fireplace anywhere and install gas logs. Gas stoves and inserts can be installed inside an existing fireplace or in a home where no fireplace or chimney has ever existed. The variety of sizes and styles will allow for a gas fireplace in a wall, a stove in a tight corner, or a log set in an old, rundown fireplace.

Convenience:

Gas appliances are mess-free with minimal to no soot or creosote. They are work-free, with no cutting, hauling, or lighting firewood. In fact, gas is so convenient to use, yours may light by match or even from your sofa with a remote. Depending on the model, gas appliances also have precise temperature control and the ability to extinguish the fire immediately.

Affordable and Eco friendly

Not only are gas appliances friendly on the wallet, but they’re also environmentally friendly. Gas is the cleanest burning fuel, is the most efficient, and requires the least maintenance.

Will you still need scheduled maintenance? Yes. Most warranties require professional services, and your homeowner’s insurance may as well. When you buy and have your appliance installed by Magic Sweep, you can rest assured that your fireplace is in our care from the moment it’s installed. It will be installed in compliance with federal, state, and local safety codes, and it will be backed by years of experience and NFI training.

We clean, repair, and inspect gas appliances, and we do it year-round. We service gas appliances no matter where they are, no matter who installed them, and even work with realtors and property managers to service between tenants or to prepare for a sale.

With more than 30 years of experience, there’s really no reason not to call Magic Sweep. Call 757-523-2400 today.