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Magic Sweep Blog

Book Your Chimney Inspection Now!

As summer is beginning to wind down, it is time to start thinking about getting your chimney ready for fall and winter. Before you can start enjoying your fireplace, it is very important to have your chimney inspected to be sure everything will work safely and efficiently. It is even recommended by fire safety groups like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected before lighting the first fire of the season. This professional chimney maintenance service is necessary to ensure your chimney has no damage that could lead to dangerous hazards such as a chimney fire or a carbon monoxide leak. Magic Sweep is proud to offer professional chimney sweeping and inspection services to the residents of the Chesapeake Bay area, and you can count on our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps to do a thorough job. We provide all three levels of chimney inspections and have the experience and training to properly inspect your chimney at the appropriate level. To guarantee that your fireplace will be ready to be used on the first cool day of fall, we strongly suggest that you go ahead and schedule your appointment with us now. Waiting until fall to make this appointment can make you have to wait even longer to light that first fire because it can be challenging to find an appointment time that is the most convenient for you. Fall is our busiest time of the year, so taking care of this now allows you to easily get our services scheduled on the date that works the best for you. We would like to answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions about chimney inspections so that you can better understand the importance of this maintenance service.

Book Your Chimney Inspection Now! Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic SweepWhat are the three levels of chimney inspection?

According to the CSIA, the NFPA adopted three specific levels of chimney inspection into its Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances in January 2000 to ensure proper inspection routines across the country. Level 1 chimney inspections are the most basic and include a visual inspection of the readily-accessible parts of the chimney and venting system’s interior and exterior. If you have changed your heating appliance, are buying or selling a home, or experienced an event that has damaged your chimney and venting system, you will need a Level 2 inspection. This level adds an inspection of attics, crawl spaces, and basements to a Level 1 inspection and includes the use of a closed-circuit video camera to get an up close look of every inch of the interior of a chimney. When a problem is suspected that cannot be diagnosed in a Level 1 or 2 inspection, you will need the more thorough Level 3 chimney inspection. This level can require the removal of chimney components such as the chimney crown and interior chimney wall. Magic Sweep will discuss exactly what needs to be done in order to perform a Level 3 chimney inspection before removing any parts of your system.

What type of problems do you look for during a chimney inspection?

During a chimney inspection from Magic Sweep, we are looking for any type of damage or issue that could cause your chimney to be unsafe or inefficient. We check to see if anything is blocking the flue to be sure smoke, gases, and other exhaust can easily exit your home through the chimney. A blockage of debris can force toxic gases like carbon monoxide back into your home. We look at components like the chimney liner and the bricks and mortar joints to see if there is any damage that could be causing water leaks and other hazardous problems. If we do find a problem, we will give you an estimate of the necessary repair work that is needed to restore the safety of your chimney.

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to taking care of your chimney. Contact us at Magic Sweep to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney inspection today.


The Most Common Chimney Problems

If you are experiencing chimney problems, let Magic Sweep take care of it for you. Call us now.

If you are experiencing chimney problems, let Magic Sweep take care of it for you. Call us now.

In no particular order, here are the five most common chimney problems that Magic Sweep Corporation finds and repairs throughout the Hampton Roads and Tidewater communities:

1. Cracked Chimney Crowns

Masonry chimneys are topped by what we call “chimney crowns,” which seal your chimney from the edge of the flue liner to the edge of the chimney. Lots of crowns are built using a common mortar mix that tends to crack and chip over time, which in turn allows water into the chimney and begins to erode nearby brick and mortar. Most crowns can be made to be watertight once more, though in some cases a crown may need to be rebuilt entirely.

2. Loose Flashing

Too often flashing comes loose because it was installed by someone who does not know how important it is to keep water out of a chimney or by someone who does not understand all the ways that water can get into a chimney. We also see on occasion that flashing is leaking because it has rusted, especially where there are nail holes. We can sometimes repair existing flashing, but we find that it’s often best to start fresh with a custom flashing job to create a watertight seal.

3. Deteriorated Chimney Liner

Cracked tile chimney liners are dangerous, as they can allow toxic gases like carbon monoxide to escape into your living space, where they pose a danger to your health. If this is the case we recommend applying HeatShield, which will resurface your flue, making it safe for use once again.

4. Caps and Dampers in Disrepair

Most chimneys are equipped with either a chimney cap or a top-sealing damper to keep rain and animals out of your chimney. When your chimney’s damper or cap is leaky, loose, or broken, it is useless and needs to be repaired or replaced right away.

5. Crumbling Masonry

If you notice that your chimney brick or mortar is crumbling, cracking, stained, or spalling (which means the brick faces have popped off), then the integrity of your chimney has been compromised, since water is now able to get into your chimney. Masonry repairs can be variously simple and straightforward or dreadfully elaborate; the sooner you address the problem, the easier and less expensive it will be to correct.

Schedule your chimney repairs with Magic Sweep Corporation today.