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Magic Sweep Blog

Creosote and Your Chimney

Your chimney and fireplace system has been working to heat your home all winter long. This has been a particularly long winter, and you’ve likely burned more wood than usual. The slow-to-start spring also causes homeowners to continue using the fireplace even when temperatures become milder, sometimes closing the system out for the off-season before having it properly cleaned and inspected.

It’s important to clean up the creosote and soot from inside the fireplace and chimney system so that you aren’t bothered by unwelcome odors this summer, and your system will be ready to use this fall. Creosote and Your Chimney


Creosote is a substance that is produced when organic materials are burned. When wood is burned, for instance, creosote is produced and deposited into the chimney as it rises with the smoke. Properly seasoned firewood produces creosote, but green or wet wood burns incompletely, resulting in more wood being burned and more creosote being produced when it is burned. Creosote is made up mostly of tar, which makes it a sticky, flammable material. This material builds up easily inside the flue and is extremely dangerous when not removed regularly.

Glazed Creosote

If the creosote isn’t removed on a regular basis through a professional chimney sweep, it can quickly become a buildup that obstructs airflow through the chimney. As the air slows in the chimney, more creosote will be deposited inside the flue. These buildups eventually turn into glazed creosote. Glazed creosote is the term used to describe creosote that has been heated over and over again, evaporating the water and leaving a condensed mass of fuel. Glazed creosote is a solid mass with a glassy appearance that is difficult to remove.

Creosote Removal

Your chimney should be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid a drop in efficiency and safety. The chimney works perfectly when air flows properly from the fireplace to the flue opening. As creosote and soot are deposited in the chimney interior, airflow is no longer at its best. The drop in efficiency leads to more creosote buildup. In order to stop the cycle, your chimney system should be cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. A standard chimney sweep will remove all the soot, creosote, and debris that affects your chimney system. Once the creosote reaches level three or glazed buildup, it is more difficult to remove. Instead of using brushes and vacuums to clean the chimney, a chemical is first applied to the glazed creosote. As it’s absorbed, the creosote flakes away and can be brushed and vacuumed out of the system.

When it comes to creosote, you can’t stop it completely, but you can prevent creosote from making your system less efficient, and even dangerous. In order to prevent excessive creosote from affecting your system, make sure your firewood is properly seasoned, never burn trash or clothes in your fireplace, and make sure you use your system properly. Allowing your fire to smolder or lighting a fire in a cold chimney increases the amount of creosote produced by your fire.

In addition to creosote removal, your chimney professionals can also complete routine chimney inspections. If your chimney hasn’t been inspected in the last twelve months, it’s time to call the professionals. Call Magic Sweep to schedule services today.

What to Expect During a Chimney Sweep

There are homeowners across the country who do not schedule professional services simply because they do not want strangers in their house and don’t know what to expect if they do. Others neglect necessary maintenance thinking it a waste of time and money. Nothing could be further from the truth when chimneys are concerned. Routine maintenance is paramount when it comes to a safe and efficient chimney. Schedule your inspection now, and rest assured your system is ready for another burn season.

CSIA InspectionsWhat to expect during a chimney sweeping.

When it comes to chimney inspections, you get what you pay for. A home inspection may include an overall assessment of chimney soundness, but unless completed by a professional, it will not be worthwhile. CSIA inspections are completed by a CSIA certified chimney sweep and include an assessment of the system from top to bottom. There are 3 levels of inspection, and unless there is a problem with your system or changes made, you only need a level one. This standard inspection is often included in a standard chimney sweep and includes all readily accessible portions of the chimney, including the exterior masonry.

What to Expect During Level Two or Three

While a level one inspection covers all the readily accessible portions of the system, a level two includes all the accessible portions through doors, panels, and in attics and basements. A level two is required when there have been problems, repairs, or installations with the chimney system, when the fuel type is changed, or when a natural occurrence such as a tornado or fire affects the system. A level two inspection is also required when property is sold or transferred. It includes a video scan which provides a detailed look at the entire interior portion of the system. Using a video scan, a chimney professional can provide a detailed report so that hazards are identified and repaired swiftly.
During a level three inspection, your chimney professional may need to remove components of the chimney structure or house to gain access to the hazard. This may include removing the crown, masonry, or even walls to access and repair the suspected hazard.

When you schedule an inspection with Magic Sweep you count on professional services every time. A certified and trained technician will arrive at your home at the appointed time and set up at the fireplace opening for the assessment. You’ll need to clear out space around the hearth in order to make room for the technician and any supplies required. Your sweep will bring with him drop cloths to protect the floor, brushes to clean the system, and a high-powered vacuuming system to contain the mess. You don’t have to worry about the house getting messy in the process! Our goal is to assess only and clean up our mess before we go.

What you can expect after a chimney sweep is that your chimney system will be ready for burn season. It will work more efficiently after being cleaned, and you can rest assured that it is safe for use for one more year.

Call Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online to get started today.

We Work With Realtors and Property Managers

It’s not just homeowners who need chimney and air duct services. At Magic Sweep we want to help homes in the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area stay safe from accidental fires–now and later. That’s why we work with realtors and property managers, offering all our services year-round with convenient scheduling, key drop-off and pick-up, and billing services.

Routine ServicesRealtor holding key and mini house to show the transfer of property

Chimney Sweeps – We clean chimneys no matter what the time of year. For our realtors and property managers we can pick up keys and complete the work at your convenience. Using a vacuuming system and special rods and brushes, our technician cleans the chimney from top to bottom. Our chimney sweeps clear the entire space of creosote and soot, ashes, and any other debris left in the chimney system. What’s more? Our sweeps are GUARANTEED to leave your home as clean or cleaner than when we arrived. No soot, creosote, or ash will creep into your home with our efficient system.
Chimney Inspections – It’s important for realtors (and homeowners) to know the difference between a home inspection and a chimney inspection. When you’re buying or selling a home, it should have a chimney inspection completed by a certified chimney professional. A level two inspection is required before the sale or transfer of property. Our sweeps are CSIA certified and can complete CSIA inspections before, during, or after the sale is final–and our level two inspections include a video scan of the entire interior of the system.
Installations and Repairs – Not only do we install new fire appliances, but we also repair them. Our staff at Magic Sweep can repair damages big or small. When you hire Magic Sweep for all of your chimney care, we can catch and diagnose minor damage before it’s a major hazard. Then, we can make small repairs that cost you less, and will get the house back on the market! When a poorly-maintained system is in disrepair, we can work with that too. Just work with one of our fireplace experts to find the best appliance that will fit your space, offer beautiful flames and convenient functions, and put your new listing or property at the top of everyone’s dream list.

Enhance a Property with a New Fireplace

Even if the house you’re listing or the one you manage doesn’t have a fireplace, you can add one! When you add a fireplace to a property, it brings up the value, provides supplemental heat for homeowners and tenants, and choosing new, efficient appliances can improve efficiency and safety. Our products, including fireplaces, inserts, stoves, and gas logs can bring life to the house. They can fit into any space, and can create a new and fabulous look for the space you’re selling.

If you’re a realtor or property manager in Hampton Roads and Tidewater, fill out our online request form, or download our Service Request Form today.

We Still Have Holiday Deals

The shopping frenzy following Thanksgiving may be over, but there are still plenty of deals to take advantage of. There may be only one Black Friday in the year, but we aim to keep our customers happy year-round. At Magic Sweep we offer expert services, the highest level of professionalism, and top-of-the-line products. It’s time our customers took advantage of one more thing—coupons!

Magic Sweep Coupons

When you are making your last-minute purchases this holiday season, you can save money on something that you really need. Just print, and present to your technician at time of service.

Save on Chimney Sweeps

A chimney sweep can typically cost between $125-$250 depending on the location, the level inspection, and the type of chimney and its condition, according to Angie’s List. These sweeps are necessary to keep your chimney working properly, and to prevent fires, malfunction, and pesky problems like a smoky or stinky fireplace. Spending the regular cost of chimney sweeps can save you money on repairs and maintenance in the long-run.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $10 on your next chimney sweep!

Save on Gas Logs

Gas logs have been growing in popularity because they are easy to install and offer a nice fire. Some log sets are designed specifically to look like the wood species of your choice. There are also vent-less gas logs that don’t even need a chimney. These are a popular option for homeowners who don’t have a chimney, or have an unsafe chimney but still want a fire. Log sets are safe, can produce a good amount of heat, and are affordable. Now they can be even more affordable.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon, and save $25 off of your purchase of gas logs.

Save on Dryer Vent Cleaning

Our deals don’t extend only to our hearth services and products. It’s our goal at Magic Sweep to keep our neighbors safe in and around the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area. This includes offering services to prevent dryer vent fires. Having your dryer vents cleaned raises efficiency in your appliance, saves you money, extends the life of your appliance, and prevents devastating fires. Dryer vent fires usually happen overnight while the family is sleeping (with the dryer running), and these fires happen most in January. Schedule your dryer vent cleaning now, and let Magic Sweep keep you safer this winter.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $10 on your dryer vent cleaning.

Save on Air Duct Cleaning

Just like a dryer vent can become filled with debris (lint), your household air ducts can become dirty with dust, pet hair, rodent droppings, moisture, and even mold. Since this is the air that circulates through your central air and heating system, a dirty system can affect the quality of the air you breathe. Having the air ducts cleaned periodically can prevent respiratory and health issues, can raise efficiency, and save you money.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $25 on your air duct cleaning.

To schedule your services today, get the expert advice of a Magic Sweep technician, shop for your dream fireplace, and more call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400.

Get Your Chimney Swept Before Winter Hits

Winter is knocking at our door. Temperatures are dropping more and more each evening. So, you can be sure you’ll need to light up your fireplace pretty soon! It’s important to make sure your chimney is in working order before burning season. This will avoid extra costs and headaches. Preventative measures, like chimney sweeps, keep your chimney working efficiently and safely for your family and your home.

Get Your Chimney Swept Before Winter Hits - Chesapeake VA - Magic SweepThe Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections for optimum use and safety. It’s best to have your chimney swept before the season begins. This is to be sure that you don’t have any dangerous debris or creosote in your chimney flue. When your flue has creosote buildup it can become a fire hazard, and not only because glazed creosote is highly flammable. Also, because roughness on the walls make sit easier for soot and creosote to settle there.

What to Expect

When you choose a Magic Sweep chimney sweep, you can count on a professional experience every time. Our technicians are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® (CCS) and are experts at chimney services. All chimneys, all sizes, shapes, and fuel types.

Magic Sweep first puts down drop cloths to protect your floors. Afterwards, we cover the work space with a state-of-the-art HEPA filtered vacuum system. This is in order to keep the soot and dust from escaping into your home. Our technicians use specialized tools and brushes to clean the walls of the firebox. This is the space in which the fire burns, and then we move onto the flue. In order to access the flue and clean it thoroughly, we reach into the flue with poles, brushes, and scrapers from the room. All of the debris falls into the bottom of the chimney and is removed during the final vacuum cleaning.

Our expert chimney professionals leave your home just as we found it, except your chimney will be clean!

You’ll be Glad you Scheduled Your Chimney Sweep Now

When you schedule a chimney sweep with a Magic Sweep,  you can trust that the job is done right. Our technicians clean the chimney top to bottom. We are also happy to offer expert advice, making us available to answer questions or concerns you might have regarding your chimney system.

If you’d like to experience the Magic Sweep magic, you can contact an expert chimney technician now. Simply call 757-828-0404 or request an appointment online. You won’t be disappointed!