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Magic Sweep Blog

The Areas We are Proud to Serve

If you reside in the Tidewater area of Virginia and coastal North Carolina, we consider you lucky. Our region is steeped in historical and cultural significance, natural beauty, multiple beautiful waterways, and exhaustive options for recreation and fun. We live and work in the area, serving communities reaching from Chesapeake, Virginia to the coast, down to Shawboro, North Carolina,two chimneys on a rooftop and to the coastal city of Harbinger, North Carolina.

Like our customers, we have to have flexible schedules. During the summer months, you can find the canals and rivers peppered with kayaks, the beaches packed with umbrellas and sand blankets, and neighborhoods and homeowners fitting home maintenance where they can in their packed schedules. We offer services year-round so that we can help keep our customers safe despite their busy schedules. Our customers and our employees enjoy taking time to enjoy the magical spare where we live and work.

Coastal Towns and Communities

We have a unique opportunity here to both live in a coastal region, and also explore tourist attractions from time to time. The area we serve is filled with small, unincorporated communities that are tucked between bigger cities that attract tourists almost year-round. What do these communities have that the big cities don’t? Residential neighborhoods, vacation homes, spaces that aren’t necessarily up for grabs on Air BNB. The homeowners we serve, live and work in the area and need to depend on our team for safety and comfort. It’s important to us to offer our coastal customers exactly what they need to stay safe while burning a fire in the fireplace as well as when it’s time to batten down the hatches for hurricane season.

Coastal Chimneys

Since our service area is historical, so are many of the homes. The houses our techs go into for routine services are 100+ years old, and so are the chimneys. It is our job to make sure they continue to last, continue to work and to work well. Coastal air can be quite damaging to masonry, but we offer services such as masonry waterproofing, which can protect your masonry from water penetration year after year. We also install chimney caps that are specifically designed for this climate and to withstand high winds.

Magic Sweep Serving Coastal Virginia and North Carolina

Our customers in the Tidewater area know us and we know them. We’ve been serving the small and large communities here for over 35 years and will continue for many more. Our customers keep choosing Magic Sweep for complete satisfaction. All of our customers are guaranteed a convenient appointment time that works for them, a prompt technician who will arrive on time and not keep you waiting, the highest level of professionalism and cleanliness, and complete peace of mind.

We know it can be nerve-racking letting a stranger into your home. That’s why we don’t want to be strangers! Let’s be friends. Call Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400 to schedule services for your home or for a property you manage.

Masonry Waterproofing Tips

Chimneys are traditionally built from masonry. This is because well-constructed and maintained masonry can withstand the test of time. It is also ideal for chimneys because of it’s porous properties. These allow vapors, heat, and smoke to escape easily. However, the very materials that make it so ideal for a chimney, also make it susceptible to damage caused by weather. It’s vital to keep up with maintenance appointments and preventative care for your masonry chimney! Doing so will keep your chimney efficient, safe, and long-lasting.

Schedule Annual Inspections

The annual chimney inspection is the only time a certified professional may see your chimney system. This is the time when a chimney sweep will get up close and personal with your masonry, noting inconsistencies, cracks, flaking, and more. The inspection includes all accessible portions of the system. This include the fireplace, chimney, crown, and cap – vital parts of the chimney system that protect it from water damage.

Schedule Repairs as Soon as Possible

Do you notice a problem with your masonry? Discoloration, spalling, cracking, or any significant change in the masonry means you should contact a certified professional! After a diagnostic appointment, he should be able to make a recommendation which may include masonry repairs. If your chimney needs repairs, get them scheduled as soon as possible. Now is the time to make these repairs. The masonry may not be susceptible to water penetration through the upcoming winter months.

Waterproofing Services

After your masonry is built, repaired, or cleaned, you can add even more protection by applying a waterproofing sealant. We recommend it as a regular preventative method that can keep your chimney working properly for longer, despite harsh winters and wet springs. This specially designed sealant is vapor-permeable. The vapors and smoke still escape, but water molecules are unable to get in. A similar product can be applied to the chimney crown to repair cracks and deterioration there, as well.

Visually Inspect the Cap and Flashing

In between your chimney sweeps and annual inspection, you can visually inspect your own chimney components. For instance, your chimney cap should be secured to the top of your chimney flue. If it is crooked or missing, you need to call and have a new one installed. Chimney caps protects the interior of the chimney from water damage. The flashing protects the outside of the chimney, specifically the intersection of the roof and chimney. If you can no longer see flashing where you once did, or if you have a leak in another area in your home, the area around the base of your chimney is most likely leaking!

A masonry chimney is not built and then forgotten. It works every day through the burn season, so it needs periodic attention and preventative maintenance. The best thing you can do for your masonry chimney is to have it waterproofed. At Magic Sweep, we offer these services and more! You can find out what we can do for your masonry chimney by calling 757-523-2400 or using our online scheduling tool.

Repairing Chimney Leaks

A chimney leak is the last thing any homeowner wants to experience. It doesn’t only affect your chimney! A chimney leak can cause damage to other parts of your home because the water runs through the hidden portions of your home. For this reason you should always assume a leak is caused from the chimney, no matter how far it may be from the chimney itself.

Chimney leaks also cause damage to supports, walls, ceilings, and wall coverings near the chimney, along with a host of extensive damage to the chimney itself.

Water and Your Masonry Chimney

Masonry is constructed of multiple materials, all of which are adversely affected by moisture. If water is allowed to penetrate your chimney, it can destroy your masonry from the inside out, causing rust, stains, deterioration, weakening, decreased efficiency, and increased fire risk. The best way to prevent water penetration and damage to your chimney is to have it inspected annually and waterproofed by a professional. The average homeowner won’t notice a leak until a problem is visible. By this point there can be substantial damage behind-the-scenes. A professional will see a problem before it causes damage.

Diagnostics and Repair

An inexperienced chimney sweep might repair the damage that makes your chimney a hazard, but a certified chimney sweep will repair the damage, diagnose the problem, and prevent it from reoccurring.

Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

Magic Sweep sees chimney leaks often, and year round. Common causes include a missing or damaged chimney cap and damaged or missing chimney flashing. These two components are vitally important to prevent water penetration. Magic Sweep technicians are trained and experienced in installing chimney caps and flashing to prevent leaks.

Common Chimney Leak Damage

  • Spalling
    A chimney leak during the winter can be especially damaging to your masonry because of the freeze/thaw affect. The water penetrates the masonry, freezes, expands, then melts, moves further into the masonry, and repeats the cycle. This causes spalling, cracking and crumbling masonry. It can be repaired through a process called tuck pointing in which a chimney sweep removes the bricks, replaces mortar and each brick. It is a tedious job because the new mortar should match the old in consistency, color, and strength.
  • Liner Deterioration
    When moisture mingles with soot, it is corrosive and can damage the chimney liner quickly. In this case a certified chimney sweep can reline the chimney. Magic Sweep can fix your chimney liner damage using HeatShield® cerfractory technology. When we reline your chimney with HeatShield®, we restore your liner instead of replacing it completely, saving you time and money.
  • Structural Damage
    Our chimney experts are certified masons who can rebuild and repair your damaged chimney. Your firebox, hearth, and chimney can all be affected by a chimney leak, and once the leak is repaired, the masonry should be repaired. Only a certified chimney sweep specializes in the construction and repair of a masonry chimney.

When you experience a chimney leak, it can be your worst nightmare. Magic Sweep can help restore the fireplace of your dreams by repairing and waterproofing your chimney. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400.