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Magic Sweep Blog

We Can Help You Sell Your House

The housing market can wax and wane as swiftly as the stock market. It can be nearly impossible to sell property during certain economic circumstances and even certain times of the year. One thing remains unchanged about the housing market, however: fireplaces sell. In fact, real estate agents and home-buyers list fireplaces as one of their most sought-after features. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a traditional masonry fireplace that burns wood or a a gas insert or log set. Fireplaces are coveted by homeowners either for the added heat or the ambiance. There are 40 percent of buyers admitting they’d pay more to have a fireplace!

We Can Help You Sell Your House Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep CorporationLevel Two Inspections

Magic Sweep offers chimney inspections in compliance with CSIA standards. A level two inspection is required when there is a transfer of ownership of a property. This means that your chimney should be inspected before you sell your home. This is so that you can disclose problems to possible home-buyers. Also, so that you can improve the value of your home. A level two inspection can help you raise property value prior to a refinance or home sale.

The Solution to a Broken Firebox

If your technician finds your firebox has a major issue, repairs can come at a cost. However, there is another solution. Magic Sweep sells the best products on the market for just this situation. A gas, wood, or pellet insert can be just the solution for your broken firebox. A fireplace expert can work with you to choose exactly to your tastes and needs. They can even consult with your realtor for the best way to restore your fireplace and help you sell your home.

First, a Magic Sweep technician will carefully measure the existing firebox to choose the insert to fit perfectly. Then, will help you decide which insert will work best with your property. Gas inserts are a great option and most efficient. Remember though, they require an existing gas hook-up! Otherwise, installation may cost more than you’d like before a sale. Wood and pellet inserts are also great options and highly efficient.

The Solution to a Broken Chimney

Perhaps your firebox is in good shape, but your chimney is irreparably damaged. With professional help you can still use your fireplace to sell your house! Choose a gas log set and have your chimney closed off permanently. Magic Sweep technicians are experts at installing vent-free gas log sets that are realistic and beautiful, and will provide exceptional zone heating for your new buyer.

After Magic Sweep helps you prepare your chimney and fireplace for your sale, you will get an inspection for your personal records and sale. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400!

In addition to regular services that can help sellers get the most out of their property when they sell, Magic Sweep also offers special consideration to realtor and property managers.

Why You Should Choose A Fireplace Insert

There are a few great reasons to install a fireplace insert. Many homeowners choose to install a fireplace insert instead of repairing a badly damaged firebox. This is because an insert is a self-contained firebox in itself. There are other reasons to visit the Magic Sweep showroom and peruse the large selection of fireplace inserts there.

Why You Should Choose a Fireplace Insert Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep CorporationRaise Efficiency with an Insert

Even a well-maintained fireplace and chimney system is not as efficient as a stove or insert. The traditional masonry chimney loses up to 70 percent of it’s heat. Consequently, the bigger the fire, the more heat that’s lost. A wood fireplace without tempered glass doors can waste valuable firewood and heat over a long winter. Purchasing a fireplace insert means more heat with less resources!

Switch Fuel Type with an Insert

You can easily switch fuel type by installing an insert. Magic Sweep sells gas, wood, and pellet inserts that fit seamlessly into your existing fireplace.

  • Gas inserts are the most efficient and designed to look like a traditional wood fire, but with more heat and less fuel. Many homeowners choose gas inserts. This is because they’re considered low-maintenance. Plus, most have the convenience of an on/off switch.
  • Pellet inserts are also highly efficient. They feature a hopper that feeds the fire steadily, creating consistent heat. Pellets are a manufactured product that must be bought. Like gas, it is an eco-friendly option.
  • Wood inserts are as efficient as a wood stove, but less efficient than a gas or pellet insert. These are a good option if you have a source for seasoned firewood. If you are selective of how and where you collect your firewood, they are also an eco-friendly option, creating less particulate pollution than a traditional masonry fireplace.

Update Your Fireplace with an Insert

Are you remodeling or looking for a fireplace face-lift? If so, an insert can do the trick with minimal work. A beautiful insert complements your decor and an efficient appliance. Just like an insert can help you when re-financing, remodeling, or selling. Fireplaces are the most sought-after features, and home buyers will pay more for a fireplace!

Call a Professional

Many models require installation by a certified professional in order to maintain a factory-warranty. A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) should install your fireplace insert after inspecting the chimney system for proper function. Magic Sweep technicians are trained and experienced in proper installation, and the most common insert we sell and install are our gas inserts. One of our fireplace experts can walk you through the process from show-room to living room. We measure meticulously for a perfect fit, choosing the fuel type for your specific needs, and installing the appliance and inspecting it before use.

When you’re ready to make a change by choosing a fireplace insert, call Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online. We also offer special discounts to realtors and property managers. Find out how we can help you today!

Chimney and Fireplace Mold

Water can do a number on a masonry fireplace. What happens if moisture is allowed to penetrate into the chimney system? It can cause rot, stains, malfunction, deterioration, leaks, and more. When your damp chimney and fireplace are combined with mold spores, you can’t stop the growth, the damage, or the health risks. The best way to avoid chimney and fireplace mold? Prevent it altogether.

Chimney and Fireplace Mold Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic SweepA certified chimney sweep can help you take steps now to avoid mold in the future:

  • Clean the Chimney
    You can avoid chimney and fireplace mold by keeping the chimney system clean. Schedule a chimney sweep with a certified professional today. When the system is clean, it is far less likely to become the ideal environment for mold spores to thrive.
  • Waterproof the Chimney
    Your chimney is a mostly closed system that should be protected from moisture penetration. This is because water destroys masonry from the inside out. Your chimney sweep can make sure your chimney is adequately waterproofed by installing a chimney cap and flashing. Also, applying a waterproofing sealant.
  • Schedule an Inspection
    If there is a problem with any part of your chimney system that can allow water into your chimney, you won’t notice it until there is a major leak or substantial damage. Experts recommend annual inspections to insure homeowners that the chimney is in working order and there is no sign of mold. Neglecting your annual inspection can mean going an entire year without knowing mold is growing in your chimney system. Thus, affecting it’s performance and affecting the air quality in your home.

Mold and Your Health

You can detect mold in your chimney system due to: a musty odor, because you see it on your masonry, or because a professional notified you. If this happens, you should take steps to correct it right away. Mold can cause respiratory issues and chronic illnesses, especially in individuals who have asthma and COPD. The mold and the moisture in your chimney will also affect your chimney’s efficiency. This leads to more particulate matter released into your home, adding to respiratory issues.

What to Do About Mold in Your Chimney

Whether you just have suspicions or you were notified by a professional that you have mold in your chimney, you should take action now. Magic Sweep in Chesapeake, Virginia specializes in chimney maintenance just like this. Our technicians will not only give your chimney the standard once-over, but also treat the masonry for mold, killing it for good! Afterwards, we make recommendations for further water proofing to get your ready for another year of chimney use.

Are you worried about mold? If you smell foul, musty odors from your system, or if you have noticed a leak in your system, Magic Sweep can help you. Call 757-523-2400 today or request an appointment online.

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Chimney

With spring weather in full swing the likelihood of your chimney being made a habitat for small wildlife is high, especially if they have an open door—or flue.

The Chimney Cap

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Chimney img - Chesapeake VA - Magic SweepThe Humane Society of the United States recommends a stainless steel chimney cap with wire mesh as the absolute best solution to keep these visitors from entering your chimney. It is not acceptable or humane to use fire, heat, or smoke to drive out wildlife from the chimney, especially birds who have most likely built a nest and may be raising young.

The cap is the first defense against critters that can find their way into a chimney. You might have a chimney cap, but even a minor tear in the screen can allow small birds to slip inside and nest. A chimney cap should be in good condition. A shifted or damaged cap can allow water and animals inside. Not only can animals leave flammable nesting materials in the flue, but they can also suffocate and die, resulting in foul odors and air flow blockage.

The Damper

The cap should keep birds and small critters from entering your flue. But if the cap shifts or becomes damaged, you might notice an animal in the flue before you notice the damaged cap. There is still a chance you can keep the bird out of your house. Keeping your damper closed will definitely deter even the smallest bird from getting into your home. The bird may exit the chimney the way it entered, but whether or not it escapes, you should call a professional.

The Certified Chimney Sweep

Only a professional can remove animals from a closed unit like a chimney flue. Even if the bird escapes, it’s nest and other debris may be left behind becoming a serious fire hazard. If other small animals were in the chimney and escaped, they most likely left behind scratches in the flue liner. This can lead to weaknesses and deteriorations. It’s best to have a certified chimney sweep look over the entire system. They will make sure the animal is gone and there is no trace left that can complicate the chimney system.

Spring is the Time for Chimney Maintenance

The Humane Society of the United States recommends that only professionals remove wildlife from chimneys. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that only professionals perform chimney services. In addition, certain chimney services should be made annual. Regular chimney sweeps make sure your system is clean and efficient. Annual inspections make sure that the system is in top shape. Having your chimney inspected in the spring is the best way to prevent spring damage caused by rainy weather and nesting animals.

Magic Sweep offers these spring services and more. Our chimney experts will make sure your system isn’t just animal proof, but also waterproof! Call magic Sweep today at 757-828-0404.

Schedule Your Fireplace Spring Cleaning

Like everything else in your home, your fireplace and chimney needs annual maintenance. So, what better time than when you’re giving your whole house attention? While you’re putting together your Spring Cleaning to-do list don’t forget your fireplace and chimney.

Visually Inspect

Schedule Your Fireplace Spring Cleaning Image - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep CorporationYou know better than anyone how your chimney and fireplace has been performing. If your efficiency has gone down, this is something to note. If it’s more difficult to light or keep a fire going, if you hear drips or see other indications of water in the chimney, this needs to be recorded. You can also visually inspect your chimney’s exterior. This is something you can remember to do when you clean your gutters. Make sure your chimney cap and flashing are in place.

Schedule Your Annual Maintenance

Once you have determined what might need to be addressed, schedule an appointment with a chimney professional. You should have your chimney seen by a professional, even if you see no indication of damage. The average homeowner won’t notice a problem until it has done substantial unseen damage. By visually inspecting your own chimney, though, you’re able to direct the certified chimney sweep to concerning issues with your chimney system. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual maintenance. This is keeps a chimney running safely and efficiently. Regular chimney sweeps keep the chimney clean of debris, soot, and creosote. These can lead to obstruction, unpleasant odors, and damage. The CSIA inspection is vitally important in diagnosing winter damage and regular wear-and-tear on the chimney system.

Schedule Necessary Repairs

If your chimney assessment indicates a problem with any part of your chimney system, those problems need to be addressed right away. A small issue can cause substantial damage over several months. This can happen even when the chimney isn’t being used. A crack can allow water to penetrate the chimney system throughout the entire spring season. Having repairs done now means you can have your chimney waterproofed. Thus, closing it out for the season and ready for use this fall.

Avoid the “Fall Rush” by Scheduling Now

Schedule your routine maintenance and repairs in the spring. Doing this avoids the hassle of appointments, repairs, and diagnostics in the fall. During the fall, your chimney sweep is busy with emergency calls, installations, and repairs. Don’t wait until the last minute to get the chimney ready for winter! You might be tempted to use a chimney that isn’t safe or ready. Plus, you may end up with a chimney sweep that you aren’t pleased with.

While Spring Cleaning is at the top of your list of priorities, schedule with Magic Sweep! Your safety and comfort is at the top of our priorities. Call 757-828-0404 or request an appointment online today.