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Magic Sweep Blog

Proper Dryer Vent Maintenance

As a homeowner, it is very important to maintain your home to ensure the safety of your family. One of the most important part of home ownership is maintaining your dryer vents. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires each year. Among those fires, it resulted in 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. These fires are definitely preventable, especially if you properly maintain your clothes dryer vents.

Dangerous Dryer Vents

woman doing laundryYour dryer vents can become dangerous, if you don’t properly maintain it. If your dryer vents are not properly installed, it will not vent properly to cause dangerous buildups too. However, properly installed dryer vents also need maintenance to remain safe and keep it running efficient as long as possible. It’s important to use your clothes dryer unit properly.

Signs You Need Dryer Vent Maintenance

Even if your clothes dryer has not given you any problems, it may still be dirty and clogged. Keep in mind that as soon as there are signs of a problem, your dryer is at risk and this could put your home and family in danger.

  1. The dryer is hot to the touch and warms the room.
    The dryer vent should carry excess heat, moisture, and lint out of the system and home. If the clothes or unit itself is hot to the touch, then the vent is not working properly. If the dryer releases heat into the home while running, this is also a sign your vents are clogged.
  2.  The dryer requires more than one cycle to dry a single load of clothes.
    Your clothes dryer should last ten years. If your dryer is younger than five years old, it should get the job done in one cycle. If it’s not drying your clothes in a single cycle, then you dryer vents are likely clogged. This also means the moisture isn’t leaving the system so your clothes aren’t drying properly.
  3. Lint and condensation cover surfaces in your home.
    The lint and condensation should be carried out of the system through your vents. If it’s pushed into the house, there is either a clog in the vent or damage somewhere in the vent.

Dryer Vent Maintenance Saves You Money

You should consider all the risks of dirty dryer vents and what it does to your clothes-drying unit. There’s no good reason or need to neglect proper maintenance of it. Give yourself peace of mind by taking care of your dryer vents yearly. It also means your system will run more efficiently, which means less electricity and less wear and tear of your unit. You don’t want to replace a ten-year appliance every 3 to 5 years! You won’t have to when you invest in professional installation and routinely services.

When you’re ready to schedule a dryer vent service, schedule it with Magic Sweep. We’ve been serving our customers for over 30 years, and we are here to serve you. Call 757-523-2400 today or contact us online.

We Offer Three Levels of Chimney Inspections

Chimney inspections are what keeps homes and businesses safe in the way that inspections keep car manufacturers accountable with certain safety standards and keep owners accountable for safety on the road. The industry standard for chimney safety and efficiency is the CSIA inspection, and we stand by it. That’s why we offer the three levels of chimney inspections which cover all the bases.

Level One

A level one inspection is necessary annually even when there aren’t changes made to the system, no problems noticed, and it is used in the same manner as always. This inspection is an examination of all readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior and connections. After a level one inspection, the homeowner can rest assured that the flue is free of deposits and obstructions and it is safe for another year of use.

Level Two

The level two inspection is required when a problem is noticed during a level one inspection. It is also required before the sale or transfer of property, when changes have been made to the system, and if there has been any occurrence that can affect the system such as tornado or flue fire. A level two inspection includes all that in a level one in addition to the accessible portions of the chimney that are in the attic, basement, or crawlspace. A level two inspection also includes a video scan which provides footage of the entire system.

Level Three

If a hazard is detected in a level one or two inspection, a level three is necessary to gain access so that a professional can assess and repair the problem. During a level three inspection your chimney sweep may need to remove components of the home or chimney to gain access to the suspected hazard. This may include removal of the crown, chimney wall, or other wood or panels. This inspection is warranted when a serious hazard is suspected and should not be overlooked.

Magic Sweep Inspections

The best thing you can do for your home and family is to schedule a chimney inspection this spring. According to the two most trusted organizations in the industry, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the safest and most efficient chimneys are those that are serviced regularly. We provide these services because we value our customers. Keep your chimney system properly maintained and you’ll need fewer service appointments. Schedule inspections annually and any problems will be caught early and corrected easily.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a REALTOR, or property manager, call and schedule a Magic Sweep inspection now. Dial 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online.

How HeatShield Works

Does your chimney liner need some work? A chimney with a damaged or missing liner will not work properly and will be unsafe. This is because the liner is a necessary barrier that offers protection to the masonry, to the home, and to the fire. It’s like skin, covering a large space and doing an important job. The liner keeps the heat, gas, and corrosive byproducts of the fire in the chimney, prevents heat from moving through the masonry and damaging important building components of the home, and protects the masonry from corrosive chemicals from the fire. When the liner becomes worn and damaged over time and use, it should be repaired quickly and appropriate for the type of fire you use.

Major and Minor Liner Repairs
Whether your liner needs minor or major repairs, we can fix it quickly using HeatShield. This product is appropriate for joint repair, resurfacing, and complete relining. It is as durable and long-lasting as a stainless steel liner, appropriate for all fuel types, and cheaper. HeatShield combines the strength of a high fired ceramic with the heat resistance of high-temperature refractory cement, to create HeatShield Cerfractory technology. This product comes in powder form, so a HeatShield installer can mix and use it on site, cutting down on waste and cost.

HeatShield Installation
When you hire Magic Sweep for your HeatShield installation, we’ll begin by installing a custom foam applicator blade in your flue, attached to a winch system to complete the necessary repair. Following installation, the work is checked with a video recording system.

Joint Repair – For joint repairs and gaps, we place the foam applicator blade just below the affected portion of the flue and fill it with the HeatShield product. Using the winch, the applicator is pulled upward and deposits the product into the spaces, smoothing it over the flue liner.

Resurfacing – When the damage is more extensive, the liner will need a complete resurfacing. The foam applicator blade is placed at the bottom of the flue, and the product is moved upward, applying the product to the entire surface. This is after a “tie coat” is applied first to clean and prime the existing surface.

CeCure Sleeve Relining – When the entire flue needs to be relined, we use the CeCure Sleeve, a thin profile, ceramic insulation, reinforced with stainless steel fabric. This sleeve is sandwiched between two coats of HeatShield which is completely pressed into the flue using the foam applicator blade. Once completely relined, the flue is appropriate for all fuel types and should last 80+ years.

When your liner needs attention, let Magic Sweep come to the rescue with HeatShield. Call us at 757-523-2400.

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.