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Magic Sweep Blog

Add a Chimney Cap or Damper

Winter is the best time to have a fireplace. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a crackling fire on those cool evenings, this helps to save money on heating costs. Another plus is you get to enjoy the ambiance of a natural fire for the holidays. In order to get the most out of your fireplace and chimney all winter long, you need to take steps to prevent any issues that may arise.

Prevent Winter Damage

pretty chimney capThe worst thing that can happen to any chimney is water damage. When water invades your chimney system, it can cause lots of problems such as rust, deterioration, stains, mold, mildew, and structural issues. These can all cost lot of time and money to repair or restore. Water damages that occur during the winter is the worst, the damage happens fast and cause more severe damages.

This is due to the freeze/thaw cycle that occurs in the winter. First, a small amount of water fills a small crack or gap. As temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands. While it expands, it breaks apart the masonry. When the chimney warms up, the water thaws and moves further into the damaged masonry. This process repeats throughout the winter season, which can cause serious damage by the end of burn season to your chimney.

Protect Your Chimney With a Cap or Damper

You can protect your chimney from the top to the bottom by adding a chimney cap or top mount damper. Not only is a cap essential for preventing precipitation, wind, and debris from entering the flue, but it also keeps animals out all year-round.

  • Chimney Caps – Every flue need a cap. The metal mesh prevents small animals and debris from falling into the flue opening. It is topped with a metal roof, which helps water fall off and onto the chimney crown below. Many homeowners choose caps to match their home in style. You can find copper and stainless steel caps, which are durable and efficient.
  • Top Mount Dampers – They are often called energy saving dampers, and they are installed at the top of the chimney instead of the throat. They are more efficient than throat dampers, since they can double as a cap when open, and provide an airtight seal when closed. When the fireplace isn’t in use, the damper can be closed to save you up to three times in utility bill. Heated air and conditioned air won’t be able to escape. They also look just like a cap, and they are just as stylish and durable as a cap too!

Let Magic Sweep Handle Your Install

With help our experts at Magic Sweep, you can have a new cap or damper installed in no time, and according to code. We only install the best caps and dampers on the market, and we provide the best services to the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area. Call 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online today.

Wood, Pellet, and Gas Stoves

Now is the time to think about heating your home with fire. Fall is nearly past, and you’ve undoubtedly seen your utility bill go up as you’ve been heating your home. Here in and around Chesapeake, we’ve seen cool weather sooner than usual, and homeowners are scratching their heads at all the options available. We don’t like to see our friends and neighbors running thermostats low to save money, and we don’t like to see unsafe appliance installations. Let us install a beautiful and efficient stove that will help heat your home, will keep working for you for years to come, and will bring new life into your home.

The Benefits of Stovesstove

We are not talking about kitchen stoves. No, we’re talking about heat machines installed right into your living space. A quality stove, regardless of fuel type, will generate enough heat for zone heating, supplemental heat during a power outage, or may even become your new primary heating source.
Location!
We can install a stove anywhere that a flue can be piped up. Using refractory materials that are stylish and compliment your stove design and home interior, we can even install in a corner safely. No matter the size of your space, we can find a product that fits, and a product that works.
Variety
There are a variety of products that we sell, install, and service. When you choose a stove, you can choose any size, any location, and any style. Many new homes look great with a sleek and contemporary model, while others may opt for a rustic and traditional look.
Fuel Type
At Magic Sweep, we sell wood, pellet, and gas stoves. Each has their own benefits and uses, and many homeowners have their preferences. Not sure what you want? Let the professionals help you out!

Gas Stoves

Easily the most convenient option for stoves and all other fire appliances is gas. Gas burns cleanly, keeps your home clean (with no ash, very little smoke and soot, and no creosote), is eco-friendly, and low maintenance. Many gas appliances have a push-button or easy light, precise temperature control, and immediate off features, and none of the issues a gas fireplace will give you. This means you only use the fuel you need to get the warmth you need with no damage to your home. Many believe gas units are safer than others. With new advances in technology and production, all fuel types can benefit from the same safety features.

Pellet Stoves

Pellets are the second-runner-up for efficiency. Since pellets are manufactured from wood byproducts, they’re eco-friendly and burn cleanly. They also allow for burning of a variety of other biofuels, including 100% corn, sunflower seeds, and wheat. This allows you to choose what is best for your area and then enjoy the fire! Pellet stoves feature a hopper that feeds the fire consistently for a steady temperature and flame. Most models also have a push-button ignition as well.

Wood Stoves

Still, a very popular option is the wood stove–especially for homeowners with land and forest to cut from. It offers high heat and unrivaled ambiance. The only drawback to wood stoves is that you can ONLY burn properly seasoned firewood in a wood stove. Do not attempt to burn trash, clothes, or alternative fuels in your unit.

Contact a fire expert at Magic Sweep today to find your new stove today!

We Service and Install Gas Appliances

One of the most popular calls we get this time of year is for new fireplace installations. When a homeowner calls on us for a fireplace, they often don’t even know what it is that they want or what kinds of possibilities exist. When you want a fireplace and you call the professionals, the possibilities are almost endless.

It’s our job and pleasure to help these customers get the best products and best services possible. That’s why we recommend gas appliances. They offer the most versatility in design, size, style, are safest, easy to use, and simple to install. Gas is the best option for homeowners looking to add a fireplace, for those looking to upgrade, and even those who wish to raise property value before a sale or refinance. Gas appliances will do just that. It’s important to hire a professional for gas appliance installation to avoid complications later.

Why Choose GasWe can service and install gas appliances for you this holiday season

Gas appliances are a fast growing favorite among homeowners, contractors, and even apartment managers and hotels. There are several reasons gas is so popular:

Location:

You can install gas anywhere. A professional can build a fireplace anywhere and install gas logs. Gas stoves and inserts can be installed inside an existing fireplace or in a home where no fireplace or chimney has ever existed. The variety of sizes and styles will allow for a gas fireplace in a wall, a stove in a tight corner, or a log set in an old, rundown fireplace.

Convenience:

Gas appliances are mess-free with minimal to no soot or creosote. They are work-free, with no cutting, hauling, or lighting firewood. In fact, gas is so convenient to use, yours may light by match or even from your sofa with a remote. Depending on the model, gas appliances also have precise temperature control and the ability to extinguish the fire immediately.

Affordable and Eco friendly

Not only are gas appliances friendly on the wallet, but they’re also environmentally friendly. Gas is the cleanest burning fuel, is the most efficient, and requires the least maintenance.

Will you still need scheduled maintenance? Yes. Most warranties require professional services, and your homeowner’s insurance may as well. When you buy and have your appliance installed by Magic Sweep, you can rest assured that your fireplace is in our care from the moment it’s installed. It will be installed in compliance with federal, state, and local safety codes, and it will be backed by years of experience and NFI training.

We clean, repair, and inspect gas appliances, and we do it year-round. We service gas appliances no matter where they are, no matter who installed them, and even work with realtors and property managers to service between tenants or to prepare for a sale.

With more than 30 years of experience, there’s really no reason not to call Magic Sweep. Call 757-523-2400 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.