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Magic Sweep Blog

Spring Cleaning Means Cleaning Your Dryer Vent Too!

When the weather turns warm is when homeowners start decluttering their homes and tending to their properties before summer is in full spring. This year, don’t just focus on packing away seasonal clothes and clearing away winter debris from the yard. While you’re completing your spring cleaning to-do list, don’t forget the dryer vent too!

Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported each year, resulting in five deaths, 100 injuries, and approximately $35 million in property loss. A great deal of these fires (34 percent) are preventable because they are directly caused by dirty vent and dryer appliances. These fires happen most often during the fall and winter months, but can be prevented when you have the dryer vents serviced annually.

Dryer Safety

Dryer vent fires are so prevalent in modern society and result in lost lives and property loss that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has started the C-DET program. CSIA Certified Exhaust Technicians are trained in the classroom and in the field to install, clean, and maintain dryer vents so that they are safe and functional. It’s our goal at Magic Sweep to offer dryer vent and chimney services that continue to keep those in our community safe month after month, and year after year. A clean dryer can prevent a devastating fire that destroys property, creates health problems, and even results in death. Not only will regular dryer maintenance keep your dryer safer, but it will also work better in the long run.

Save Money with a Clean Dryer Vent

When a clothes dryer is manufactured, it is designed to last up to 10 years. This is unfortunately not the case in most American homes. In fact, clothes dryers often only last half that amount of time before homeowners need to replace them or have them repaired. So, what is the problem?

  • Professional Installation – Your clothes dryer should be professionally installed, including dryer vent installation. The delivery people from the store do not install the appliance. Their job is delivery and setup. In order to have the dryer professionally installed, up to code, and safe for use, you should call a C-DET professional.
  • Proper Use – Read your owner’s manual so that you understand the proper installation and maintenance standards required for your unit. You may have a warranty that requires certain services. Your owner’s manual should also explain how to empty the lint trap, clean the unit, and more. Are you sure you’re using your clothes dryer correctly? If you’re using more than one cycle to dry a moderate-sized load of clothes, you aren’t using it properly. Not only is this improper use of the dryer, but it indicates a problem with the system.
  • Professional Cleaning and Maintenance – Your clothes dryer should dry a load in one cycle. If it doesn’t, the dryer vent is likely clogged and in danger of causing a fire. Not only is it a serious fire hazard, but it also costs you money! Using your dryer two or three times more than should be necessary can shorten its lifespan and potentially double or triple your electricity costs.

Don’t hesitate to schedule dryer vent maintenance. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400. Do you have rental properties to service? We’ll handle that too!

Check Out Our Homeowner’s Guide

It’s no secret homeowners love fires—fireplaces, stoves, inserts, even fire pits, and grills outside. You may have chosen a fireplace, or you may have recently purchased a home with one. Regardless, it’s important to know and understand what you’re getting into. A fire appliance can offer many benefits, but you can avoid potential drawbacks when you know your system inside and out. In this world of fast-paced living, web-surfing, and blogrolls, it may be hard to sit down and read a manual or user guide. We have the perfect Homeowner’s Guide —a fantastic resource for any homeowner, any appliance, any climate.

It’s a lot of information—so here are some important points:

1. Getting Started

You won’t have your dream fireplace all at once, but when you start with the professionals, you can have a safe and beautiful hearth that will last and add comfort and value to your home. Browse our showroom and catalog to find the best product. Schedule a professional installation and then make sure you have all the information about your appliance (including user guides and warranty information).

2. Fuel Type

Your fireplace or appliance will only burn a certain type of fuel. Wood stoves, fireplaces, and inserts should only burn properly seasoned firewood. Gas appliances will only burn gas, and pellet appliances will only burn pellets. It’s not only the appliance, but your flue liner may also be equipped with only one fuel type. You cannot use a clay tile liner for a gas appliance. A stainless-steel liner works for all fuel types, is long-lasting, and leaves your options wide open.

3. Building a Fire

If you’re using wood, you will be building fires regularly, and there are a couple ways to build an efficient one. A popular fire-building technique among professionals is the top-down burn, in which the large fuel is on the bottom, and decreases in size until kindling and shavings are laid on top. Traditional fire-building also works well if you have adequate airflow.

4. How the Chimney Works

You may read the user guide for your specific appliance, but you will still need to understand the chimney system and how it works. Even if you have a decent fire built, if it doesn’t have enough oxygen feeding it, it will not burn. If the chimney is cold, it can be difficult to light a fire. If a cap is missing and the air is blowing in, it can also make it difficult. It’s also important to know how to troubleshoot chimney problems for yourself, before calling in the professionals.

5. Professional Services

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine maintenance for the safest and most efficient chimney system. Magic Sweep offers inspections and sweeps year-round, as well as a variety of installations and repairs.

We want you to feel comfortable with your fire appliance and chimney system. Magic Sweep is the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area. If our Homeowner’s Guide doesn’t have an answer for you, our chimney and fireplace experts will.

Call today at 757-523-2400!

Does Magic Sweep Serve All of Virginia?

Chimneys are an important part of every household that has a fireplace. In Chesapeake, Virginia, wood heat has a long history that reaches back to the colonial period. If you’re a homeowner in the area, and you have an older home, you probably have a traditional open fireplace that needs routine attention in order to work safely and efficiently. If your house is equipped with a new gas appliance, it still needs to be inspected annually in order to prevent issues and hazards. While you’re living your life—enjoying your summers, preparing for winter and holidays, spring cleaning, and more—the last thing you want to worry about is the safety and function of your chimney system. Find a professional that is licensed, insured, and certified to clean, repair, and inspect chimneys in the area.

Magic Sweep Corporation Serves Greater Chesapeake

You can call Magic Sweep if you live in the Chesapeake, Virginia area and need services year-round. Magic Sweep serves Virginia zip codes including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, Poquoson, Isle of Wight, and Franklin; and North Carolina zip codes including Currituck County, Aydlett, Barco, Coinjock, Corolla, Currituck, Grandy, Harbinger, Jarvisburg, Knotts Island, Maple, Moyock, Point Harbor, Poplar Branch, Powells Point, and Shawboro.

Are you unsure whether or not Magic Sweep is servicing your area? If you live in one of the following zip codes, you can call now and schedule your appointment:
23320, 23321, 23322, 23323, 23324, 23325, 23326, 23327, 23328, 23450, 23451, 23452, 23453, 23454, 23455, 23456, 23457, 23458, 23459, 23460, 23461, 23462, 23463, 23464, 23465, 23466, 23467, 23471, 23479, 23501, 23502, 23503, 23504, 23505, 23506, 23507, 23508, 23509, 23510, 23511, 23513, 23514, 23515, 23517, 23518, 23519, 23520, 23521, 23523, 23529, 23541, 2355, 23701, 23702, 23703, 23704, 23705, 23707, 23708, 23709, 23432, 23433, 23434, 23435, 23436, 23437, 23438, 23439, 23630, 23631, 23633, 23634, 23635, 23636, 23637, 23638,23651, 23639, 23661, 23662, 23663, 23664, 23665, 23666, 23667, 23668, 23669, 23670, 2368, 23601, 23602, 23603, 23605, 23606, 23607, 23608, 23609, 23612, 23628, 23690, 23691, 23692, 23693, 23662, 23397, 23851, 27916, 27917, 27923, 27927, 27929, 27939, 27941, 27947, 27950, 27956, 27958, 27964, 27965, 27966, 27973.

Magic Sweep is the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in all of our service areas. Our sweeps are certified, experienced, and know the fire safety standards of our communities. If you need chimney maintenance and you don’t see your zip code on our list, we may be able to work it out, or we can find a professional in the area that can help.

Magic Sweep is CSIA certified and you can schedule services now. Call and speak with a chimney expert at 757-523-2400 today, or schedule online now.

The Importance of Air Duct Cleaning

The new year has begun and it’s time to think about home maintenance in 2018. Many homeowners wait until spring to complete an extensive list of spring cleaning, but this may be a mistake when it comes to dryer vent maintenance. There are nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires reported each year. They account for an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Failure to clean the dryer vent is the leading cause of clothes dryer fires. When do they happen? The highest number of clothes dryer fires occur in January, and they occur overnight when families are asleep. Fires are more dangerous when they occur during the night. Fortunately, dryer vent fires are preventable, and there are signs of warning before it may occur.

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

  • Your dryer takes more than one cycle to dry a moderately-sized load
  • Your dryer is hot to the touch and puts heat into your house
  • Your clothes are hot (not warm) when you take them out of the dryer
  • Condensation collects on surfaces and walls in your laundry room
  • Your vent hood doesn’t flap open freely the way it should
  • You notice a burning smell while the dryer is running
  • Your dryer vent wasn’t professionally installed
  • Your dryer vent hasn’t been cleaned in the last 12 months

All of these occurrences mean your dryer vent needs a professional service in order to prevent fire and property loss, save you money on utilities, repairs, and new appliances.

When you choose Magic Sweep to clean your dryer vent, you can rest assured that your dryer will work properly and efficiently—and last. Your dryer should last ten years, but when it takes 2-3 cycles to dry one load, it shortens the life of the appliance by 2-3 times! It also costs 2-3 times more than it should in electricity. The more your dryer is used, the faster the heating element will wear out, requiring repairs. If you have recurring dryer vent clogs, you may have an issue with the vent itself. If it wasn’t professionally installed, it is likely installed incorrectly.

Seven Facts About Dryer Safety that You May Not Know

  1. Dryer ducts should be 4 inches minimum
  2. Dryer ducts should not exceed 25 feet (90-degree turns are equivalent to 5 feet in length)
  3. Dryer vents should be independent of other household systems and terminate outdoors, not into chimneys, crawlspaces, or attics
  4. The dryer vent hood should prevent backdraft
  5. Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and exhaust duct
  6. Flexible transition ducts should never be used in an attic, crawlspace, or inside a wall
  7. Dryer vents should be installed by a professional to maintain warranties and to stay within municipal safety codes

If your dryer vent was not installed by a professional, it’s time to schedule a cleaning. If your dryer vent hasn’t been serviced in the last 12 months, it’s time to schedule a cleaning. Even if your dryer is working correctly presently, it needs to be cleaned annually to maintain performance and safety.

Call Magic Sweep

Magic Sweep doesn’t only clean chimneys. We’ll sweep your dryer vent clean without affecting your home, and you’ll be glad you called. Contact a dryer vent technician now by calling Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400.

Check Out Our Fireplace Store

At Magic Sweep, we put our customer safety and comfort first. We offer the best services for comprehensive chimney care in the field, and the best products in our fireplace store. You can visit our showroom at 938 Providence Road in Chesapeake, Virginia. You can speak to a fireplace expert and get a professional involved from start to finish. View our top-of-the-line products in action and browse the many types of styles, faces, and fuel types.

Our Featured Products

At the Magic Sweep showroom you can expect to find fireplaces, inserts, stoves, gas logs, hearth tools and accessories, and mantels, marble, and stone masonry. We offer various styles, fuel types, and brands so that our customers leave with the fireplace of their dreams. Whether you’re choosing your first fireplace, arranging for a construction for a new home or remodel, or upgrading, we have what you’re looking for.

Fireplace Facelift

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a new fireplace when you’re tired of the old one. Whether you’re tired of the way the old one looks, or you want to raise the efficiency of the system, we have an option for you, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

An insert can bring up the efficiency of any open fireplace. The unit is retrofitted into the existing fire box and works like a stove. Inserts can revitalize the look of your fireplace, can be customized with styles ranging from contemporary to rustic/traditional and everything in between.

If you don’t want to invest in a new appliance to upgrade your fireplace, you can spruce it up with a new mantel or custom masonry work. Thumb through ideas at our showroom and discuss with an expert. Our masons are experienced working with marble, brick, and stone.

We Service Rentals and Listings

An insert or gas log set can be a great way to add value to the home for sale or rent. We are happy to service Realtor and Property Manager clients. We offer discounts and billing for services, and will even pick up and return keys for a nominal fee. Not sure what type of fireplace will enhance your property? Stop by our store to speak with a professional. Bring photos of the apartment or house with you, or schedule a consultation at the property.

We love to match homeowners with the fireplace of their dreams in and around the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area, putting our customers first, and making safety our first priority. We don’t only sell the best products, but we offer the best comprehensive chimney services, repairs, and installations. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2130 to schedule your appointment.