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Magic Sweep Blog

Make Your Fall Chimney Inspection Appointments Now

You can avoid the fall rush by scheduling your chimney appointments now. The fall rush is the time which chimney sweep companies are especially busy; emergency calls, installations, and repairs are overflowing! Routine maintenance like chimney sweeps and inspections should be taken care of before burn season.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Magic Sweep remains Hampton Road’s #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care. Why? We put customer safety and comfort first! Offering a full menu of affordable chimney services to better serve our customers year-round – so that you aren’t left in the cold this fall and winter. Your chimney inspection is best completed now, so that your sweep has time to make repairs if necessary. Your chimney sweep and inspection may be the only time your chimney system is seen by a professional. In addition, it may save you money in the long run.

 

When You Need an Inspection

Not sure you need an inspection? If you haven’t scheduled one in the last year, you need to. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), routine sweeps and annual inspections keep your chimney system at its best. For a safe and efficient chimney system, you need a CSIA inspection annually, at the least. You may need more than that. Here are the levels of inspection:

  • 1: Annual inspection when nothing has changed with the system, and no changes are expected.
  • 2: Required inspection upon sale or transfer of property, following a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.), fire, or when a level 1 shows a concern.
  • 3: Is necessary when a level 1 and level 2 inspection indicates a serious hazard. The level 3 inspection explores hidden portions of the chimney system by the removal of building and chimney components.

Familiarize yourself with CSIA inspections! This is so that you may be aware if documentation is required by homeowners insurance, real estate professionals, or municipal authorities.

Scheduling Your Annual Inspection Now

Schedule before the fall rush! Why? You are also less likely to sustain winter damages to your chimney system. During your inspection, your chimney sweep will document any weaknesses of the system whatsoever. That means that a crack today, doesn’t have to be a chimney leak later. A dirty flue can be taken care of now, and a flue fire is avoided later. An inspection now, and you’re less likely to be shelling out cash for a big repair this spring. The chimney works efficiently and safely when it’s clean, with parts properly installed and functional.

Schedule your inspection now, and your chimney will be ready when you are. Fall festivities, holiday gatherings, and cold winter nights. Do you really you need to give it a second thought? Not when it’s been assessed by a certified chimney professional!

Call a Magic Sweep chimney expert today at 757-523-2400. Are you a realtor or property manager? Let us know, so all of your properties can avoid the fall rush as well.

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

You 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.

Zero In On Prevention

Keep A Focus On Family Fire Safety

At Magic Sweep, our goal is to help our clients enjoy their home heating appliances while minimizing fire hazards in every way we can.

Annual chimney inspections and regular chimney sweeping — as well as having any necessary repairs taken care of as soon as possible — go a long way toward keeping your chimney functional and efficient, and limiting the chances of a chimney fire.

Many homeowners don’t realize that clogged dryer vents can pose a big fire hazard, too, so having those vents cleaned routinely by experienced Magic Sweep technicians adds another layer of protection.

But beyond doing all that we can to help you and your family avoid a fire hazard, we also want our valued clients to feel armed and prepared to do everything they can do to increase their fire safety.

Regular and thorough maintenance is your biggest preventative measure when it comes to fire safety.

Regular and thorough maintenance is your biggest preventative measure when it comes to fire safety.

Smart Fireplace, Stove Or Insert Practices

As chimney sweeps, we talk a lot about creosote, and how dangerous and flammable it is when it builds up in your flue. So it logically follows that practices that encourage creosote build-up will increase the probability of a fire hazard.

You can minimize creosote build-up and limit the chances of a fire hazard overall with some smart burning practices.

– Always use seasoned (dry) wood. Green, moist wood results in a cooler fire, more smoke and more creosote. And never burn trash – some materials can give off toxic fumes, and others can create a fire hazard.

– Never use any kind of flammable liquid (gasoline, lighter fluid or anything else) as a firestarter.

– Open your flue all the way when you light your fire, so that it doesn’t smolder.

– Don’t overfill your firebox — build a small fire that has the air and space to burn hotter and more completely.

– Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving it alone.

– When you’re cleaning out ash and coals, make sure to use a metal bucket, allow ample cooling time, and put ample distance between those materials and your home (at least 10 feet) when you dispose of them.

– Keep the area around the appliance clear of debris or any other flammable materials, including knick-knacks and holiday decorations.

– Make sure a properly sized and installed chimney cap is on your chimney! Chimney caps keep out nesting animals and debris that can block your flue and ignite.

– Have a spark screen installed to keep embers from sparking out of the firebox

– Make sure branches and twigs of nearby trees aren’t in the direct line of your flue opening.

Be Aware And Be Prepared, Too

Smoke alarms are a must in every home, on every floor and near every sleeping area. According to the National Safety Council, two thirds of deaths related to home fires happened in homes without functioning smoke alarms.

Carbon monoxide detectors are hugely important as well — since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and can be deadly, a working carbon monoxide detector could save your life in the event of a leak. It’s recommended that you check smoke and CO detectors monthly, and change batteries every year. If you have kids, make sure they know what the alarms sound like, and what they mean.

You should also make sure that you have a home escape route planned, that your entire family is aware of it, and that you’ve practiced getting out of the house from every floor.

If you have any questions about fire safety and your heating appliance, Magic Sweep is always here to help. Just give us a call!