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Magic Sweep Blog

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.

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.

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!

Level 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.

The Differences Between a Home Inspection and a Chimney Inspection

Buying a home involves many steps, and one of the most important steps is the home inspection process. The majority of residential real estate contracts hinge upon the results of the professional inspection of the house. As a buyer, you need to know everything about the mechanics of the home you wish to purchase before the deal is made. If the perfect home you found has a fireplace, Magic Sweep strongly recommends that you also have a chimney inspection to guarantee the fireplace and chimney system functions both properly and safely. We are often asked about the differences between a home inspection and a chimney inspection, and we would like to explain to you why you need to have the fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Home Inspections vs Chimney Inspections - Chesapeake VA

What sort of requirements do home inspectors follow in their inspections?

As stated by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a home inspector is there to perform a visual inspection and deliver a written report of the condition of a residential property for the buyer and the seller. Generally, the home inspector will examine the plumbing and electrical systems, the heating and cooling system, and the foundation of the home. As part of its professional services, ASHI developed a Standards of Practice to establish uniform guidelines for home inspectors to follow. The majority of homebuyers are often surprised to learn that these Standards of Practice actually declare that home inspectors are NOT required to inspect the interior of flues and chimneys. Respectable home inspectors should state in their reports that a certified chimney professional should clean and inspect the fireplace and chimney system.

What happens during a professional chimney inspection?

Established by The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) in 2000, there are three distinctive levels of chimney inspections, and the details of these levels can be found within the code NFPA 211, the Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances. Each level of chimney inspection was developed for specific situations. The most basic of these chimney inspections, the Level 1, consists of a visual examination of the areas of your chimney that can be easily accessed by the certified chimney sweeps from Magic Sweep. Our technicians will look for potential problems, such as large deposits of creosote accumulation and blockages of debris and soot, that could cause your chimney to not work properly and safely. Homebuyers will experience a Level 2 inspection, which involves a bit more detail that the basic Level 1. The NFPA requires a Level 2 inspection of the fireplace and chimney system of homes being purchased. This level of chimney inspection involves everything in the basic Level 1 but also includes our technicians utilizing special tools like a closed circuit camera. We will also take a look at the areas surrounding your fireplace and chimney, such as your roof, attic, and crawl space.

What is involved with a Level 3 chimney inspection?

When a home has experienced a chimney fire, it is required by the NFPA to have a Level 3 inspection performed. If you are unsure of the history of the home, the certified chimney sweeps at Magic Sweep can tell if the chimney has had a fire during the Level 2 inspection. Because it may require the tearing down and rebuilding of chimney walls to look for damage and other problems, a Level 3 inspection can be much more complicated and detailed. Keep in mind that safety issues are the top priority when it comes to chimney inspections.

If you are buying a new home with a fireplace, talk to Magic Sweep to schedule a professional chimney inspection to be sure the chimney and venting system works properly and safely.