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Magic Sweep Blog

Learn More About Our Associations and Awards

When searching for a mechanic for your car, you often seek out the one that is 1) covered by insurance 2) trained in your brand of car, and 3) someone with good reviews. It almost never depends on the cost, because when you’re talking about your safety on the road and the longevity of your car, consumers are willing to pay for better work. Today’s access to the internet makes it nearly Chimney Safety Institute of America logoimpossible to make blind decisions about who you will pay to do a service. We know we work in a competitive market, that local handymen and amateurs are offering the same services that are on our website. Magic Sweep has made excellence a top priority for over 35 years, and it shows.

Certifications and Continued Educations

Our team at Magic Sweep is the best in the area and has well over 100,000 homes under its belt. We work for our community here in Hampton Roads/Tidewater. To continue being the best our members are CSIA certified, meaning they are classroom and field training, tested in both chimney science and fire safety code, and recertify every three years through testing or continuing education courses. In addition to being certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), we are also members of various industry organizations.

Organizations To Note

As members of trades organizations, we gain valued resources as well as the support of the chimney community as a whole. Among these professionals chimney safety and advancement is at the forefront of the conversation. We are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, The Virginia Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Besides chimney service organizations, we are also members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. With the support of our team and the entire community of tradesmen, we are more capable of keeping up with this changing industry and keeping our customers safe in the process.

Awards of Excellence

It’s the goal of every small business in America to get an A+ from the Better Business Bureau and if you search for Magic Sweep, that’s exactly what you’ll find. In addition to our BBB rating, we are proud to have earned the Super Service Award in 2011, 2012, and 2017 from Angie’s List. These awards are satisfying because unlike the BBB, Angie’s List ratings are based solely on customer feedback and work performed. Since we hope to be the best, we’re glad our customers and community can see that through these types of consumer websites.

Magic Sweep in Chesapeake, Virginia

If you reside in our service area and own or manage a property with a dryer vent, chimney or fireplace, we can service it now. Our team works to be prompt, convenient, and professional at every single appointment and trained and experienced in our trade. When you choose Magic Sweep, you choose your neighbors because we live and work right here in the Tidewater area. Contact a Magic Sweep professional now to schedule your service.

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!

Chimney Sweeps Over Time

The Long And Storied History Of The Chimney Sweep

Many of us likely first became aware of the chimney sweep watching Mary Poppins, as Bert the sweep danced on rooftops, his face spotted with soot. That image, of course, is quite different from the sweeps of today — professional technicians, like the ones at Magic Sweep, employ high-tech video scanners and specially designed vacuums to inspect and sweep chimneys thoroughly, efficiently and cleanly.

But one thing is true about the image Mary Poppins portrayed: You can indeed trace the history of the chimney sweep back to coal-heated days in Europe — though it’s much further than Mary Poppins’ time in the early 1900s. As far back as the 16th century, as fireplaces became a key home heating source, chimney sweeps were employed to remove soot and deposits to help homeowners avoid chimney fires.

The profession has evolved to increase safety for the sweeps and performance for your chimney.

The profession has evolved to increase safety for the sweeps and performance for your chimney.

Busy But Dark Days In Chimney Sweeping History

When coal became more prevalent as a heating source in the 17th century, chimney sweeps became far busier and more popular. Coal residue would build up considerably in flues of the day, leading to fires and dangerous gases that billowed from the chimney into the air in a home. It quickly became clear that the chimney sweep’s trade was key to a safer home and cleaner air.

That period was also a dark one for our business, as it was very common for boys as young as six or seven to be pushed into chimney sweeping work. Many were orphans, and all were working in dangerous conditions, climbing up inside tight and winding, soot-covered chimneys to scrape and brush deposits off by hand. Since health and safety precautions weren’t considered properly, illness — even death — often followed, as those boys breathed sooty air without a ventilator and climbed inside unsafe, unstable structures. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that the practice of using young boys to sweep chimneys was halted. Around that time, chimney sweeping moved forward with the development of long, flexible sweeping brushes by Londoner Joseph Glass (his designs inform the tools chimney sweeps use even to this day).

Fuel Changes Bring Sweeping Changes

The need for chimney sweeps’ work fell out of many home- and business owners’ minds around the 1960s, as gas heating became more popular, since gas doesn’t produce the dangerous creosote deposits that come with burning wood. Things changed again, though, in the ’70s, as gas prices shot up and wood came back in favor. The value of the chimney sweep’s work quickly came into focus again, as flues that hadn’t been tended to in years started being used again, and chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks followed.

The CSIA Guides Chimney Sweeps Toward More Consistent Work

For many years, a chimney sweep’s approach to the trade was largely up to their own discretion, which led to highly varied results, and highly varied levels of professionalism. The Chimney Safety Institute of America came into play in the 1980s, and their work toward guiding the chimney industry’s practices toward minimizing fires and other hazards made a huge difference. With techniques and practices outlined and coordinated and sweeps educated by the CSIA, homeowners enjoy consistent work, better service and more peace of mind when they hire CSIA-certified technicians.

Magic Sweep technicians undergo the education and testing required to be certified by the CSIA (and we’re members of various industry organizations, including the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the Virginia Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals and National Fire Protection Association), so when you call us, you know you’re getting industry-leading work and tradespeople who know their trade — even its history.

We don’t just sweep chimneys, either — whatever your chimney system needs might be, from sales and installations to repairs, we can help. Just give Magic Sweep a call!