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Magic Sweep Blog

Let Us Address Your Chimney Repairs

If you are a responsible homeowner, and periodically look over your home’s interior and exterior, you might notice some issues with your chimney. It may have some loose flashing, a damaged cap, or even cracks and stains in the masonry. These problems can occur over time, even in a well-constructed masonry chimney. The best thing you can do is schedule professional services to resolve them. The worst thing you can do? Try to do it yourself.

Saving Money Costs MoneyLet Us Address Chimney Repairs

The most common reason that homeowners attempt to D-I-Y home repairs is to save money. In an attempt to do so, the cheapest parts are often bought (and if they aren’t cheap enough in-store, they’re ordered online). This means you save money on parts, but you’re installing parts that are made out of the cheapest materials, and at the fastest rate possible. The reason that parts are cheap is that they were cheap for the manufacturer! Furthermore, ordering parts online is the best way to ensure that the products do not comply with your federal, state, and local fire safety code regulations.

Did You Know…

  • new mortar will weaken your masonry if it doesn’t match the old mortar in consistency and strength exactly? It also needs to match in color for the sake of your property value and curb appeal.
  • your flashing should be installed specifically for the material and slant of your roof, no nails should be exposed, and no sealant should be placed on the flashing? In fact, flashing is one of the most difficult installations in the industry!
  • sealants, water repellents, and cleaning agents that you buy in the home improvement store are cheap copycats of real quality products that are especially made for working on your chimney without damaging it or becoming a danger to your home or family? Many products in the stores are sealants and repellents designed for other things and transitioned into use for chimneys in order to make a buck but only cause harm to the chimney system.
  • your homeowners’ insurance will not honor chimney repairs or maintenance that is done by the homeowner or an uncertified contractor? CSIA is the industry standard recognized by fire protection professionals, legal professionals, insurance companies, and more.
  • Magic Sweep, Corp. is licensed, and certified for chimney maintenance, and the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in the Hampton Roads area.

We Service and Repair Year-Round

You can call and schedule with Magic Sweep year-round. A certified technician is always a phone call away, whether you suspect interior damage from an animal infestation, if a storm has dislodged exterior parts, or if your masonry is badly damaged from water penetration. No matter the problem, we have a solution, and the training, experience, and materials to back it up.

We specialize in:

  • Fireplace and chimney sweeps and inspections
  • Fireplace and chimney repairs
  • Chimney Relining
  • Chimney caps and dampers (repair, replacement, and installations)
  • Routines services and installations of appliances and parts

If you haven’t had your chimney swept or inspected in the last year, call today, and schedule with Magic Sweep. If you suspect a problem with your system, give us a call, and we’ll send someone out to diagnose the problem right away. Our goal is comfort and safety for all our customers, friends, and neighbors. Start with us.

Call 757-523-2400.

Complete Your Masonry Work Before Winter Weather Hits

If your chimney has been inspected this summer and you need work done, you should not wait. Winter is coming, and with it will come the busy season, and cold weather!

Beat the Fall Rush

The time between October and January is considered the fall rush because chimney sweep companies are busy during this time. It can be difficult to get an appointment during the fall rush because many chimney sweeps are busy with emergency calls at this time. If you wait until the fall rush to schedule your masonry work, your job might take much longer than it should, simply because the appointment time is just not available. Schedule early and avoid any delays.

Beat the Winter Weather

When the weather begins to cool, homeowners want to light those fires, whether for aesthetics or for warmth. Lighting a fire in a damaged chimney is a recipe for disaster, though, and can lead to a house fire as well as carbon monoxide poisoning and more. Get your masonry repairs completed before cold weather hits, and avoid even the temptation of lighting an unsafe fire. Just don’t do it. Do not put your family or property at risk. It is always best to get chimney damage repaired as soon as possible, no matter what season it is. Damaged masonry can lead to big problems year-round.

Water Damage and Winter Damage

Water damage is one thing, but when you allow your damaged chimney to take on water during cold weather, your problems will multiply. Water will work its way into your damaged masonry, then freeze and expand, causing more damage before it melts, and repeats the process over again. This freeze/thaw effect is the #1 cause of winter damage. Get the masonry work done now and avoid the damaging effect of water on your masonry this winter.

Don’t Be Left in the Cold

When you hire a certified chimney sweep to complete chimney work, they will require you to discontinue chimney use before the appointment. For instance, Magic Sweep requires that a fireplace and chimney be cold when our technician comes for a scheduled service–preferably no fire for 24 hours prior. Depending on how much work you need to be done, and how much you depend on your fireplace for heat, you may be in for a couple of cold nights or tempted to use a fireplace that is dangerous. This is dangerous and not recommended.

Magic Sweep knows the importance of chimney safety, and puts customer safety and comfort above all else. That is why we offer comprehensive chimney services year-round. Let us repair your masonry before winter, and we can help you prevent winter damage too. Call 757-523-2400 or come by!

Masonry Waterproofing Tips

Chimneys are traditionally built from masonry. This is because well-constructed and maintained masonry can withstand the test of time. It is also ideal for chimneys because of it’s porous properties. These allow vapors, heat, and smoke to escape easily. However, the very materials that make it so ideal for a chimney, also make it susceptible to damage caused by weather. It’s vital to keep up with maintenance appointments and preventative care for your masonry chimney! Doing so will keep your chimney efficient, safe, and long-lasting.

Schedule Annual Inspections

The annual chimney inspection is the only time a certified professional may see your chimney system. This is the time when a chimney sweep will get up close and personal with your masonry, noting inconsistencies, cracks, flaking, and more. The inspection includes all accessible portions of the system. This include the fireplace, chimney, crown, and cap – vital parts of the chimney system that protect it from water damage.

Schedule Repairs as Soon as Possible

Do you notice a problem with your masonry? Discoloration, spalling, cracking, or any significant change in the masonry means you should contact a certified professional! After a diagnostic appointment, he should be able to make a recommendation which may include masonry repairs. If your chimney needs repairs, get them scheduled as soon as possible. Now is the time to make these repairs. The masonry may not be susceptible to water penetration through the upcoming winter months.

Waterproofing Services

After your masonry is built, repaired, or cleaned, you can add even more protection by applying a waterproofing sealant. We recommend it as a regular preventative method that can keep your chimney working properly for longer, despite harsh winters and wet springs. This specially designed sealant is vapor-permeable. The vapors and smoke still escape, but water molecules are unable to get in. A similar product can be applied to the chimney crown to repair cracks and deterioration there, as well.

Visually Inspect the Cap and Flashing

In between your chimney sweeps and annual inspection, you can visually inspect your own chimney components. For instance, your chimney cap should be secured to the top of your chimney flue. If it is crooked or missing, you need to call and have a new one installed. Chimney caps protects the interior of the chimney from water damage. The flashing protects the outside of the chimney, specifically the intersection of the roof and chimney. If you can no longer see flashing where you once did, or if you have a leak in another area in your home, the area around the base of your chimney is most likely leaking!

A masonry chimney is not built and then forgotten. It works every day through the burn season, so it needs periodic attention and preventative maintenance. The best thing you can do for your masonry chimney is to have it waterproofed. At Magic Sweep, we offer these services and more! You can find out what we can do for your masonry chimney by calling 757-523-2400 or using our online scheduling tool.