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Some questions we are commonly asked

Do you carry liability insurance?

Yes. We carry full liability insurance as well as complete Workers Compensation Board coverage.

Are you safe?

Absolutely. Safety is our number one priority.

Do you subcontract your work?

No, all of our work is done by our own WETT certified staff.

Do you need to enter the home to clean a chimney?

Yes. In order to properly clean your chimney we need to access the firebox and lower portions of your flue. The only way to do this is from inside the house.

Do I need to be home for a chimney cleaning?

In most cases yes. Again, to properly clean your chimney we require access to the firebox from inside the home. Our policy is to always have the homeowner or their representative present when the work is being performed.

Should the fireplace or woodstove be off?

Yes please. The fireplace or woodstove should be completely extinguished for at least 24 hours prior to our arrival. Your flue and lining can retain heat for quite some time making it difficult and even dangerous for us to clean.

How often should my woodstove or fireplace flue be cleaned?

The Inusrance Bureau of Canada requires that chimneys be cleaned and inspected at least once a year, however if you are a very frequent user then every spring and fall is highly recommended.

I burn Chimney Sweeping Logs - isn't that enough?

No. In fact, CBC's Market Place recently did a study on these logs as well as similar products and found little or no benefit in using them. The only way to ensure your chimney is safe is to have it mechanically cleaned and inspected by a WETT certified technician.

Are your technicians WETT certified?

Yes. Our technicians are WETT certified. To learn more about our WETT certification and why it is important to you click here.

Doesn't my burner service company clean the flue?

No. Burner service companies only clean the burner section of your furnace and occasionally the sections of your flue which are within easy reach. They are not chimney sweeps.

Is there a mess when you're done?

No. Our staff are extremely conscientious and take great care to ensure your home is not affected in any way.

Do you do chimney repairs?

Yes, we have a fully qualified team of masons on staff. It is a large component of our business.

Can you do masonry repairs in the winter months?

Although some companies do masonry work during the winter months, Black Magik does not. The number one consideration for us is the quality of the finished product. In Nova Scotia's brutal freeze/thaw zone, masonry simply isn't able to cure properly during these months - resulting in an inferior product which will not stand the test of time.

Why does my fireplace smoke?

That's a difficult question to answer without a thorough inspection, however there are typically three good suspects.

Number one is an improperly constructed or situated fireplace or woodstove. Fireplaces and woodstoves need to be carefully constructed and situated in a manner that will allow for proper operation. There are numerous technical considerations to take into account such as chimney and roof height, flue to firebox ratio, negative pressure zones, etc. to ensure that everything works properly. For instance, did you know that basements or lower levels are generally not good areas for woodstove placement?

The second is a potential blockage in the chimney or a faulty damper control mechanism. The most common type of blockage is thick and dangerous creosote build-up. Have it inspected and if necessary cleaned!

The third is fireplace technique. By that we mean what and how you are burning. Green or unseasoned wood will not burn properly and will produce exponentially more smoke than properly dried fuels. Did you know that how you light your fire can also affect how much smoke is produced?

Does my chimney need a raincap?

Yes. As the name implies, raincaps are primarily designed to prevent rain from entering the chimney, causing damper and firebox rust which can lead to expensive repairs. But they can also prevent unwanted birds, squirrels, raccoons or other animals from entering the chimney to nest. They can also help to discourage downdrafts.

 

 
 
 

INSPECT AND CLEAN YOUR CHIMNEY REGULARLY

Canadian insurance companies require homeowners to maintain the safety of their chimneys and have them inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Your chimney could have a problem you cannot see. If in doubt, consult a WETT certified chimney sweep.

CHECK STOVEPIPES AND CONNECTIONS

Ensure screws are located at every joint. Also look for leaching (dark staining or white powder) at ever joint. This could be a sign of chimney trouble - consult a WETT certified chimney sweep.

CHECK FOR CREOSOTE

Creosote can form quickly and is a major cause of chimney fires. Check chimney and flue pipes often and clean when necessary - never let creosote or soot build up.

CHECK WALLS FOR EXCESSIVE HEAT

If the wall is very hot, it could be a sign of improper installation of the chimney or stove pipe. Check with a WETT certified chimney sweep.

INSTALL A RAINCAP

A rain cap should be installed on top of all metal and masonry chimneys. If you have a spark screen around the chimney cap, inspect it regularly for blockage.

WATCH FOR SMOKE COMING IN THE ROOM

This could indicate a blockage in the chimney or a faulty damper control mechanism. Have it checked out!

PROTECT FLOORS AND WALLS FROM HEAT & SPARKS

Keep combustibles safely away from your appliance. Always use a properly fitting screen for your fireplace.

REGULARLY CHECK FOR SIGNS OF PROBLEMS

Your heating appliance, flue pipes and chimney can deteriorate over time. Look for corrosion or rust stains on the outer shell of a metal chimney and check for bulges or corrosion in its liner.

 

Loose bricks, crumbling mortar, broken liners, dark stains or white powder indicate problems with masonry chimneys. These should be fixed immediately by a qualified mason.

 
 
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