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Toronto 416-425-6864
Peel Region 905-454-3567
Oshawa/Whitby 905-432-9001
Ajax/Pickering 905-686-0226
Scarborough 416-287-9160
Richmond Hill 905-764-1275
Newmarket/Aurora 905-727-7536

Specialists in Chimney and Dryer Vent Maintenance

Our team of experienced technicians use the most up to date equipment and methods to ensure proper maintenance of your chimney and dryer venting. Call now to schedule your appointment!


Why is chimney cleaning necessary?
A dirty chimney can cause problems you might not be aware of. When wood, coal, oil, and artificial fire logs burn, they generate tars, creosotes, and other invisible by-products of incomplete combustion. These by-products rise up your chimney and condense onto the cool surface of the flue. No matter what wood you burn, or how conscientiously you burn it, creosote accumulates and the probability of chimney fires occurring increases. All it takes is the right amount of creosote, a simple spark and you've got a chimney fire of up to 3000�F, a blaze that may not only cause structural damage to your chimney, but could also destroy your home. That's why it's important to have a professional chimney sweep remove the creosote regularly.

What is creosote and why is it harmful?
Creosote is defined as "A colorless to yellowish oily liquid containing phenols and creosols, [�] obtained from coal tar and used as a wood preservative and disinfectant, [it is created by] the destructive distillation of wood tar, especially from the wood of a beech, and formerly used as an expectorant in treating chronic bronchitis. [�] It can cause severe neurological disturbances if inhaled in strong concentrations." Source

How often should I clean my chimney?
Cleaning frequency depends on a number of different factors including frequency of use, type of wood being burned, type of appliance being used and other influences. A general rule of thumb to follow is a chimney should be cleaned every 50 to 60 fires. This means an appliance being used 1 to 3 times per week during the winter months should be cleaned every year. Usage of 4 to 7 nights per week should be cleaned a minimum of twice per season. Air tight woodstoves require more frequent cleaning. It is important to note that the Ontario Fire Code requires homeowners to have their chimneys inspected every year.

What kind of mess will there be when I have my chimney cleaned?
If done properly by a professional chimney sweep, there should be absolutely no mess in your home. At Magic Touch, we use a precise cleaning procedure to ensure this. (See our step by step cleaning procedure on the Services Page.)

Does my furnace chimney need to be cleaned?
Oil furnace chimneys also have waste byproducts that condense in the chimney. Although it is not necessary to clean an oil flue as often as a wood flue, they do need to be serviced. We recommend a cleaning at least every 2 to 3 years depending on the efficiency of your burner. We do however strongly advise having your furnace technician inspect the flue each year when doing your annual furnace service. Gas furnace chimneys have very little waste by-products and as such there is no specific recommendation we can give. Some gas flues will require regular cleaning to remove carbon build up while others seem to rarely require cleaning. Again we recommend having the furnace technician check it each year while doing the furnace service.

If I have a chimney cap installed will my chimney still work?
A properly designed chimney cap will not impede the natural draft of your chimney. Our experience has shown that certain designs in some instances have caused airflow restriction or down draft. Although we have access to all chimney caps available, we have chosen The Protector. We have been installing The Protector trouble free since our company began in 1990.

When I build a fire in my upstairs fireplace, I get smoke from the basement fireplace.
This has become quite a common problem in modern air tight houses where weather proofing has sealed up the usual air infiltration routes. The fireplace in use exhausts household air until a negative pressure situation exists. If the house is fairly tight, the simplest route for makeup air to enter the structure is often the unused fireplace chimney. As air is drawn down this unused flue, it picks up smoke that is exiting nearby from the fireplace in use and delivers the smoke to the living area. The best solution is to provide makeup air to the house so the negative pressure problem no longer exists, thus eliminating not only the smoke problem, but also the potential for carbon monoxide to be drawn back down the furnace chimney. A secondary solution is to install a top mount damper on the fireplace that is used the least.

My fireplace stinks. What can I do?
The smell is usually due to creosote deposits in the chimney, a natural byproduct of wood burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high or on rainy days when the air is heavy. Cleaning the chimney should help but won't always solve the problem completely. There are commercial chimney deodorants that work pretty well, and many people have good results with baking soda or even kitty litter set in the fireplace. The real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house. Some make-up air should be introduced somewhere else in the house. A tight sealing, top mounted damper will also reduce this air flow coming down the chimney. It is also possible an animal is living in the chimney or has died in the chimney.

What about those chimney sweeping logs you see advertised?
Our experience has shown that although some of these logs are effective in loosening creosote, none of them have been able to replace the need for a properly trained, qualified chimney technician. Even the ones that are effective in loosening the creosote do not eliminate it. What usually happens is the soot that was dispersed throughout the flue ends up concentrating on the smoke shelf behind the damper actually creating a fuel bed. Although there are occasions when we will recommend one of these products to a customer to loosen the creosote, it still requires a thorough brushing and is never meant to replace having your chimney serviced by a qualified technician.

What should a qualified chimney technician be certified in?
All Magic Touch technicians are affiliated members of WETT Inc. - Wood Energy Technology Transfer, Inc., which issues and certifies qualified chimney technicians. For further information about WETT Inc., and WETT Certification, visit their official website at,

Where can I find more detailed information about the Ontario Fire Code?
For more information of the rules and regulations of the Ontario Fire Code, you can visit their official website.

What if I have other questions and / or concerns involving chimney maintenance?
For questions of concerns not detailed on our FAQ page, please contact us directly via our Contact page.