by Mark Hudson | Mar 31, 2020 | chimney maintenance
Procrastinating on chimney repairs can lead to very dangerous results. There are many reasons why you should never procrastinate on repairing your chimney. A fireplace is a wonderful addition to your home to keep you warm and cozy, however, it is important to remember that the chimneys that serve them work to make sure that the fire burning doesn’t result in dangerous gases and other by-products of combustion getting into your home.
Reasons why chimney repairs are important
Smoke from fires contains dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause illnesses or even death if exposed to large amounts.
Another risk is that delaying repairs could lead to chimney fires. As all of the different substances produced as wood burns are expelled through the chimney, it could result in residue that sticks to the inner walls of your chimney. This is called creosote. Creosote is a black or brown oily residue that is highly combustible. If it’s not maintained and taken care of, the buildup could ignite causing chimney fires.
Another reason to not delay repairs is that the further the damage, the more costly it could get, especially if it deals with cracks or leaks. Cracks in your chimney could lead to overheating and dangerous gases to leak into your home. Leaks in your chimney could lead to further damage of the structure of your home. As it impairs the efficiency of your chimney, it can also cause leaks into your ceilings, walls, and other structures.
Leaks occur because a lot of masonry materials are porous to expel the gases, however this also means that it can absorb large amounts of water. According to the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA), common bricks act like a sponge, absorbing water & moisture into the interior of your chimney system.
Preventing leaks is very affordable and easy. Here at Hudson Chimney, we want to do everything we can to help from water damage to preventing dangerous gases to enter your home.
Look for signs
There are many different ways to know if you need chimney repairs. With leaks, it could be hard to find any symptoms. However, if you see any of these following signs, call a chimney professional right away.
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox parts or rusted fireplace accessories
- A dripping noise
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Water-stained walls and ceiling around your chimney
- Stained chimney exterior or decaying exterior mortar
- A cracked or deteriorated flue lining
- A tilted, collapsed or settled-looking chimney
- Rainwater in or around your fireplace or furnace thimble
With possible creosote build up, you shouldn’t see any heavy or dangerous signs such as loud cracking or dense smoke if you get your chimney swept regularly. As creosote build up comes in different stages, the further you get, the harder and more costly it will get.
Some early signs to look for are:
- Reduced drafting in fireplace
- Black soot in and around your fireplace
- Very dark smoke coming from your chimney
- If you can see more than ⅛ of an inch of soot build up
- Not as much as ash left after burning
- If you see any of these signs, make sure you contact a chimney professional to help.
How We Can Help
Hudson Chimney has been in the business for over 30 years and we have dealt with all kinds of repairs. We have certified chimney professionals that will help inspect your chimney and repair them for you. We want to make sure that your home is protected from preventable danger concerning your chimney.
With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking precautions to ensure your safety as well as your professionals. We are taking measures not to shake hands, we will be wearing gloves, laying down tarps, which are washed everyday when professionals return, and we have many tarps to ensure that we are not spreading the virus from home to home.
by Mark Hudson | Feb 28, 2020 | Chimney Inspections
It can be quite difficult to properly diagnose a chimney problem when you don’t have the proper equipment to get the job done right. Licensed and certified professionals who are trained in chimney science and diagnostics are able to get to the source of the matter and offer a report that is clear and helpful. Once the homeowner has the report, the repairs can be planned and completed so that more damage isn’t sustained in the wait.
Expert Diagnostics With Chim-Scan
Chimney professionals use a special CCV camera system designed to go inside the flue and offer a view where most cannot look. Using the Chim-Scan system, chimney experts are able to inspect even the most out-of-reach places. Chim-Scan inspections result in HD quality images and document the general condition of the chimney interior. This is the only real way to verify chimney safety and diagnose chimney damage.
Masonry and Pre-Fab Chimneys
Chimney professionals can use a Chim-Scan system to inspect your chimney whether it’s a pre-fab chimney or a masonry one. They are used when a real estate inspection is needed, to verify repairs have been done properly, to complete a level two inspection and more. In order to get the most of the inspections, there are a few different models that work with certain types of systems or after certain serious damage has occurred. When it’s time to have the system inspected, there’s no need for you to fret over the decisions. Your chimney sweep will determine how to best scan the system and provide the most detailed report possible.
Chimney Inspections in Jacksonville
Whether your fireplace and chimney have been acting up, or you simply need your annual inspection to ensure the safety and efficiency of your system, we can help. Residents in and around Jacksonville depend on Hudson Chimney for comprehensive chimney care year-round. We travel from Jacksonville South to Crescent City and from Lake Butler and Gainesville to St. Augustine, covering a large area and many cities. When there is a problem that needs to be diagnosed or a repair that needs to be made, we handle it with expert care and professional courtesy. For the convenience of our customers and the safety of our communities, we offer three levels of inspection that provide the best diagnostics and lowest cost to our customers.
- Level One – This is the chimney inspection necessary under the best of conditions when the chimney system has been used in the same way with no changes and no problems. A level one inspection is required annually for safety and efficiency and includes all readily accessible portions of the chimney interior and exterior.
- Level Two – When the chimney has had a problem functioning properly when repairs or changes have been made, or after a natural occurrence like a fire, earthquake, or tornado, a more thorough inspection is necessary. A level two inspection is also required before the sale or transfer of property, but this is not the same as a home inspection, as a home inspector will not properly assess a chimney and fireplace system. A level two inspection includes all accessible portions of the system (including those found by way of doorways in attics, basements, and crawlspaces) and a video scan for detailed diagnostics and reporting.
- Level Three – When a problem is detected in a lesser-level inspection, your chimney sweep will recommend a level three inspection. This is a thorough inspection designed to access suspected hazards even if it requires minor demolition. Your technician may have to remove panels and even masonry to access a suspected hazard and repairs usually follow a level three inspection.
If you schedule your annual inspection and a problem is discovered, it will be handled swiftly by our team at Hudson Chimney. Our technicians are CSIA certified and have the knowledge and experience to handle any job, big or small. Our goal is safety for our customers. This keeps our friends and neighbors warm, and our communities safe from accidental fires. Because we know the seriousness of the matter, we also know the solution. When it comes to chimney safety, prevention is key. The only way to prevent chimney accidents, hazards, and costly damages is to schedule important routine services for your chimney now. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) asserts that chimneys must be inspected annually and cleaned regularly for safety and efficiency. The chimneys that are dangerous are those that are neglected, affected by unseen damage, or used improperly. When one of our experts takes a look at your system on a regular basis, we catch the damage, we correct the problems, and we answer questions and share all the newest information available.
Our dedication to your safety and comfort season after season, year after year, is why we continue to choose and trust Chim-Scan closed circuit internal evaluation system. When we can’t see the damage, it doesn’t get addressed. This is why homeowners trust Hudson Chimney, and we trust Chim-Scan.
Call us at 904-282-4159 to schedule your appointment with our Chim-Scan technology.
by Mark Hudson | Jan 29, 2020 | Fireplace Maintenance
No matter what type of chimney and fireplace system you have and no matter how often it is used, it still requires annual maintenance to maintain safety for your family and long-lasting parts and functionality. To get straight to the point, the fireplaces and chimney systems which are cleaned regularly and inspected annually are the ones that are most safe and efficient year after year—both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) say so (and we agree).
Unsafe Chimneys Put Lives at Risk
When you neglect your annual maintenance, your chimney will suffer, which means your fire will suffer, and your comfort and safety will as well. As your fire burns, chemical byproducts are released into the flue system where they vent safely outside the home. When this process is interrupted, the smoke and toxins can push into the rest of the house, affecting the breathable air and putting your family at risk for carbon monoxide exposure and particulate pollution.
Additionally, when the fire doesn’t vent properly it will be difficult-to-light and will require more fuel to reach the desired temperature. This heat will not go up the chimney the way it’s intended and designed, so the risk for accidental fire goes up. A flue fire can be catastrophic, destroying your property and causing injury or even death to family and guests.
It’s our goal and the goal of every CSIA certified chimney professional to bring down the occurrence of residential chimney fires and chimney-related incidents. We help our friends and neighbors in and around Jacksonville, Florida maintain safety and comfort for their homes by offering expert chimney services.
Signs Your Chimney Needs Maintenance
Your chimney system is put to work every time you light a fire and it requires annual maintenance no matter how often it’s used. If you haven’t scheduled a chimney sweep or inspection for your system in the last 12 months, now is the time. Though your chimney system needs basic services annually, there are certain signs that indicate the system needs attention right away.
- Odors in the fireplace and chimney: Odors mean a problem in the system. Depending on the odor, the problems may be extreme and dangerous. A barbecue smell means the system is dirty and likely has obstructions and flammable creosote deposits. A mildew odor means there is a chimney leak and is likely causing water damage. Foul odors of decomposition mean the system is dirty with decomposing organic materials like leaves and limbs—even a possible dead animal! Any odors in the system mean an expert eye needs to assess the system.
- Spalling masonry: Broken, cracked, and crumbling masonry is a serious problem that can allow water into the system, can lead to structural issues, and can compromise ventilation. If your masonry is damaged, it’s important to call a professional who can assess and repair it properly, and prevent a recurrence.
- Chimney leaks: A chimney leak may not only occur inside the chimney system itself. While the water may enter by way of the chimney, the leak can occur anywhere in the home as water runs through flooring and walls and can form a leak several rooms away from the chimney. If you have a leak anywhere in your home, or notice dripping sounds or visible signs of a leak in the chimney itself, it’s time to call a professional.
- A smoky fireplace: If your fireplace is smoky, the flue isn’t venting properly. It may be that your flue is obstructed, dirty, or your damper isn’t working properly. Your smoky fireplace may even be caused by the wrong type of firewood. In order to determine the source of your smoky fireplace, call a professional who can complete a basic assessment before you use your fireplace and expose your family to smoke inhalation.
- Stains on the chimney or in the fireplace: Stains on the inside of the firebox (or fireplace) can be a sign of the wrong firewood, a ventilation problem, or a leak. This needs to be addressed by a certified professional. Additionally, exterior stains are a problem. Red/brown stains at the top of your chimney is a sign of a damaged or dislodged cap. White stains on the masonry surface mean water is passing through the masonry and leaving minerals on the surface.
No matter what type of damage you have discovered or signs you’ve noticed, it is never too late to have it repaired, and it’s never too early to call an expert. At Hudson Chimney we are trained to diagnose and make repairs of the smallest kind so that our customers can avoid costs of the big kind.
When it’s time to schedule your services, schedule with us. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and put your trust in the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps that have been serving Jacksonville, Florida for over 30 years.
by Mark Hudson | Dec 31, 2019 | Gas
If you’re looking for a new fireplace system, but don’t want the hassle of firewood, you can still have a beautiful fireplace to cozy up to. Your gas fireplace has the aesthetic you want and all the convenience you long for. Which will serve you better—a gas stove, insert, or fireplace? Our team at Hudson Chimney can help you determine which appliance will produce the heat you need with all the beauty you want.
Why Choose Gas?
Our customers in and around Jacksonville, Florida prefer gas fireplaces for a variety of reasons. First, gas fires are easier to control. In our mild climate, it is easier to maintain a steady temperature with a gas fireplace. You can enjoy the ambiance of a beautiful flame without being overheated and run out of the house! Gas is also the most efficient fuel source, so it burns cleanly, creates less pollution, and is safer than other fuels. Since gas systems are manufactured and tested in factories, when they are installed correctly, they burn exactly as they should. When you hit the button, it ignites. When you turn the temperature control up or down, the fire responds. In fact, gas is so safe and controlled that more and more property managers are putting them in apartments and condos. The hospitality industry is choosing gas for cabins, hotels, and inns. Wood is work and gas is IN!
Quality Gas Appliances in Jacksonville
Home and business owners in and around Jacksonville, Florida have been depending on Hudson Chimney for all their chimney and hearth needs for over 30 years. The products and services we provide the community are unrivaled and we stay on top of the best brands and trends in the industry in order to continuously keep our customers safe and warm. Gas fires used to be sub-par to wood. They were the second-resort only if you couldn’t have a wood fire. They were ugly and produced less heat. This is no longer the case.
Regency Gas Stoves
The best gas stoves on the market are the ones that ADD to your home. They add heat, ambiance, style, and convenience to your home. A Regency freestanding stove is available in steel and cast iron and comes in a variety of styles. You can choose a sleek and contemporary stove that fits perfectly into your minimalist décor or you can choose a rustic cast iron stove with all the traditional details of a wood stove. If you have a historic home but want to update with a classically styled freestanding gas stove, the Hampton is a perfect choice.
Installation Options – When you choose a freestanding gas stove the options are endless. Choosing gas means you can install in a small bedroom, large living space, upper level, or basement. As long as there is a gas connection, your gas stove can be installed using proper ventilation and refractory materials. Talk with your fireplace expert while choosing your new appliance so that we can help you determine the best stove for you.
Regency Direct-Vent Fireplace
Regency’s line of traditional fireplaces features direct vent technology that allows for a closed unit independent of the home. The air for combustion is drawn from outdoors, the toxins are vented outdoors, and there is no need for a chimney!
Installation Options – Direct vent fireplaces can be installed directly into an existing firebox or in an exterior wall when installed by a certified professional.
Regency Contemporary Gas Fireplaces
Gas fireplaces come in many sizes, shapes, and styles. One does not fit all and they aren’t merely a firebox and log set anymore. When you choose a gas fireplace from Regency’s line of Contemporary Gas Fireplaces you can mix and match your log sets, crystals, surrounds, finishes, and more. All the design details can be up to you, including where it goes! These contemporary styles are ideal for new condos and entertainment spaces. Fix a linear gas fireplace into a wall, choose a multi-view fire, a dramatic styling with a specific flame or reflection, and more.
Installation Options – Contemporary gas fireplaces can be installed in any room with a gas connection. They can be placed between two rooms with fire-viewing options for both and more.
It is essential that while you plan your new fireplace installation you involve the advice of a professional. Hudson Chimney sells, installs, and services gas stoves, fireplaces, and inserts by Regency and we can match one exactly to your needs.
If you reside in the area and own or manage properties, you can increase their value by installing a gas fireplace or stove. Whatever space allows, we will find a fire appliance for you. Whatever your budget is now or in the future, we can help you plan for it. As you use your new fireplace year after year, we can service it.
Put your trust in Hudson Chimney today and for a safer tomorrow.
Call and schedule your appointment at 904-282-4159.
by Mark Hudson | Nov 15, 2019 | Chimney Inspection
When it’s time to light the first fire of the season, the last thing you want to think about is rushing to schedule important chimney and fireplace services. When you wait until the last minute to schedule your chimney sweep and inspection, you risk the Fall Rush. This is the first few weeks of burn season in which chimney sweep companies are busy. Packed schedules can make getting necessary services almost impossible. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate! Schedule important services now. Your chimney sweep and inspection is an investment in your future. It saves lives, property, and even money in the long-run.
The Fall Rush
Homeowners who procrastinate important maintenance for their home may end up paying for it in the future. If you depend on your fireplace, insert, or stove for supplemental heat, you cannot risk lighting it without an inspection. By lighting it before an inspection, you put your home and family at risk for fire and chimney emergencies. If you wait too long, you may miss out on the services you require at a desirable time. We don’t want our customers to choose between safety and comfort this year. We want you to be able to light your fire safely this year, and we always want to be your trusted choice. That is why we offer our expert chimney services year-round and encourage homeowners to schedule ahead of time!
Proper Maintenance = Safe Chimneys
Only those fireplace and chimney systems that are routinely cleaned and annually inspected are safest and efficient. Even the most advanced fire appliance and a properly installed chimney system will become inefficient without proper maintenance. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimney inspections and sweeps for safety and efficiency no matter how old the system is and no matter how often it is used. As a fire is burned in the hearth, creosote and soot are produced and rises up the chimney. These microscopic particles of carbon and tar cling to the sides of the flue and will eventually lead to corrosion and buildup if not removed. When creosote is allowed to buildup and overheat, the water vapors are removed and it is transformed into a hardened, highly flammable mass of “glazed creosote”. This material slows airflow through the flue and creates a serious fire hazard as dangerous temperatures heat the creosote and ignite it, resulting in a flue fire.
It isn’t just wood fires that need to be maintained annually. Gas fires don’t produce creosote, but they do produce carbon monoxide and water vapors. These can still lead to furniture and home damage and respiratory issues for the family. Carbon monoxide exposure can lead to permanent organ damage and possible death. The only way to ensure your system is working properly and safely is to schedule maintenance annually with a certified expert.
Clean Chimneys for Christmas
The chimney sweep and inspection are vital for safety for certain, but it also enriches your home and your holiday experience. When your chimney and fireplace are squeaky clean, the blaze will be beautiful and strong, the hearth will be clean of creosote and ash, and your living space will be warm and cozy. The fireplace has a special place in the holiday scene. It’s the backdrop for gift-giving, movie nights, parties, and even family photos. With a clean chimney, you won’t have to worry about a smelly living room either!
Chimney Inspections in Jacksonville
Whether you burn a fire every day or only a few times per month, you still need to have it inspected every 12 months. This keeps it working safely and identifies damages and hazards before they put your family and your home in danger. Residents in and around Jacksonville have put their trust in Hudson Chimney for over 30 years for chimney care and diagnostics. We offer level one, two, and three inspections, and our trained eyes and skilled hands know exactly where to look for problems both common and uncommon.
SCHEDULE A LEVEL ONE INSPECTION if you:
- have had no problems with your chimney system over the last year
- haven’t changed it
- plan to use it the same way for the next year as well.
SCHEDULE A LEVEL TWO INSPECTION if:
- you’ve made changes to your system
- you suspect problems with your system
- it’s been through a serious storm or natural disaster that might cause damage to your system.
A level two inspection is also required before the sale or transfer of land and includes a thorough assessment of the entire chimney interior by video surveillance equipment.
SCHEDULE A LEVEL THREE INSPECTION if:
- a hazard is suspected during a lesser level inspection.
Your technician should present a detailed report before proceeding with a level three inspection because they may require demolition and most often end in repair.
Remember, before you light your fire this fall, make sure it’s safe! Schedule your chimney sweep or inspection with Hudson Chimney today. Dial 904-282-4159.