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Carbon Monoxide & Chimney Sweeps

One of the most dangerous systems in your home is your chimney system. People assume it’s because of the risk of fire, but actually, the carbon monoxide exposure from your fireplace is a real danger that sends about 50,000 people to the ER each year. While not all of these cases are caused by your fireplace, they often happen in the home and can lead to serious organ damage and even death.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide is highly dangerous and poisonous, as it is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. When it affects the body, the symptoms are much like the common cold and flu, so it often goes unnoticed. Prevent CO poisoning before it happens to you by taking care of your chimney and fireplace regularly.

Clean Chimneys are Safe and Efficient

fireplace with roaring fireThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends regular chimney maintenance for a safe and efficient chimney system. Having your a chimney inspection annually allows a professional to get a look at your system inside and out. They can assess and diagnose hazards to keep your family and home safe. When you schedule a chimney sweep, a professional comes into the home and clears the entire system of soot, creosote, and other debris. This causes an increase of efficiency for your system and lead to countless problems such as carbon monoxide leaks.

Other Common Sources of CO

Whether your furnace is wood or gas-fueled, it has a risk of exposing your family to carbon monoxide if not properly maintained. Other sources of CO gas include:

  • Room heaters
  • Charcoal grills
  • Cooing ranges
  • Water heaters
  • Automobiles
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable generators
  • Small engines

When a family is exposed to CO gas, some individuals are at risk for more danger than others. If you have children or elderly family members who are experiencing serious symptom, get help immediately. Symptoms are as minor as a headache, dizziness, and nausea. They can be as serious as confusion, memory loss, difficulty coordinating, convulsions, and seizures. These symptoms are lessened when you spend time away from the residence and return again when you return home. Serious symptoms can occur months or years later because carbon monoxide poisoning causes permanent damage to the body’s organs. This is because when it is inhaled, it binds to the blood cells and quickly replaces oxygen in the bloodstream. Eventually, the organs are starved of oxygen and fail, resulting in permanent damage or death.

Take your safety seiously by hiring a professional chimney company you trust. Talk with one of our experts today and find out why regular chimney sweeping and cleaning are important. You can schedule an appointment with Hudson Chimney online today or 904-282-4159.

Real Estate Inspections & Your Chimney

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you may want to take another look at the home inspection. A standard home is a general assessment of the entire house. If the home you’re looking to buy or sell has a chimney, it needs a home inspection and a chimney inspection. While the home inspection is an overall assessment of the whole property, the chimney real estate inspection is a thorough assessment of the entire chimney system—inside and out.

Chimney Inspections for Real Estate

masonry chimneyIf you’re working with a REALTOR or lender, then they might have already mentioned a home inspection. However, if your property is under contract, then you likely have a home inspection already scheduled. If your home has a chimney, however, it’s important to schedule a chimney inspection by a certified professional. A home inspection determines if the interior and exterior of the chimney are sound and the structure is “plumb”. A real estate chimney inspection checks out the chimney from top to bottom thoroughly to ensure structural soundness and it’s working properly. In the industry, this inspection is called a level two inspection, required when properties are sold or transferred.

For a real estate inspection, a chimney professional will take a look the following:

  • All accessible portions of the chimney interior and exterior
  • Chimney access by way of attic, crawlspace, and basement
  • Inspection of connections, working parts, firebox, and interior/exterior fixtures
  • A video scan of the flue interior

After your inspection, you should receive a written report from your chimney sweep, include photos and video footage. Once the chimney is assessed, any damage or repairs can be added to your real estate disclosures. If you’re the buyer, you can add stipulations to the contract for the sellers to complete the repairs.

Your New Chimney

A new home purchase is something to celebrate. The last thing you want is for the joy of the occasion to be clouded by the realization that your new fireplace isn’t safe to use. If your home inspector gives your chimney a clean bill of health, and you go ahead with your purchase without scheduling a chimney inspection, you may find that your chimney is actually a hazard.

Scheduling chimney sweeps and inspections on a regular basis keeps your systems safe and efficient. If you’ve never owned a home with a fire appliance or chimney system, no worries!

Call Hudson Chimney for your chimney needs

Contact Hudson Chimney and we’ll complete your real estate inspection. We offer a report, make a repair plan, and can take care of all your comprehensive chimney care needs. Our team members are CSIA certified, and we have been serving the Jacksonville area for over 30 years. We work with REALTORs, lenders, property managers, and real estate attorneys to bring prospective home buyers the safest and most comfortable fireplaces in their new homes. Reach Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159, and schedule your real estate inspection today.

We Specialize in Dryer Vent Cleaning & Installation

Many homeowners don’t realize all the work that goes into maintaining a home properly. Every appliance, every surface, and every system that keeps the home running smoothly requires routine maintenance to continue doing so. The systems that keep your home cool and warm, keep water out of your living space, clean your air, wash your clothes and dishes, discharge your sewage water, and dry your clothes all require maintenance. Neglecting home maintenance can lead to damage, a decrease in value, and even danger in some circumstances. Neglecting the dryer vent can lead to a clogged dryer vent which can lead to a dryer vent fire that can lead to a devastating house fire. We Specialize in Dryer Vent Cleaning & Installation

Dirty Dryer Vents = Danger

Every year in America, nearly 3000 homes experience a fire that originates in the clothes dryer. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, of these 2,900 fires, there are 5 resulting deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss each year. The cause of these fires? The majority of these fires are caused by failure to clean the dryer. This includes the dryer vent, the lint trap, and the unit itself. Over time dangerous, flammable lint collects inside the unit and hinders the dryer from working properly. Like chimneys, a drop in efficiency in the clothes dryer can increase the risk of damage and danger. Don’t put your home at risk. Schedule a dryer vent cleaning with a professional today.

100 Percent Preventable

The majority of clothes dryer fires can be prevented by cleaning the unit and the vent on a regular basis. Even scheduling this service annually will make a significant difference in the function and safety of your dryer. You can prevent a dangerous clothes dryer fire in your home by following these easy guidelines:

  • Have the dryer and dryer vent professionally installed
  • Clean the back of the dryer regularly
  • Self-inspect the dry vent regularly
  • Check the outside wall damper for proper function and covering regularly
  • Check that the outdoor vent covering opens and closes properly regularly
  • Schedule professional services for your clothes dryer vent annually
  • Schedule a check-up with your gas company annually (if your dryer is gas-powered)
  • Connect the unit only with the proper electrical cord and outlet
  • Never run the clothes dryer while you’re out of the home or asleep

Last, but not least: make sure each level of your home has a smoke alarm! Change the batteries quarterly, and check the device monthly. If anything goes wrong with your clothes dryer system (or any other system in your home), a smoke alarm can save your life and the life of your family.

At Hudson Chimney it is our goal and duty to keep families safe by providing necessary services to our friends and neighbors in and around Jacksonville, Florida. Schedule dryer vent cleaning and installation with Hudson Chimney. Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

We Restore, Repair & Rebuild Masonry Chimneys

Did you use your fireplace this winter only to realize that you have damaged masonry? A fireplace and chimney may seem to work, while efficiency has actually gone down, and water is in the chimney. Masonry damage, big or small, should be repaired as soon as it’s noticed in order to avoid expensive repairs and hazards in the future.

 

Winter Damagemason repairing a red brick fireplace

A common call we get in the spring here at Hudson Chimney is for masonry repairs due to winter damage. Cold temperatures during the winter months can wreak havoc on a masonry chimney, especially if there are any cracks or gaps in the masonry. A little damage in the fall can lead to serious water damage and structural damage by spring. Once spring arrives, so does the rainy and stormy weather, adding more damage to the already damaged chimney.

Common winter damage includes:
-Spalling masonry in which mortar is cracked and bricks are falling away, leaving gaps and openings in the masonry.
-Stains on the surface of the masonry which indicate water penetration or a damaged cap.
-Crown damage from snow, ice, water, and sun exposure which allows water into the system from cracks and gaps.

 

Trust Hudson Chimney

For over 30 years, Hudson Chimney has been the choice for comprehensive chimney care in Jacksonville and the surrounding area. If you reside in Jacksonville, Florida, and you need masonry repairs, look no further than the team at Hudson Chimney. We are experienced masons and bricklayers and can repair and rebuild your masonry chimney no matter the type of stone, size of the chimney, or amount of damage. Being from the Jacksonville area, we know what it means to maintain masonry near a shoreline, with salty air and tropical winds.

Our chimney sweeps are experienced at repairing masonry through tuckpointing, a process in which the damaged section of masonry is removed, and then replaced using new mortar of equal strength, consistency, and color. When we repair your masonry with tuckpointing, the repair should be seamless. Following a repair, we protect our work with an industrial water repellent that will protect your chimney year after year. Living on the coast, even the panhandle.

 

Prevent Masonry Damage

It is easier and cheaper to prevent damage rather than repair it. We can help you prevent masonry damage by performing routine chimney maintenance and services. For instance, we recommend annual chimney inspections for every fire appliance and chimney regardless of performance, and routine chimney sweeps as needed to keep the system clean of soot and creosote. We also waterproof masonry with ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent to protect masonry year after year. This solution is 100 percent vapor permeable, protecting against water while allowing the chimney to breathe.

If you haven’t had your chimney serviced this year, or if you’ve never had it waterproofed, you can schedule these important services today and avoid masonry damage.

Call Hudson Chimney today at 904-282-4159.

Don’t Call a Roofer for a Leaky Chimney!

Your leaky chimney may appear like a leaky roof or a plumbing issue. When water comes into the home by way of the chimney system it can move through the house through walls, floors, and ceilings. The water flows to a low point where it pools before forming a leak. This may appear to a homeowner like a leaky pipe in an upper story bathroom, or like the roof has sprung a leak. This is not the case! If you have a leak in your home or any water damage for that matter, then it is most likely a chimney issue–NOT a roof issue.

Red roof house with chimney at the end of a rainbow

The Chimney Professionals

A general contractor is a licensed professional who oversees construction. In order to do this, he works together with other trade professionals. For instance, a contractor might contact a chimney professional during construction in order to have a chimney built properly and up-to-code. He might hire a roofer to make sure the roof is built and materials installed properly. This is standard, and it ensures that all parts of construction are made to specifications and will work properly and last. Like roofers, certified chimney sweeps are the experts in their field. When it comes to chimney construction, diagnostics, and repairs, the chimney experts are who to call when there’s a sign of a leak.

Signs of a Chimney Leak

Most homeowners don’t notice a chimney leak before there is substantial damage. When you notice dripping or a visible leak, there may be serious damage that is making your fireplace a dangerous risk.
Chimney Leaks Can Cause:
-Rusted parts including damper assemblies and accessories
-Deterioration of firebox and central heating system
-Rotting wood and wall coverings
-Stains on walls, ceilings, floors, and masonry
-Tilted, spalling, and collapsed masonry

Professional Measures of Prevention

You can call a roofer when you have a chimney leak. The odds are that the leak is caused from flashing–the most common cause of a chimney leak. Although many roofers may claim to install flashing, it is not their specialty. It is our specialty!

Chimney Leak Diagnostics

When you have a chimney leak, call us. We check out the area, assess the damage, and repair it all. When we install flashing, our experts place the sheets of metal according to the slant and material of the roof, with no nails visible, and without the need to cover with sealant. If you have recently had your roof replaced, and your flashing has exposed nails, is missing, covered in tar, or has been dislodged it’s time to call a chimney expert.

Call Hudson Chimney

Hudson Chimney repairs flashing. We do not just fix the damage from your leaky chimney. We correct the problem at its source!
Hudson will install and repair flashing, caps, crowns, and even waterproof the masonry itself for good measure.

Call the chimney professionals at 904-282-4159 or contact online.

Schedule Your Annual Chimney Inspection Now

This is the best time to get your annual chimney inspection to ensure a problem-free spring and summer. After a long winter of fires, there may be winter damage, water damage, and inefficiencies because of dirty and damaged parts in your chimney. However, no matter how well your chimney and fireplace worked all winter, it won’t continue to work well if it’s not given proper maintenance. The best way is to schedule your annual inspection.

Inspections Prevent Dirty Chimneys &
Catch Hazards

After a full season of burning fires, your may find that your chimney flue is full of soot and creosote or even debris from animals or weather. Soot is a carbon residue released when your burn fires inside your fireplace. Creosote happens when you burn organic fuel. When these substances are not cleaned out on a regular basis, they can build up in the system. This can lead to numerous problems such as a drop in efficiency, obstruction of airflow, or even a dangerous fire hazard.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agree that chimney systems that are inspected regularly are safer. When your chimney is inspected, your technician will catch hazards big and small. This also brings down the risk of accidental residential fires–saving your lives and property.

Three Levels of Thoroughness

When you schedule your chimney inspection, we can help you determine which level of inspection your chimney needs too. We offer three levels of inspections, and the condition of your system determines which level your chimney needs.

  • Level One – This is required annually when your chimney has been used in the same way and no changes have been made. Level one inspection is a visual assessment of the interior and exterior. Our expert techs examine the readily accessible portions as well as connections and appliance. At the end of this appointment, your chimney will have a clean bill of health.
  • Level Two – This level is required before the sale or transfer of property, when any changes are made to the system, or when there has been a problem that affects the chimney. This inspection includes a Chim-Scan camera footage of the interior.
  • Level Three – The most thorough inspection is required when serious hazards are suspected. This inspection require limited demolition to gain access to the suspected hazards. The chimney crown or interior wall may need to be removed, and then replaced following inspection.

As we come into the off-season, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a professional. Trust Hudson Chimney with your Chimney Inspection. We’re licensed, certified, and we are ready to serve you.

Call 904-282-4159 today to ensure your system is ready for the rainy spring days. If you neglect this important appointment, you could put your home and family in danger. A damaged chimney also allow animals and wildlife in, and it may not be safe to use once fall returns.

We Repair and Replace Chimney Liners

Your chimney is important. It may be the largest system in your home. It changes the air pressure, can allow or stop drafts, adds heat and ambiance to your favorite spaces, and can even affect your breathable air. Your chimney is important to you, and it’s important to us too. Chimney professionals know the ins and outs of chimney science. We know things that homeowners don’t know, and we use that knowledge to prevent devastating fires and accidents. We want to help your chimney be the safest and most efficient system possible, and we do this by offering services and repairs that are absolutely essential. Liner replacement and repair is one service that is essential for chimney life and safety.

Your Chimney Liner

One of the most common problems with old chimneys has to do with the chimney liner. Liners may be clay, ceramic, or metal, and older liners may become damaged without you ever knowing. Although hidden from view, the liner is one of the most important parts of the chimney system. Like human skin, it covers a lot of area and is extremely durable because it is an important barrier. The liner should keep your fire, heat, and gases inside the chimney. Without a liner, toxic gases such as carbon monoxide can escape and poison your family. Carbon monoxide can cause permanent organ injury and even death. A cracked or damaged liner can also allow high temperatures to affect beams and other structural materials in your house. You might notice that your masonry is extremely hot to the touch, which is a liner problem. You may also notice pieces of ceramic or clay tile in the fireplace. This is also a sign of a damaged liner. Once a problem is recognized, it needs to be addressed before you use your fireplace again. Discontinue use and have the liner repaired by a professional. 

Reasons to Replace a Liner

If the damage to your liner is extensive, it may need a full relining. Other reasons your liner may need to be completely replaced include: 

-There is no liner in the chimney

-The liner is an old and badly damaged clay tile liner

-You are switching fuels and the current liner is not safe for use with your new fuel

-The flue needs to be resized to match the capacity of a new fire appliance. 

At Hudson Chimney we can help you determine whether your liner needs a quick repair or a full replacement. We install stainless steel liners which are long-lasting and safe for all fuel types, and we also design and install custom liners in all sizes, shapes, and designs. Bring your old chimney up to new standards. Your chimney will work better and safer when you trust Hudson Chimney. 

If you know you have a liner problem, contact Hudson Chimney to price your new liner or repair. Call us at 904-282-4159 today.

We Carry Energy Top Dampers & Clean Out Doors

The chimney is as long-lasting as your house itself, which is why you may have a historical home with old parts and components. Over the years, advancements in chimney science and technology have resulted in new products that bring up the efficiency of your old chimney. At Hudson Chimney we revitalize old chimneys and improve efficiency and function by installing energy top dampers and clean-out doors

Energy Top Dampers

Named for their energy saving capabilities, the energy top damper is also called the top mount damper. It is a damper that is installed on the top of the chimney instead of the traditional metal dampers which are installed in the throat of the chimney. Many homeowners like to replace a throat damper with the new energy top dampers in order to start reaping benefits right away. 

Airtight seal – The energy top damper is equipped with an airtight seal that prevents air, moisture, and animals or insects from entering. 

Chimney cap – Energy top dampers double as a chimney cap, keeping animals, water, and wind out even when it’s open. 

Ease of use – With a handle that reaches to the hearth, it’s easy to engage and disengage the damper from indoors. 

Durable – Made of stainless steel and aluminum, the energy top damper doesn’t rust or corrode. It is long-lasting and unaffected by soot and creosote which may cake the interior of the flue. 

Pre-set – The damper remains open by default for maximum safety and always opens to the perfect pre-set height. 

Once your energy top damper is installed, you will start reaping the benefits right away. The new damper will save you money year-round, preventing heated air loss through winter, and conditioned air loss throughout the off-season. With this new addition, you can save up to 75 percent on heating and cooling costs. 

Chimney Clean-Out Doors

The clean-out doors are the “back door” to the chimney which allows for easier access to the flue and chimney for cleaning. Not only does a new clean-out door make your chimney more accessible, but will also help you notice and diagnose chimney problems. You may not see evidence of chimney damage in your stove or fireplace, but when you find fragments of clay tiles or mortar in your clean-out door, you know there is a problem. Your clean-out door makes the flue more accessible to you, the homeowner, but also offers another route to the chimney professional who may come and clean or repair your chimney system. 

Whether you’re replacing a damaged damper or looking to improve efficiency or value, we have what you’re looking for. At Hudson Chimney we use our experience and expertise to bring safety and efficiency to our customers’ homes and lives. 

Call and speak with a chimney expert at 904-282-4159.

Trust Us With Your Firebox Repair or Rebuilds

The chimney system is made up of many chambers, assemblies, units or appliances, and connections, and many refractory materials hold the heat in through all these parts and spaces. The firebox is the space which endures the most abuse and is often paid the least attention. The firebox is the fireplace itself–the space that holds the fire and endures the most heat for the longest periods of time. In order to do the job correctly and safely, the firebox should be constructed specifically for this workload, and maintained regularly.

Damage to the FireboxTrust us for Firebox repairs and rebuilds

If the firebox becomes damaged, it can mean life or death. Your home is made up of wood beneath wall coverings and floors and ceilings. Behind your firebox is some type of building material, and it’s most likely flammable. Even beams and walls with proper clearance can become brittle and weak when exposed to high temperatures over a fair amount of time. This puts your home at risk for fire as well as structural damage. Basically, if your firebox is damaged, have it repaired right away. Have it serviced on a regular basis to prevent serious damage. Call in the professionals. If you don’t schedule services with chimney professionals on a routine basis, you will have a very unexpected visit from the fire protection district in your city, and it will be about saving your life and your home when a little damage turns to disaster.

Common Firebox Damage

As often as you look into your fireplace to light a fire, you should notice damage to the firebox. The most common cause of firebox damage is water damage, but there are other causes, preventable and treatable.
Water Damage – Signs of water damage in the firebox include stains on the masonry, cracks or gaps in the masonry, vegetation growth, rusted doors, and metal components, and odors in the fireplace that indicate moisture, mold, and mildew.
Improper Installation/Construction – When the firebox isn’t constructed of proper refractory materials strong enough to withstand the extreme temperature of your fire, the masonry will become cracked and gaps will appear. You may even find pieces of mortar on the floor of the firebox. Smoke stains on the walls of the firebox may also be a construction issue, or from the fuel you’re burning. Be sure you’re only burning properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace.
Debris in the Fireplace – If your cap is dislodged, the firebox can be damaged by falling debris or even animals nesting in the system. They can scratch up the chimney interior, damaging masonry and leaving flammable materials behind.
Basically, any sign that your system isn’t working properly means your next call should be to a certified chimney professional. Only the professionals can properly repair and rebuild a firebox to bring comfort and safety back to your home.

Jacksonville’s Trusted Experts

For more than 30 years, Jacksonville homeowners have trusted Hudson Chimney with their homes. We specialize in masonry, and our masons use firebricks and refractory mortar to get the job done right. Your firebox will be safe for use, whether you use your fire daily or only periodically.

Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and have your firebox assessed and repaired now.

We Can Also Clean Your Dryer Vent

Dryer vents cause house fires. In fact, according to FEMA , 2,900 house fires occur each year due to clothes dryers, causing 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. These numbers can be scary, and even more so when you realize when these fires occur–and why. Most clothes dryer fires occur in winter, peaking in January, and the majority of them are caused from dirty dryer vents.

100 Percent PreventableWe Can Also Clean Your Dryer Vent - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

When it comes to clothes dryer fires, they are preventable. When the majority of these fires are caused by dirty vents, the prevention is obvious–clean the dryer vents. This is where we come in. A company like Hudson Chimney, which specializes in venting services including dryer vent services, can clean dryer vents annually to prevent dangerous buildup. Spending a little money now can prevent catastrophic costs and injuries later.

What a Dryer Vent Service Includes

Your dryer vent services will start with a diagnostic check. Many dryer vents are improperly installed, violating fire safety codes and causing your clothes dryers to be overworked, wearing them out and using extra utilities. When you schedule dryer vent services we’ll check out the installation, making sure the vent isn’t too long and doesn’t have too many angles. We’ll also make sure the dryer vent is venting outdoors and has a backdraft flap preventing airflow from wind gusts and air pressure. During the visit, we will also check for leaks that can slow airflow and add to build up. Our technicians will detach the vent from the dryer and clean lint out of the vent or hose with soft brushes and a high powered vacuuming system. This will clean out the system without damaging the vent itself.

Signs You Need a Dryer Vent Cleaning

Your dryer vent most likely needs to be cleaned if your clothes dryer isn’t working properly. Most homeowners mistakenly assume the clothes dryer is just fine, but wearing out. This is generally not the case.

–The dryer takes more than one cycle to dry a load of clothes.

According to manufacturers, the dryer should last ten years. If it fails to dry clothes in one cycle and is less than 5 years old, the dryer vent is likely clogged. Not only does running multiple cycles add to the clog, but it also uses 2 to 3 times more electricity, and shortens its life by 2 to 3 times! That means a unit that should last 10 years only lasts 3-5 instead. This is not only dangerous, but a bad investment.
–The dryer puts heat and moisture into the home.

When your dryer runs, it heats the house, or puts moisture into the air. This may be nice in winter–seemingly helping with heating costs–but it is dangerous. Most clothes dryer fires occur in January! This is not the time to allow a dryer to run dangerously in your home. It the dryer heats or puts moisture in the home, it means this heat and moisture isn’t being properly vented outdoors. This means there is a clog.

The time to schedule dryer services is as soon as you notice a problem with the dryer function. Call a professional who can assess and correct the situation before a dangerous accident occurs.

Schedule dryer vent cleaning or installation with Hudson Chimney today.

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