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Why Not Have Your Chimney Cleaned and Inspected?

This is a world where everything is low-maintenance, high-speed, made-to-order, and convenient. Due to this, it can be difficult to slow down and add to the list of to-do’s. The weather warms up and you’re finished with your spring cleaning. So, of course you don’t want to think of more work that needs to be done. It can be easy to put off your annual chimney maintenance until winter. However, there’s no good reason to put it off, and every reason to do it now!

Sweeps and Inspections Keep You Safe

Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual maintenance for the safest and most efficient chimney system. These appointments are the only time a certified professional will get a look at your chimney. Early detection is the key to fixing an issue or weakness in your chimney system. Any weakness can cause catastrophic damage, illness, injury, or death!

It’s Required

Most homeowners insurance policy agreements require routine chimney sweeps and inspections to maintain coverage. A chimney inspection is also required when a property is sold or transferred. Also, when changes are made to the system, or following a natural disaster or fire. The signature of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep (CCS) will be recognized and accepted by insurance, real estate, and municipal officials!

Avoid Odors, Damage, and Illness

Did you know a dirty chimney and fireplace can lead to foul odors in the summertime? Soot and creosote left in a chimney can lead to a smoky/barbecue smell. It permeates the home, especially once summer humidity mingles with the residue inside the flue. Odors of decomposing leaves, sticks, debris, and even animal droppings and dead animals themselves can also lead to foul, pungent odors in the chimney. These odors are avoidable when you schedule a chimney sweep following burn season.

Do you leave the filth inside the chimney? If so, the negative pressure of the home will lead to odors, despite any attempt to stop it. What is the most serious odor that can come from a dirty or neglected chimney? The moldy/mildew-like odor that means you have a leaky chimney. Your leak would have been diagnosed early, and repairs completed if it was inspected. Haven’t scheduled your chimney inspection and your chimney smells moldy? Call now, and avoid respiratory issues and water damage!

Avoid the Fall Rush by Scheduling Now

By scheduling your chimney maintenance now, you can avoid the fall rush. This is the time between October and January when chimney sweeps are most busy. At this time it can be hard to get your desired appointment time, your usual technician, and you may even be left in the cold waiting for your service appointment. Schedule your chimney sweep and inspection now and you will have time to make necessary repairs, upgrades, and installations before the fall!

Hudson Chimney is Jacksonville’s #1 chimney sweep company for over 30 years, and we put our customers first every time. To find out about our chimney sweep services and inspections, contact Hudson Chimney today.

Hudson Chimney: Now a CSIA Certified Master Sweep!

Hudson Chimney is proud to announce that Mark Hudson, owner and operator, is now a CSIA Master Sweep! This is a designation that is awarded to CSIA certified professionals who have gone above and beyond what’s required to maintain CSIA membership. They make efforts to stay ahead of others in the chimney and venting industry. How? By educating the public and putting consumer safety above all else.

Hudson Chimney Now a CSIA Certified Master Sweep Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyTo become a CSIA Master Sweep, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) must maintain membership for a minimum of ten continuous years and be actively certified as a CSIA Certified Exhaust Technician®​. In addition to these certifications, the chimney sweep must complete many advanced courses to further their education and training in the chimney industry.

The Importance of Choosing the Best

When you are searching for a chimney professional, you shouldn’t look further than the best. The CSIA Master Sweep is an individual who puts consumer safety above all else. There are some chimney professionals in the industry who may go their entire careers without becoming a certified chimney sweep or master sweep. They may boast of cheaper prices, but their service reflects their lack of training and expertise. Master Sweeps, in order to maintain CSIA certification for ten consecutive years, have chosen to continue their training and commitment to chimney safety year after year.

CSIA Membership Requirements

  • Code of Ethics
    CSIA certified sweeps must adhere to a stringent code of ethics. This is designed to protect homeowners from scams in the service industry. What if a sweep is found in violation of this code? Their certification may be revoked, despite fees paid and training completed.
  • Continued Education
    Every three years a CSIA certified sweep is subject to re-certification by either continuing education credits or by examination. This is a vital component of maintaining a high standard for CSIA memberships. Why? The chimney industry changes frequently as technologies change.

Does it Cost More to Hire a Professional?

It will cost more to hire a professional to maintain your chimney than it will to hire an amateur. A chimney sweep that lacks the education, experience, and commitment that it takes to maintain CSIA standards is not worth your money! Additionally, it may cost you more in the long run. Hudson Chimney is committed to chimney safety and your safety. We have been serving Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas since 1979. That’s almost 40 years of service to this community!

Since 1979, we have continuously gone above and beyond our competition. We stay abreast of all the latest tools, trends, and major/minor code changes in the chimney industry. This is done by attending every class and conference available. It has paid off. Now our loyal customers in Northeastern Florida can benefit from our commitment to chimney safety even more, as all of our work is backed by the Master Sweep CSIA credential.

You can schedule an appointment with a Hudson Chimney sweep today by calling 904-282-4159 or request an appointment online!

We Do Video Scans

The chimney system is a mostly closed one, with a large percentage of it hidden. Even chimney professionals are unable to view portions of it! This is why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) requires a video scan be included during a level two inspection. CSIA is the only nationally-recognized standard for chimney safety, and directed and monitored by top-industry volunteers. When you schedule chimney installations, repairs, sweeps, and inspections, your homeowners insurance will most likely require the signature of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS).

We Do Video Scans Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney (1)Hudson Chimney is Certified

At Hudson Chimney, our technicians are trained and certified in chimney care. As CSIA members we strive to put the safety and comfort of homeowners above all else. It’s because of our commitment to public safety and education that we offer video scans with every inspection. In doing this, we can identify weaknesses and damage in the chimney system.

The Importance of Video Scans and Inspections

Even a small crack in a chimney liner, crown, or masonry can allow water into the chimney system. This can cause substantial unseen damage before it’s even recognized. The average homeowner not only doesn’t know what signs to look for, but also don’t see the danger in minor damage. Cracks in the liner and masonry can also cause a slow carbon monoxide leak that can result in severe illness and even death if left undetected. This is why chimney inspections are important – safety!

Both CSIA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. This is in order to maintain the more efficient and safe chimneys. By using the Chim-Scan closed-circuit scanning system, a Hudson Chimney sweep is able to access hidden portions of the chimney. A thorough review of the video lets our technician identify damage and weakness, however small.

Post-Inspection Report

Following your inspection, you can expect a thorough report from your chimney sweep. If there is damage or concerns noted, he will also present repair recommendations. You will get these documents for your personal records. You can present these to your insurance provider, real estate agent, or other officials.

Hudson Chimney Services

We offer inspections, as well as a full menu of services including repairs, installations, and more. Our certified chimney sweeps are also expert masons. So, when a problem is detected on a video scan, we are swift to correct it, and any damage that has occurred because of it. Choosing Hudson Chimney means you partner with a full service chimney sweep company, and Hudson can be your one-stop-shop for the life of your chimney.

If you haven’t yet had your annual chimney inspection, contact Hudson Chimney and schedule your services today!

Buying or Selling Your Home: Chimneys

When you acquire a property whether by inheritance or purchase, or when you sell a property, the chimney is quite a selling point. In fact, a fireplace is the most common factor that home buyers request. However, a new homeowner doesn’t want to be surprised with a faulty fireplace, unsafe chimney, and damaged home because of it.

CSIA Chimney Inspections

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) prioritizes consumer safety, and strives to educate the public and train professionals in chimney and fire safety. CSIA credentials are nationally-recognized and its members offer three levels of CSIA inspections that are vital for chimney safety. A level two inspection is required for the transfer of property. It includes the basic assessment of a level one inspection as well as hidden portions that are accessed with special tools. A level two inspection also includes a video scan of the interior portions of the chimney system. In addition, a detailed report for your real estate agent, loan officer, and home buyer. The officials who have an interest in your sale, whether you’re the buyer or seller, will look for a CSIA signature on official documents.

Routine Maintenance and Repairs

When you buy a home with an existing chimney system, you have no assurance that the system has been properly maintained. The required chimney inspection is combined with a home inspection. This discloses any issues that might exist with the home and chimney system. If there is a chimney, you should receive a report of the required inspection. If the seller doesn’t repair damage prior to the sale, you should at least get a recommendation for repairs. Take the costs into account when making an offer for a home. If you’re working with a real estate agent, you might negotiate repairs before your purchase is final.

Selling Your Home

Your fireplace is a valuable selling point during a property sale. It’s wasted if you don’t take advantage. In order to make the most of your sell, you should keep your fireplace and chimney properly maintained. Before you put your home on the market, schedule a chimney sweep! This is so that your prospective buyers can’t smell the smoky soot in the fireplace. Your chimney sweep can assess the system during this appointment and present a report for your legal purposes. If you have been vigilant about your chimney’s maintenance over the years, your inspection should discover surprising damage, but it is still required.

Fireplace Facelift

Is your chimney is functional, but the fireplace is worn? You can update it with a beautiful and efficient fireplace insert. This can work together with your existing chimney. Before a sale is the best time for a fireplace facelift. Why? Because you can increase your price substantially with far less cost than you gain.

Hudson Chimney offers both gas and wood-burning inserts that will fit your space perfectly, whether you’re selling or buying a home. A Hudson Chimney sweep is standing by to make your purchase or sale as easy as possible. Call 904-282-4159 today, or contact us online.

Dryer Duct Installation

While planning for home safety and disaster preparedness, families often overlook the clothes dryer. While locating exits and the suspected location of a possible fire, the clothes dryer is also a risk. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration there are 2,900 reported clothes dryer house fires per year. These account for five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. These fires and this damage can be prevented by maintaining the dryer vent properly. The best way to have a safe and efficient dryer? Have the dryer vent installed correctly and to have it cleaned regularly!

Dryer Duct Installation Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyDangers of a Dryer Vent

If the dryer vent isn’t installed correctly it can welcome lint buildups, create obstructions, allow gases to escape the vent, and lead to dangerous fires. In addition, most cities have municipal codes that specify how the dryer vent should be installed.

  1. According to most manufacturer’s specifications and local codes, dryer ducts should be 4” in diameter, or less, and as large as the dryer outlet.
  2. Unless otherwise specified by your dryer’s manufacturer or local code, the length of the dryer duct shouldn’t exceed 25 feet. Every 90º turn adds 5 feet for the actual length.
  3. The dryer vent should be independent of all other systems. They should terminate outdoors only, not in a chimney, crawl space, or attic.
  4. Your outdoor exhaust vent’s termination hood should prevent back draft to ensure the exhaust doesn’t come back into the home.
  5. Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and exhaust duct.
  6. Flexible transition ducts should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.
  7. The CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician credential is the only nationally-recognized credential of its kind.

Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians

So, why opt for a professional installation? You have a better chance of your dryer exhaust vent meeting the standards of your homeowners or renter’s insurance. When you schedule with a Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician, you can rest assured knowing that your technician is experienced and trained in dryer vent safety, installation, and cleaning. Your technician will use the proper materials in the proper proportions. Afterwards, they would be happy to forward-schedule upcoming maintenance appointments. This ensures that your dryer vent hose stays clear of flammable lint that can cause a hazardous fire!

Hudson Chimney has been serving families in Northeast Florida for nearly thirty years and can help you. Have you recently purchased a new clothes dryer? If so, hire a C-DET professional to install your dryer vent hose. It’s the best way to preserve it’s life and your home’s.

Hudson Chimney makes it our priority to keep our customers safe and warm year round, and part of being safe is making sure the dryer vent is in proper working order. If you’re not sure about your dryer vent, you can schedule your annual cleaning and find out more about your system. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or request an appointment online.

Chimney Cap Replacement

The chimney cap is a vital part of the chimney system that has multiple jobs. The chimney cap is often overlooked, but when it’s gone it’s missed.

The Chimney Cap Keeps Weather Out

The chimney cap is placed at the flue opening. It prevents water from rain, snow, or hail from entering the flue. When the cap is missing, the water drops right into the flue’s opening and can cause water damage throughout the entire system in just a short time.

The Chimney Cap Keeps Wildlife Out

At various times throughout the year, animals seek shelter in chimney flues because they are warm and dry. These animals can bring debris with them. Even scratching the liner, damaging the masonry, blocking airflow, and can suffocate and die resulting in foul odors. A missing chimney cap can also allow sticks and leaves to fall into the flue during fall weather.

The Chimney Cap Keeps the Fire In

At times an unruly flame can throw sparks up the chimney along with the smoke and vapors naturally produced by the fire. If sparks are allowed to escape the flue opening, a fire can result when leaves and debris on the roof are ignited. Sparks have even been known to ignite dry grasses on the ground around the home.

Diagnosing a Chimney Cap Problem

The chimney cap is one component of the chimney system that can be visually inspected quite easily. Assessing your chimney system monthly, year-round, you will notice quickly if something has changed with your chimney cap. If it is turned, shifted, crooked, or missing it should be replaced as soon as possible. Do you have sudden downdrafts that push smoke into your living space? You should take a look at your chimney cap. The cap and screening is designed in a way to allow vapors to vent properly while preventing down drafts from blowing down your chimney. Downdrafts can decrease efficiency substantially and make it difficult to heat or cool your home and keep a fire going.

The most thorough assessment you can do for your chimney? Having a CSIA inspection! This is when a certified chimney sweep inspects your chimney from top to bottom. When you schedule an inspection your technician will notice right away if there’s a problem with your chimney cap. Not only will he point it out in the report, but will check thoroughly for damage caused by the missing cap.

Give Us A Call

Hudson Chimney not only replaces standard chimney caps, but we also specialize in custom chimney caps for our customers that prefer a personalized color or shape. Our chimney experts use stainless steel or galvanized metal to create caps that are both beautiful and functional. Call a Hudson Chimney expert today and get started with your chimney cap assessment and repair!

We Fix Leaky Chimneys

When it comes to chimneys, leaks are a common problem. Leaks inside the chimney as well as on the outside of the chimney are detrimental to the structure of the home and the chimney. At Hudson Chimney we make it our priority to keep your chimney functioning safely and efficiently. Many chimney sweeps might repair the damage from a leaky chimney year after year, failing to fix the problem at it’s source—the leak. At Hudson Chimney we repair the damage and fix the problem.

The Dangers of a Leaky Chimney

A leaky chimney can cause unseen damage for weeks or months before it’s noticed by a homeowner. That’s why it’s vitally important to schedule regular maintenance like chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. It’s at these appointments that a professional will get a look at your chimney.

When it’s caught early you can avoid the many damages and dangers caused by a leaky chimney.

  • Rusted and Deteriorated Parts
    Water can cause metal and cast iron parts like the damper and the liner to rust and malfunction or crack. A damaged chimney liner can raise fire risk and allow carbon monoxide and other harmful gases into your home.
  • Stained, Weakened, and Ruined Structures
    Water will ruin your walls, floors, and ceilings. A chimney leak can cause a leak in other parts of the house because the water runs to a lowest point, pools, then forms a leak. You might have a leak several feet or a couple rooms away from the chimney, but an experienced chimney sweep will check the chimney first.
  • Stained and Deteriorated Masonry
    Water damages and weakens masonry faster than anything else. It stains the exterior and interior of your chimney, the firebox, and hearth. Water stains are unsightly and point to a big problem. If your chimney has been leaking long enough to cause a stain, there is most likely already costly damage to the entire system.
  • Increased Fire Risk
    Water in the chimney affects the draft that keeps the chimney functioning properly, safely, and efficiently. When the draft is compromised, the air slows and stalls in the chimney, allowing hot gases and sparks to linger in the chimney, igniting creosote and soot that is highly flammable.
  • Shortened Chimney Life
    When water mingles with soot, it creates a highly corrosive substance that can damage masonry and chimney liner. Moisture disrupts the function of the chimney system and damages it structurally.

Trust In Us

Water causes such extensive damage, that it should be avoided at all costs. Not only can a certified chimney sweep catch a chimney leak in time to save your chimney, but he can also catch it in time to save you in catastrophic costs. Schedule your inspection and let a chimney expert diagnose and cure your leaky chimney today!

Why Are My Clothes Drying So Slow?

When your bought and installed your clothes dryer it should have worked great, drying clothes in one cycle, and since then it has declined. Many would attribute this change to age or “wear and tear”, but it’s actually more than that. If your clothes dryer is taking more than one cycle to dry an appropriately sized load of clothes, then there is a problem with your dryer. The most common reasons for a dryer failing to do the job it’s supposed to do is a heat element burning out or a ventilation issue.

Trouble Shooting Your Clothes Dryer

If you think your clothes dryer is working poorly, then you can check it out before calling in a professional.

  1. First, you should feel the dryer during and after a cycle. If the dryer is warm, then the heat element is working. If the dryer is warming up the area around it, even heating up the room where it’s located, then you most likely have a venting issue. A dryer is designed to vent excess heat. It shouldn’t add heat to the home if the vent hose is working.
  2. Check the vent flap on the outside of the house to make sure it is venting. Hold a hand in front of it to feel for warm air, make sure it opens as it should and is not clogged with lint or other debris.
  3. Remove the lint “trap” and wash it with warm, soapy water. Let it air dry, and return it to the dryer. This should be repeated monthly and will mostly help even if it doesn’t resolve the problem completely.

If your clothes continue to dry slower than they should, you can assume the dryer vent is clogged. Clogged dryer vents are a leading cause of house fires in the United States, accounting for 2900 house fires per year. This number is decreasing, but will remain a problem until clothes dryer safety is taken as seriously as chimney safety. Most homeowners don’t even know that local codes regulate how the dryer vent is installed, how many turns it can make, how long it is, and more. Most wouldn’t know there’s a problem with the clothes dryer at all because we assume it’s normal for dryers to take more cycles as they get older. This isn’t the case.

Click here for tips to protect your home from your clothes dryer, and call Hudson Chimney to have it cleaned regularly. Hudson Chimney specializes in dryer vent cleaning as part of a full menu of services designed to keep our customers safe. Find out how we can help you.

Why Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

Every industry has standards to base services, professionalism, training, and more. The healthcare field has extensive training and licensing. It is unlawful to provide services outside of that system of licensing. However, other services, like auto repair and chimney services are up to the consumer’s discretion. In addition, you can hire your neighbor to fix your oil leak in your car, and you can hire your local handyman to clean your chimney. Nevertheless, would do you want to?

Why Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyThe Value of Time

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) was established in 1983. Since then, it has become the industry standard for training and certification in the chimney safety industry. Fire investigators consult CSIA certified chimney sweeps. Also, realtors, insurance companies, and other professionals look for the signature of a CSIA member on documents, inspections, and reports.

The Value of Training

Largely part of CSIA’s success is the extensive training required for certification. After completing the membership certification through class and field training, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® must re-certify by exam or continued education every three years. This system of re-certification is vital in an industry continuously changing and advancing.

The Value of Ethics

Every CSIA member must adhere to a stringent code of ethics created to protect homeowners from scams. In such a profession as chimney maintenance, it’s important that homeowners look for a CSIA certified chimney sweep. If a CSIA member is found to be in violation of the code of ethics, his certification can be revoked. We take our professionalism seriously, and our goal is safety and education. On the contrary, it is not money-making schemes and gimmicks!

The Value of Networking

When you choose a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® you get a nationwide network of chimney professionals behind the work. Your chimney sweep has access to the earliest advancements in the industry, experienced professionals nationwide, and a reciprocal relationship with similar trades. That means that your chimney sweep has access to countless other professionals if necessary to give you the absolute best service possible.

Finding Your Chimney Sweep

The first place to look for your chimney sweep should be the CSIA database where you can find a chimney sweep near you. If you have trouble choosing between companies, look at their websites and search for information that is important to you. Have they been operating long? Are they experienced in the area, aware of local codes and familiar with the climate? Are they affiliated with any other industry organizations such as the National Chimney Sweep Guild or the Florida Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps?

There should be no question who is more qualified once you find chimney sweeps who are CSIA certified. If you’re still not convinced, you can call and discuss questions and concerns with the chimney experts. Hudson Chimney welcomes inquiries. Our main goal is the safety and comfort of our customers and neighbors in Northeast Florida.

To talk to a Hudson Chimney sweep, call 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

Does Your Damper Need to be Replaced or Upgraded?

Your chimney is a complex system of many parts. These parts are constantly working to remove harmful gases and byproducts from your home. If any of these parts become damaged, it can bring down the chimney’s efficiency drastically, affecting the way it vents, and allowing smoke and carbon monoxide into the house. One important part of this system is the damper. Not only does it help to control the flame and assist in starting a fire, but it also keeps the heat from escaping up the chimney. When the damper is in the closed position, it can keep smoke from rising up the chimney as well as the heat, then the smoke goes into the home. This can affect the air quality in your home.

Common Damper Problems

  • Improper Seal
    Traditional throat dampers can cause issues because they don’t close with a tight seal. They can cost a lot of money in the long run year-round by allowing heat to escape in the winter and allowing warm drafts in the summer. These dampers can also be a pain to repair or replace. A good alternative is to install a top-sealing damper.
  • Rusted in Place
    If a chimney has a leak that has gone unnoticed, the damper can quickly become rusted and become stuck in the place. It becomes an instant fire hazard whether the damper is stuck open or closed.
  • Partial Close
    If the chimney’s throat and the damper become covered in soot, creosote, or other debris, the damper can stop closing properly. This can cause substantial heat loss up the chimney.
  • Drafts Present in Chimney
    If your fire will only light or burn well during periods of high winds, then it’s possible your damper is not functioning properly. A top-sealing damper is a good option if you live in areas where there are high winds.

The Top-Sealing Damper

Hudson Chimney sells two of the most popular top-sealing dampers, the Energy Top and the Energy Top Plus from U.S. Fireplace Products. These dampers not only serve as a damper, but also as a chimney cap, preventing water penetration and downdrafts. They also prevent animals and debris from falling into the chimney through all seasons.

These dampers must stay open while the fire is in use because the tight seal will not allow exhaust to escape the chimney. During the off season the top-sealing damper closes tightly, to keep conditioned air from escaping, saving money throughout the year. They are easy to open and close, with an easily accessible handle.

Finally, a top-sealing damper is simple to install, and requires minimal maintenance. It can be assessed during your annual chimney inspection, but should last the life of your chimney.

Troubleshoot other reasons your chimney may not be working. If problems persist, you should contact a chimney expert at Hudson Chimney today. Call 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

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