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.
by Mark Hudson | Oct 28, 2019 | Chimney Inspection
Using a fireplace that hasn’t been cleaned or inspected puts your home and family at risk. Your fire may burn nicely with a beautiful, dancing flame, but there may be unseen problems. Many homeowners don’t know what signs to look for that might indicate a chimney problem. Much of the system is unseen and oftentimes there is serious damage by the time the homeowner notices any problem at all. The safest chimneys are those that are maintained by a professional regularly.
Routine Chimney Services
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that the safest and most efficient chimneys are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. Home and business owners in and around Jacksonville, Florida can have their chimney systems cleaned and inspected by Hudson Chimney, Jacksonville’s favorite for over 30 years.
Chimney Sweeping and Cleaning
Cleaning the chimney system from top to bottom means it’s safe from the inside out. When you schedule a chimney sweep with us, a certified expert from Hudson Chimney will be there to help. We’ll use specialized brushes and rods to sweep away soot and creosote from the flue walls. Then, we collect the dust and debris in an industrial vacuuming system.
Creosote buildup in the chimney system is a serious fire hazard. Lighting a fire in a dirty chimney may put your home and your family at great risk. Creosote is made up mostly of tar and can reach a condensed level of buildup called Glazed Creosote. This buildup can slow airflow through the flue and ignite when temperatures are extreme and sparks rise up the chimney. Glazed creosote cannot be removed by brush during a standard chimney sweep but will require professional removal by an industrial product. Avoid this extra hassle by schedule regular chimney sweeps to remove creosote before it becomes a problem.
Homeowners may not know what to look for, but a trained and experienced chimney expert will. Your chimney inspection is the most important appointment you’ll make for your home this year. They prevent accidental fires, chimney water leaks, and serious structural damage.
It’s our goal and mission in the chimney industry to bring down the instances of residential fires and a large part of this is accomplished through providing important services like these. Chimney fires are 100 percent preventable. A properly-constructed chimney system with all the right parts working together correctly will vent the fire safely and efficiently. When you schedule a CSIA inspection and your chimney gets a clean bill of health from a certified professional, you can rest assured that the system will work correctly all winter long.
If you reside in Jacksonville and own or rent a home with a fireplace, there is time to schedule your chimney maintenance in time for your winter fires.
Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
by Mark Hudson | Sep 29, 2018 | Chimney Inspection
It’s almost time for the first fire of the season, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold. Make sure your chimney system is ready when you are scheduling your chimney services early. Lighting a fire in a dirty or damaged chimney can be a recipe for disaster. It can put your family at risk, lower the value of your home, and cost you dearly in repairs and damages.
Beat the Fall Rush
When you schedule early, you can avoid the fall rush and make sure you’re on the books with your preferred company and technician. If you wait, you may end up waiting longer than expected as chimney professionals stay busy during the Fall Rush–the period between October and January. During this time chimney sweeps are busy with routine services, repairs, and installations. Don’t risk lighting a fire in a dangerous or dirty chimney. Don’t miss out on using your fireplace this fall. Don’t wait; schedule chimney services early.
A Clean Chimney
When your chimney was out of use this summer it may have become home to rodents or wildlife. During the summer, humidity or precipitation might have mixed with the creosote and soot to create a corrosive material on the liner. This material left inside the chimney can lead to odors, a drop in efficiency, and even dangerous buildup. There may be a dangerous buildup that becomes an obstruction. The only way to ensure your chimney system is clean and will work efficiently and properly is to schedule a sweep before fall. Schedule a Hudson chimney sweep and you can rest assured that our courteous and knowledgeable technicians will leave your chimney in the best shape possible, safer and more efficient than ever.
Like chimney sweeps, inspections are an opportunity for a professional to see your system and recognize a problem that a homeowner will miss. During an inspection, a professional will assess your entire system and you’ll get a clean bill of health, a repair recommendation, and even documentation for your insurance or realtor. This annual appointment is one of the most important for your home. Have it done now, and you’ll have time for necessary repairs before fall.
Schedule repairs as soon as you are aware of a problem. If there is masonry damage, missing parts, or any other problems, have it addressed before burn season. If your chimney has cracked, crumbled or falling masonry, a professional should repair it through a process of tuckpointing. A chimney leak should be diagnosed and repaired before winter to avoid the freeze/thaw cycle–whether the flashing or cap needs replaced, crown needs repairs, or the whole chimney needs to be waterproofed. We can repair it before winter when you schedule early.
Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or contact us online so that you can schedule early and rest assured that your fireplace will be ready for a fire this fall.
by Mark Hudson | Feb 21, 2018 | Chimney Inspection
Whether you’re a homebuyer, looking for a home to purchase, or a seller looking to sell a house, your chimney needs some attention. Before a sell, you might find yourself scheduling a home inspection. Depending on the realtor associated with your sale, the seller may pay for and schedule the inspection, or the buyer may. Regardless, you will want a chimney expert to check out the chimney system—because the home inspector won’t!
When you’re buying or selling a home, there is a disclosure statement that includes known issues with the property. Oftentimes, instead of scheduling an inspection with a chimney expert, a seller will include the chimney in the disclosure statement. This frees them of costs and damages that may be associated with the chimney system. This may seem A-okay, but it can cost you more than you bargained for in the long-run. If you think the only thing you’ll be paying for when you take ownership of your house is a chimney inspection (required by most homeowners insurance), think again. If the previous owners don’t have an up-to-date chimney inspection, there is probably neglect and damage behind the scenes. These costs will add up quickly, and will likely mean you can’t use your fireplace until it is repaired.
The CSIA Signature
To ensure you have a safe chimney—or at least an accurate report of condition—you need to look for the CSIA signature on the report. This means the inspector is a classroom trained, tested, and field trained certified chimney sweep, with current membership in the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the nation’s standard for chimney professionals.
The CSIA Inspection
A home inspector will focus on the structure of the chimney and note visible issues. A CSIA certified chimney expert, however, will assess it from the inside out. Hudson Chimney, Jacksonville’s choice for chimney care for over 30 years, inspects chimneys year-round. Not only do we offer level 1, 2, and 3 inspections, but we proudly use a Chim-Scan camera to view the inside of the system, hidden to the untrained eye. Our technicians do not miss a chimney issue, large or small. If you are selling, we are happy to complete a level 2 inspection (required for land transfers and sales) and provide you with a thorough report for your potential buyers.
The best way to make your house more desirable is to leave no questions for the potential buyers. If your realtor has a current chimney inspection in-hand when speaking with potential buyers, they’re more apt to view it as what it is—a benefit. An inspection report is necessary for insurance policies, code enforcement, and more. Leaving it up to the home inspector is like hiring a veterinarian to remove your appendix. Professional training doesn’t always transfer to other uses.
Save time and money by hiring a chimney expert to assess your chimney. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and schedule your chimney inspection today.