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 | Feb 27, 2019 | Chimney Inspections
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 &
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.
by Mark Hudson | Sep 8, 2017 | Chimney Inspections
Your fireplace is designed to hold your fire, and your chimney is designed to vent it. These two parts of the chimney system are made to work together. When both parts work correctly, the fire should be safe and efficient. When even one part of the system falls short, efficiency drops and fire risk goes up.
Both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend routine maintenance for a safe and efficient fire. That means that your chimney should be clean, and checked annually for damage and wear. Making these appointments and caring for your chimney system in this way ensures your fireplace and chimney lasts longer, is safer for your home and family, and is easier on the environment. This low-cost preventative service can save you thousands later.
What is a CSIA Inspection?
A CSIA inspection is an annual inspection to be completed by a CSIA certified chimney sweep. There are three levels of CSIA inspection:
- Level 1 – To be completed annually when nothing has changed with the chimney system. This inspection includes all accessible portions of the chimney.
- Level 2 – To be completed if a level 1 raises concern, if a change is made to the system, or if a home is being sold or transferred. This inspection includes all accessible portions as well as those accessed through hidden areas including attics and crawlspaces.
- Level 3 – To be completed if a hazard is detected in a level 2 inspection. This inspection requires extra tools to remove components of the building, including walls and parts of the chimney if necessary.
Why Hire a Professional
By the time the average homeowner notices a problem with the chimney, the unseen damage has occurred. In some cases, devastating damages can occur inside the chimney itself, causing efficiency to drop, allowing hazardous gases and particle pollution into your home, and creating the perfect environment for a flue fire.
While you may be unaware, your fire is always coating your flue with soot and creosote. A minor chimney leak or the wrong type of wood burning in the fireplace can lead to a drop in efficiency. A drop in efficiency increases the amount of soot and creosote, leading to a buildup, and eventually a fire. Chimney leaks not only raise the risk of fire but also lead to damages to your home and even mold in the air you breathe. All of this and more can occur while you go on, unaware and in danger.
It’s our highest priority at Hudson Chimney to educate the community as well as our customers in and around Jacksonville about fire risk. Stay safe. Protect your family and your property. Hire a CSIA certified chimney expert today, and have Hudson Chimney complete your annual inspection.
by Mark Hudson | Aug 8, 2017 | Chimney Inspections
To protect all parties and provide full disclosure to the prospective buyers prior to making the purchase, a chimney inspection should be scheduled. When a home-buyer finds their dream home, they want to know exactly what they’re getting. A standard home inspection will not thoroughly evaluate a chimney system. It can’t. Only a certified chimney expert has the training and experience to assess a chimney system, and present a valid report of their findings.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is the national standard for the chimney industry. CSIA certified chimney sweeps undergo extensive classroom and field training in order to meet this high standard. They also adhere to a stringent code of ethics to maintain certification. In addition, a re-examination or continued education every three years is required. These standards of education, training, and performance give them the capability to inspect chimneys and fireplaces of all kinds. Thus, giving them the CSIA signature desired by realtors, insurers, and code officers.
A standard home inspection is a visual observation the following:
- heating/cooling system
- electrical and appliance systems
- the roof
- the basement
(Note: This assessment of the chimney is generally for structural soundness. It also doesn’t offer a report on the functionality of the chimney. Only a certified chimney sweep has the proper tools to assess the chimney system from top to bottom, inside and out, and offer a report of this kind.)
Level 2 CSIA Inspection
There are three levels of CSIA inspections required under different circumstances. The level 1 is the annual inspection required when no changes have been or will be made to the system. However, even if you had a level 1 inspection in the last year, a level 2 CSIA inspection is required before a sale or transfer of property. It is more thorough than a home inspection. It includes a visual inspection by video scanning of internal surfaces, and joints of the flue liner. This inspection includes everything in a level 1 inspection (standard annual inspection) plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior (attics, basements, crawl spaces). It will also address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations.
The home inspector may be able to use tools to determine if a chimney is plumb. Also, observe visible damage such as spalling or leaks, but to a home inspector a brick looks like a brick. A certified chimney sweep can determine if a chimney is constructed of the correct materials. Additionally, they can tell if the size and shape of the smoke chamber and flue are up to code, and if there are unseen hazards.
It’s in both the seller and buyer’s best interest to have a level 2 chimney inspection completed by a certified chimney expert, before a sale. Before papers are signed, or money crosses hands, the chimney report should be included in the disclosure statement.
Unlike home inspection companies, CSIA’s main priority is safety and keeping families and individuals safe. As CSIA members and certified sweeps, Hudson Chimney shares this priority, which is why we offer chimney inspections year-round. To schedule yours, call 904-282-4159.
by Mark Hudson | May 23, 2017 | Chimney Inspections
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).
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.
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!
by Mark Hudson | Oct 10, 2016 | Chimney Inspections
If you are familiar with real estate, mortgage brokers, or state and municipal codes, you may be familiar with home inspectors. The are NOT to be confused with a chimney inspector. Expecting a home inspector to properly assess the complex workings of the chimney system? That’s like expecting a sport’s car expert to inspect an RV. They are similar, yes. They have some of the same features, yes. However, there is a lot more to the RV than the car. Likewise, there is a lot more to a chimney than meets the eye.
The CSIA Difference
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has been the industry standard for training, education, and certification since the 1980’s. Members are required to undergo aggressive training and field hours. They also have to re-certify every three years by way of exam or continued education.
Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® (CCS) has the experience and expertise to inspect the entire chimney system properly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) along with CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections. There are three levels of inspections:
- Level One
This is the annual inspection. It’s scheduled when no changes are made to the chimney system. This inspection is a visual check of all easily accessible parts of the chimney system.
- Level Two
This inspection should be scheduled when the chimney system is changed in any way. For example, when fuel is changed, appliances are installed, or there has been parts repair or replacement. This will happen when a level one inspection requires further investigation. It involves accessing hidden portions of the chimney system.
- Level Three
This is the most thorough inspection. It’s scheduled when a level two inspection requires further investigation. During a level three inspection parts of the home can be removed. This allows access to all parts of the chimney system. These include areas surrounding the chimney system, like in attics, crawl spaces, and behind walls.
Why These Levels of Inspection are Important
The three levels of chimney inspections include any issue that might arise with the chimney. Even the level one inspection is more thorough than that of a home inspector. According to Total Home Inspection the home inspector will assess the visible parts of the chimney. These include the flashing, masonry, and chimney cap. However, a home inspector or general contractor does not have the trained eye that a certified chimney sweep does. By the time a chimney reaches the level of damage that an inspector checklist describes, (damaged brick, cracked joints, staining) it could be overwhelming. Regardless, there is more than likely extensive damage that would have been noticed first by a certified chimney sweep.
Scheduling an inspection of your chimney may be for real estate sales, property ownership transfer, or an insurance policy. No matter the reason, you want to be sure your documentation will be accepted. Hudson Chimney not only offers inspection services. We offer video documentation of the interior of the chimney, as well as a detailed report for your records. The CCS credential is what your insurance, loan, or real estate broker will look for. Choose a certified chimney sweep every time.
Call Hudson Chimney and ask about our inspection services today or request an appointment online!