by Mark Hudson | Mar 31, 2020 | chimney maintenance
Procrastinating on chimney repairs can lead to very dangerous results. There are many reasons why you should never procrastinate on repairing your chimney. A fireplace is a wonderful addition to your home to keep you warm and cozy, however, it is important to remember that the chimneys that serve them work to make sure that the fire burning doesn’t result in dangerous gases and other by-products of combustion getting into your home.
Reasons why chimney repairs are important
Smoke from fires contains dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause illnesses or even death if exposed to large amounts.
Another risk is that delaying repairs could lead to chimney fires. As all of the different substances produced as wood burns are expelled through the chimney, it could result in residue that sticks to the inner walls of your chimney. This is called creosote. Creosote is a black or brown oily residue that is highly combustible. If it’s not maintained and taken care of, the buildup could ignite causing chimney fires.
Another reason to not delay repairs is that the further the damage, the more costly it could get, especially if it deals with cracks or leaks. Cracks in your chimney could lead to overheating and dangerous gases to leak into your home. Leaks in your chimney could lead to further damage of the structure of your home. As it impairs the efficiency of your chimney, it can also cause leaks into your ceilings, walls, and other structures.
Leaks occur because a lot of masonry materials are porous to expel the gases, however this also means that it can absorb large amounts of water. According to the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA), common bricks act like a sponge, absorbing water & moisture into the interior of your chimney system.
Preventing leaks is very affordable and easy. Here at Hudson Chimney, we want to do everything we can to help from water damage to preventing dangerous gases to enter your home.
Look for signs
There are many different ways to know if you need chimney repairs. With leaks, it could be hard to find any symptoms. However, if you see any of these following signs, call a chimney professional right away.
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox parts or rusted fireplace accessories
- A dripping noise
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Water-stained walls and ceiling around your chimney
- Stained chimney exterior or decaying exterior mortar
- A cracked or deteriorated flue lining
- A tilted, collapsed or settled-looking chimney
- Rainwater in or around your fireplace or furnace thimble
With possible creosote build up, you shouldn’t see any heavy or dangerous signs such as loud cracking or dense smoke if you get your chimney swept regularly. As creosote build up comes in different stages, the further you get, the harder and more costly it will get.
Some early signs to look for are:
- Reduced drafting in fireplace
- Black soot in and around your fireplace
- Very dark smoke coming from your chimney
- If you can see more than ⅛ of an inch of soot build up
- Not as much as ash left after burning
- If you see any of these signs, make sure you contact a chimney professional to help.
How We Can Help
Hudson Chimney has been in the business for over 30 years and we have dealt with all kinds of repairs. We have certified chimney professionals that will help inspect your chimney and repair them for you. We want to make sure that your home is protected from preventable danger concerning your chimney.
With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking precautions to ensure your safety as well as your professionals. We are taking measures not to shake hands, we will be wearing gloves, laying down tarps, which are washed everyday when professionals return, and we have many tarps to ensure that we are not spreading the virus from home to home.
by Mark Hudson | Dec 14, 2018 | chimney maintenance
Now is the perfect time to schedule your chimney services to add safety and value to your fireplace experience this winter. You should not use a chimney or fireplace that has not been serviced in the last 12 months. Using it can result in serious damage, and it can cause a loss of value, property, injury, and even death. However, to get the most out of your fireplace, you need to schedule your annual chimney services!
The most important services to complete annually for your chimney is your chimney sweeping and inspection. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both agree that chimney systems need to be routinely cleaned and inspected. This keeps them running smoothly and more efficiently.
- Chimney Sweeping – When you schedule a chimney sweep with Hudson Chimney, you can count on a mess-free and professional experience. A certified professional will tarp off the area to prevent a mess, and they use brushes, rods, and a high-powered vacuum system to clean away all soot and creosote. Then they also inspect the exterior of the system. If there is a major issue with your chimney, we’ll know. We document our findings and present it to you, including photos and video footage, if necessary.
- Chimney Inspection – When you schedule a chimney inspection with Hudson, and you can count us. Our professionals will thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the system. They will check for all readily accessible portions and accessible portions, and they will even remove components if necessary to access the hazards. There are three levels of inspection, this allow us to search and inspect what is necessary without wasting time, resources, and money. If you schedule a level one inspection or a level two, and a level three is necessary, we will discuss options with you. Our goal is safety and function for your home and family, and we will do whatever it takes!
However, sometimes even when you do all the necessary routine maintenance for your chimney system, things can still happen to cause damages. For example, high winds can dislodge your flashing, a flue fire can crack a liner or masonry, or seismic activity can shift masonry, cause gaps, or more.
Even minor cracks can become serious gaps and voids after a season of winter weather. You should avoid unnecessary damages by scheduling preventative measures now.
- Waterproofing – We treat chimneys with a waterproofing agent that protects your masonry all season long, year-after-year, is vapor-permeable. It doesn’t affect the way your masonry look either!
- Repairs – In addition to preventative services, repairs are essential for preventing winter damage. As soon as you notice a problem, or get a report of damage from your inspector, a repair should be scheduled. We repair parts and masonry to keep your family safe.
Contact Hudson Chimney today so that your fire is safe and warm all winter long. Call 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
by Mark Hudson | Sep 17, 2018 | chimney maintenance
The chimney is made to last a lifetime, or at least the life of your home! However, if a chimney is constructed properly, components installed properly, and the correct materials are used, it won’t be able to last a long time. So why do you need regular chimney sweepings, anyway? It can save you time and money in the future, and it can even save your life. There are five things that can turn your chimney into a disaster, but all of these factors are preventable and the dangers caused by them are easily avoidable.
You cannot control the weather, but you can prevent water from entering your chimney system. When water penetrates your chimney system, it damages it from the inside out, it can cause the following damages: rusted parts, damaged structure, ruined furniture, rooms, and decor, stained masonry, and more. Water in the system cause your chimney to drop its efficiency and raises risks for potential dangers. It also cause you to burn more wood, resulting in a smoky fireplace, allow mold to grow, and cause odors.
Prevent chimney leaks by making sure your chimney is safe. Certain parts need to be protected to keep water out, this include the cap, crown, and flashing. Additionally, ask a Hudson Chimney expert about waterproofing services today. We use ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent to keep water from getting in, this is the best solution against water damages.
Only a professional knows the ins and outs of comprehensive chimney care. They’re certified through classroom and field training. They also adhere to local and federal safety codes, and they have experience with all types of fire appliances. Hiring an amateur can result in dangerous hazards and costly repairs down the road. Instead, you should find a local CSIA-certified chimney sweep to take care of all your chimney needs. You should also read reviews and hire a professional who is qualified. Membership in chimney sweep guilds are a bonus, check out Hudson Chimney’s credentials here.
Storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires can cause some serious damage to the structure of your chimney. These can all cause your chimney to work less efficiently. The damage can be minor shifted parts or serious like leaning or spalling. The best thing to do for your chimney after a strong storm or natural occurrences is to visually inspect it. If you find damage, call a professional for a thorough inspection right away.
Water damage get worse during freezing temperatures. The freeze/thaw cycle is the process in which water penetrates and fills cracks in the masonry, freezes and expands, breaking apart the masonry, then melts again, moving further into the masonry to repeat the process. You should have your chimney system inspected annually, especially before winter, so that cracks and voids in the masonry are repaired. You should also invest in chimney waterproofing to prevent the freeze/thaw cycle and water penetration!
The biggest threat to your chimney system is neglect. A chimney that is cleaned and inspected regularly is safe and more efficient. These services keep your chimney working safely and properly, save you money, prevent damage, and lengthen the life of your chimney system.
It’s time to really invest in your chimney and fireplace system, especially if you want your system to last a long time. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and schedule services today!
by Mark Hudson | Aug 30, 2018 | chimney maintenance
With fall comes pumpkin spice coffee, ghouls and goblins, and relaxing by the fireplace. Even in warmer climates, a fireplace is a favorite home upgrade, making a room cozier, creating the perfect photo backdrop, and even supplementing the heat bills. You can benefit a lot from a fireplace, but is your fireplace ready for use? Lighting a fire in a dirty or unsafe fireplace is a bad idea and can put you at risk.
If you haven’t had a chimney sweep since last winter, your chimney is not ready for use. Every time you burn a fire in the fireplace, soot and creosote are deposited in the chimney interior. Additionally, while sitting there this summer, your chimney could have become home to critters or birds. Storms is another major factor, as it might have damaged the mortar, cap, or flashing to allow debris into your chimney.
There is no way to identify damage unless you hire a professional to come check it out. A certified chimney sweep knows what to look for, and they are have lots of experiences with chimneys and fireplaces. A standard chimney sweeping includes a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and a visible inspection of the exterior.
Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend to get your chimney cleaned regularly and inspected annually. A CSIA inspection is a thorough assessment of all accessible portions of the chimney system. Chimney systems that have been changed, used differently, or have sustained damage require a level two inspection. This includes a video scan. A level two inspection is also required when a property is sold or transferred.
Repairs and Prevention
Scheduling your chimney sweep and inspection now gives you plenty of time to make necessary repairs or changes before fall arrives. If your chimney professional identifies damage, big or small, it can be repaired now to avoid more damage. Waiting to repair masonry or replace missing or damaged parts allow water to enter your system to cause much more costly repairs.
At Hudson Chimney, we not only repair chimneys and fireplaces, but we can also waterproof your masonry. Our technicians can apply ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent, which protects the masonry from water penetration while still allowing heat and vapors out. This product is 100% vapor permeable, and this will not affect the look of the masonry. It also works for ten years.
If you’re not sure whether your fireplace and chimney are ready to use, call the professionals to check it out before taking a chance. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and get on our schedule now.
by Mark Hudson | Aug 22, 2017 | chimney maintenance
Have you already had your chimney swept, inspected, and properly closed out for the off-season? If so, you’ve probably enjoyed the summer knowing it’s ready for burn season. Do you still have chimney work to be done? Schedule now and avoid the fall rush!
Avoid the Fall Rush
The busy season between October and January is considered the fall rush. This is because chimney sweep companies are especially busy during this time. Fall and early winter keeps chimney sweeps busy on emergency calls, repairs, and installations. So, it is best to schedule routine maintenance like sweeps and inspections before this busy time of year. Get ahead of the crowd and schedule now. Waiting until fall can mean you are left in the cold! You could be unable to get the appointment time you need, the technician you want, or even the company you trust. Do not settle for second best. Schedule now! Hudson Chimney offers chimney services year-round for customer safety and convenience. We can sweep, inspect, and waterproof your chimney before burn season.
By scheduling preventative care now, you can avoid those emergency calls this winter. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual inspections, for the safest and most efficient chimneys. When your chimney is clean, parts work better, air flows better, and the fire is more effective. It produces less pollution, but more heat. When it’s dirty it raises fire risk and decreases efficiency. This means more creosote is produced, and flames are more likely to ignite debris and creosote in the flue.
Just as important as the sweep, the inspection can prevent catastrophic damage. Why? It’s the time when an experienced professional assesses the entire chimney system from top to bottom. The technician will report on weaknesses that can become serious hazards quickly. Minor damages are simpler and cheaper to repair now, and will prevent water damage and winter damage this next burn season.
Make Time for Repairs
By scheduling your inspection now, you allow time for necessary repairs before temperatures drop. There are 3 levels of CSIA inspections, each more thorough than the last. If you have a routine inspection (level 1) and it identifies a possible hazard, you will need a level 2, and possibly level 3 inspection. If your chimney requires a level 3 inspection, there is a serious hazard, and repairs are required. By starting this process now, you will have time for needed repairs before burn season, before schedules fill up, and before temperatures drop!
To schedule your diagnostic chimney inspection, you can call Jacksonville’s #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care! Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or schedule online using our online form.
by Mark Hudson | Jun 20, 2017 | chimney maintenance
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!
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.