by Mark Hudson | Apr 22, 2016 | fire safety
When you buy a home, you have to hire a home inspector to make sure there are no hidden problems with any of the major systems in the house. Your home inspector will check out the electrical and plumbing systems, the structure and foundation, and other parts of the home. After you receive the final inspection report, you may believe everything in the fireplace and chimney system works properly, but home inspectors are not necessarily chimney experts. Many of the national fire safety organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend that the chimney and venting system should be inspected by a professional certified chimney technician before you buy a home. Our CSIA-certified chimney professionals at Hudson Chimney are trained and experienced in finding damage and potential problems in chimneys and fireplaces. You may think you are saving money by not hiring a chimney technician for an inspection before you purchase a house, but there could be a problem with the system that can not only cost you a lot more money in the future, but it could also be a danger to your life. We would like to tell you about the importance of a professional chimney inspection when you are buying a home.
Home inspectors can miss some major problems with a chimney and fireplace system.
While home inspectors have been trained and certified to professionally inspect the major systems of a house, they usually have not received any professional extensive training concerning fireplaces and chimneys. For example, the CSIA reports that a home inspector approved a chimney and fireplace system, which was found to have some major problems by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. The chimney inspection discovered that the height of the chimney was not tall enough to meet building code regulations, the existence of drywall exposure, and the separation of the hearth from the wall. These problems could cause chimney draft issues, fire hazards, and carbon monoxide leaks. If the homeowner had not hired the chimney sweep because the home inspector found no problems, he or she could experience a devastating fire or become ill from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Home inspectors are not required to thoroughly inspect chimneys.
The most a home inspector will typically do to check out the chimney is using a flashlight to look into the flue. A chimney inspection from the CSIA-certified sweeps at Hudson Chimney will include a video scan from a closed-circuit camera that has been designed to be used inside a chimney. We will have a close-up look at every inch of the inside of that chimney, and we can show you any damage or possible problem we may find. You will also have the needed evidence to show to the homeowner of damage that needs to be repaired before you will agree to purchase the home.
Shopping for a new home? Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for a professional chimney inspection to be sure the home you are buying poses no dangerous risks from the chimney and fireplace system.
by Mark Hudson | Mar 9, 2016 | dryer vents, fire safety
Have you been noticing lately that it is taking longer for your clothes dryer to completely dry one load of clothes? If so, this is a sure sign that your dryer vent is dirty and clogged and needs professional cleaning. When the vent is clogged, hot, moist air is trapped in your clothes dryer which makes it difficult for the clothes to dry in one cycle. Not only does a clogged dryer vent make it harder for your dryer to work correctly, it can also be a dangerous fire hazard. Hudson Chimney is proud to offer professional dryer vent cleaning services, along with our chimney and fireplace maintenance, repair, and installation services. When you think about it, your dryer vent is not unlike your chimney as it is used to remove exhaust from your home, which is why we have included this service. Many national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that you should have your dryer vent professionally cleaned every year to keep it from getting clogged. We would like to tell you more about why it is so important to have this service done.
Our professional dryer vent cleaning service will reduce your risk of experiencing a clothes dryer fire.
Your clothes dryer produces a lot of lint, which is so flammable that the Boy Scouts of America recommend that you use it to start campfires. When lint accumulates in your dryer vent, it increases your risk of your clothes dryer catching on fire. You may be surprised at exactly how common clothes dryer fires are. According to the CSIA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 5,100 fires caused by dirty clothes dryer vents occurred in 2012. These fires resulted in 10 deaths, 180 injuries, and about $80 million in property damage. These fires and their casualties could have easily been prevented if the homeowners had scheduled a professional dryer vent cleaning. At Hudson Chimney, safety is our top priority, and we work hard to reduce as many fire hazards as we can from your home. Our professional dryer vent cleaning services is just one way we can prevent an accidental fire at your home.
Our professional dryer vent cleaning service will prolong the life of your clothes dryer.
When your dryer vent is clogged, your clothes dryer has to work harder to dry a load of clothes. This not only wastes money on your utility bills as well as energy, but it can also cause parts of your clothes dryer to wear out prematurely. The heating element is one of these parts, and it can be expensive to repair or replace this part. After Hudson Chimney cleans your dryer vent, we guarantee that your clothes dryer will work more efficiently and take less time to dry one load of clothes. You will also notice a reduction in your utility bills because you will not have to run your dryer twice to dry one load of clothes.
If you have noticed your clothes taking longer to dry, contact us at Hudson Chimney. We will be happy to schedule an appointment to professionally clean your dryer vent system.
by Mark Hudson | Jul 15, 2014 | chimney maintenance, fire safety, fireplaces
It’s important to know what could happen if you keep on ignoring your chimney’s needs. Negligence on your part might bring you to regret not taking care of it.
If you have ever wondered why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), along with numerous other fire safety and government health organizations, recommend an annual chimney sweeping and inspection, “dirty chimneys kill.” While we are not trying to scare you into scheduling your yearly chimney cleaning, Hudson Chimney would like to tell you exactly why you need an annual chimney sweep and inspection, so you can understand the urgency behind following this important step of chimney maintenance.
1. A chimney sweeping removes the buildup of creosote from the walls of your chimney.
If you burn wood, creosote will occur naturally during condensation from when smoke, gases, and vapors from your fireplace exits the upper, cooler walls of your chimney. Sticking around as a residue, creosote can be black or brown and varies in appearance. Whether it is shiny and hard, crusted and flaky, or gummy and tar-like, creosote is highly combustible. If enough of the creosote residue builds up in your chimney and the internal flue reaches high temperatures, you have the makings of a dangerous chimney fire. An annual chimney cleaning from a CSIA-certified company like Hudson Chimney can remove creosote deposits before they can become large enough to ignite a fire.
2. A chimney inspection will alert you to any water penetration damage that might exist in your chimney.
If you own a masonry chimney, you should know that the CSIA has called water the number one enemy of the bricks and mortar of your chimney. For good reasons, water penetration can cause extensive and expensive damages and repairs to masonry fireplaces and chimneys. From loose bricks and mortar to rusted appliances to serious structural deterioration, the destruction caused by water can be alarming. Hudson Chimney can find the leak that is causing the damage, repair the leak and damage, and then apply a waterproofing sealant to prevent any more water penetration of your masonry chimney.
3. A chimney sweeping and inspection can prevent toxic gases like carbon monoxide from entering your home.
Unfortunately, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are on the rise, due to the focus on energy-efficiency. While the temperate air is sealed in, saving you money, the toxic by-products of combustion are also sealed inside, as air flow has been restricted. If there is not enough oxygen coming in to completely burn the fuel, carbon monoxide is produced, and since you cannot see, smell, or taste it, you and your family could be breathing it in for quite a while. A CSIA-certified inspection from Hudson Chimney will ensure the drafting and venting is working to keep the air flow going through the house, bringing oxygen to the heating source. A sweeping will also remove any possible blockages like animal nests to prevent another source of carbon monoxide invading your home. If you and your family develop flu-like symptoms that do not disappear, ask your doctor for a carbon monoxide blood test to be sure your health is not at risk.
If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping and inspection this year, contact Hudson Chimney today. Proper chimney maintenance begins with this important step.
by Mark Hudson | May 13, 2014 | dryer vents, fire safety
It is very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the built up lint is a fire hazard that endangers your house and everyone in it. Allow the professionals at Hudson Chimney to help you maintain a safer and more efficient dryer.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call! We look forward to providing you with a lifetime of high-quality, professional services!
by Mark Hudson | Apr 24, 2014 | chimney maintenance, fire safety
Problems in your chimney’s flue can pose a threat to your family’s health and safety. It is important to have a fully-functional and efficient chimney liner. Here’s what you need to know:
Is smoke coming in instead of going out? If you think your chimney liner needs repairing or replacing, Hudson Chimney can offer you the best services.
by Mark Hudson | Apr 8, 2014 | chimney maintenance, fire safety
Let’s Talk Creosote Removal
Have you noticed any black particles and burnt-like marks on your chimney walls? You might think it’s just stained because of the smoke, however these should not be underestimated, because creosote buildup can become quite dangerous.
Don’t forget to have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year to maximize output and safety.
What is that black substance coating your chimney walls? It’s called creosote, a chemical byproduct of open combustion from burning either hardwood or softwood. These two types of wood usually need to be seasoned and dried up to at least six months so that only minimal production of creosote is made. This means that creosote production is inevitable and the biggest dilemma once creosote has built up in your chimney is the probability of chimney fires occurring.
So because we can’t prevent it from forming, the next best thing is to make sure that it is regularly removed. When you talk about creosote buildup, there are three levels. Thankfully our CSIA-licensed chimney sweeps here at Hudson Chimney are ready to take full control and assess, clean and remove creosote.
The first stage is usually called soot. It’s still flaky and dusty like ash only that it’s found in the chimney walls. It is the slightest form with maybe a layer or two and can easily be removed by a chimney brush. We usually just brush it off. The process takes very little time but before the removal process is done, we first inspect and do a little cleaning.
The second stage of creosote already has tar-like features. It is now harder to remove and we usually need to use stiffers or special kinds of brushes. By now, the layers are getting thicker. Removing it will take more time than usual. During this level, creosote is building up to be more flammable and more dangerous. Nonetheless, it can still be removed.
The last and final stage is the most difficult to remove and the most dangerous. It is no longer called creosote but it is now called glaze. It is thick, totally black and is like candle wax; a hard, glossy, dark mass. By now, the chance of chimney fires occurring is greater.
To prevent this, constant cleaning and removing of creosote is the ultimate key. Once creosote starts to build up, contact Hudson Chimney so that we can monitor and lessen the problem. Give us a call and we’ll tell you more!