Our Company Blog

We Are a Full-Service Chimney Company

Hudson Chimney of Middleburg, Florida has been providing comprehensive chimney care for the area since 1979. Our full-service chimney and hearth care include chimney and fireplace maintenance, repairs, diagnostics, and sales and installations. Our technicians live and work in the area, so we have the neighborhood advantage. We know the local fire safety codes and even work together with local businesses and contractors to make safety a priority in our communities, no matter who’s doing the work. Hudson Chimney goes above and beyond, also providing dryer vent cleaning and installation to further keep families safe from accidental house fires.

Preventative Care

Our comprehensive list of chimney services starts with and includes preventative maintenance. Chimney fires are 100 percent preventable. Chimney leaks are 100 percent preventable. Dryer vent fires are 100 percent preventable. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney system. Safety and efficiency go hand-in-hand. If your chimney’s efficiency drops due to neglect, it becomes less safe and results in damage and health emergencies.

When you schedule your preventative care with Hudson Chimney, don’t forget our waterproofing services, seasonal preparation, and routine inspections and sweeps that keep the chimney working properly year-round.

Repairs and Installations

Whether you need a repair, or a part needs completely replaced, Hudson Chimney has you (and your chimney) covered. Common repairs we see here at Hudson Chimney include tuckpointing, firebox repair or rebuilds, masonry repairs, stain removals, mortar crown repairs and installations, and relining. There are many issues minor and major that may require repairs, but if you’re proactive about chimney care, you will avoid the major repairs that cost more time and money than you’d like.

Extend the Life of Your Chimney

Maintaining your chimney system properly will allow you to save more, work less, and your chimney will last as long as designed. Not only that, but a well-maintained chimney and fireplace are easier to convert to a new fuel such as a wood-to-gas conversion, and easier to install a new insert to bring up efficiency.

Choosing a full-service chimney company like Hudson Chimney today means you don’t have to worry about your chimney tomorrow. Whether you’re scheduling preventative care, repairs, conversions, or even have an emergency with your chimney system, you can call Hudson Chimney. Our chimney sweeps are certified and experienced in all aspects of chimney maintenance and repair, as well as fire science, and fire safety.

If you’re in the Middleburg, Florida area, including St. Augustine, Gainesville, and Clay, Duval, Putnam, St. Johns, Barker, Bradford, Alachua, and Nassau counties, we will come to you. If you aren’t within this area of service, please give us a call and see if we can still help you with all your chimney and fireplace needs! At Hudson Chimney, it’s our goal that all of our neighbors in Northeast Florida are comfortable and safe this season and year-round.

Call Hudson Chimney 904-282-4159 or contact us online today.

Storm Damage Repair

One thing that many homeowners try to prepare for is hurricanes. This is especially true if you live in Florida. How many homeowners are prepared for more than one hurricane? How about two hurricanes and one tropical storm in one season? Our customers in Jacksonville are busy putting things back together after devastating storms statewide. Now we’re here to help!

Common Storm Damage

Tropical storms come with sustained winds of 39 mph and higher. Once the maximum sustained winds pass 74 mph, the storm is considered a hurricane. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and even a heavy thunderstorm can cause damage to your chimney system. Winds can blow off or damage flashing and chimney caps. Hail and rain can damage masonry, and if the damage isn’t repaired, more can occur. This season, our service area in Jacksonville has been battered, and you might not have gotten the repairs your chimney needed before another storm passed through.

Your Chimney Cap

In high-wind areas, you can opt for a chimney cap designed to handle hurricane-force winds, and deflect wind from coming into the flue. A functional cap should block rain from falling into the flue. However, when it blows off during a serious storm, it will allow water into the chimney system. Water destroys a chimney from the inside out. If it isn’t corrected, it will continue to ruin parts of the chimney system, as well as components of the home.

Your Flashing

The flashing is made up of thin sheets of metal, placed along the seam of the roof and chimney intersection. This is the most vulnerable of all the chimney system. Not to mention it becomes worse when flashing is installed incorrectly – as it often is. It’s best to have the chimney inspected regularly and know the flashing is in good shape and ready for Florida weather. What happens if the flashing becomes damaged, shifts, or is blown away? Water from tropical storms will penetrate the roof, affecting the chimney, flooring, walls, and structural materials of the home!

Your Chimney Repairs

Hudson Chimney sees a lot of storm damage this time of year, after hurricane season, and before fall. This is the time that homeowners are getting ready for burn season. So, it’s the best time to have the chimney inspected and schedule necessary repairs.

Flashing Repair – Hudson Chimney repairs flashing with the expertise required to properly place flashing according to the slant of the roof, the roofing materials, and the high wind area you live.

Masonry Repair – Depending on the damage to the masonry itself, whether water or wind damage, a masonry repair may be in order. Hudson Chimney sweeps can repair spalling masonry through a process called tuckpointing, replace chimney crowns, and waterproof the masonry for added protection.

When the storm has passed, it’s time to assess the damage, and start repairs. If you have questions about chimney damage, preventative maintenance, and insurance claims, a Hudson Chimney technician can assist you. Just call 904-282-4159 or schedule an appointment with Hudson Chimney online today!

 

How Your Annual Inspection Can Prevent House Fires

 

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.

Preventative Maintenance

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.

Get Ahead Of The Crowd And Make Your Fall Inspection Appointment Now

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.

Preventative Maintenance

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.

A Home Inspector Is Not Necessarily A Chimney Expert

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.

CSIA Inspections

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:

  • plumbing
  • heating/cooling system
  • electrical and appliance systems
  • the roof
  • foundations
  • the basement
  • walls
  • doors
  • windows
  • chimneys

(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.

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.

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!

Chimney Waterproofing and Leak Repair

Humidity and seasonal weather in Northeast Florida continually brings moisture to Florida homes. This moisture can be a problem for your chimney if it isn’t adequately waterproofed to safeguard against water penetration. Once it happens, the damage is immediate. Even a small amount of water in your chimney can cause damage. Plus, it can also lower efficiency and raise the risk of flue fire.

Chimney Waterproofing and Leak Repair - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyThe Usual Suspects

When it comes to water in your chimney, there are a few culprits that your chimney sweep will check first. Common sites for water penetration include:

  1.  The Chimney Cap
    Whether it’s missing, damaged, or improperly placed, the chimney cannot do its job if it isn’t in proper working order. The chimney cap keeps weather out of your chimney. It allows the vapors to escape safely.
  2. The Chimney Crown
    The chimney crown is essentially the top of the chimney. It closes off the opening from the flue liner, to the edge of the chimney. In addition, it has an overhang for water to run off onto the roof. Over time, even a well constructed chimney crown can become cracked and worn, resulting in water penetration.
  3. The Flashing
    The flashing is made up of multiple layers of thin metal sheets, strategically placed to prevent water penetration at the intersection of the chimney and roof. This is an extremely vulnerable point in the roof and chimney system. It is often the culprit behind chimney leaks, because homeowners attempt to install flashing themselves, or hire an amateur. Flashing should be installed by an experienced technician.  Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) is trained to place flashing according to roof materials, slant, and climate. These all should be a factor when installing flashing.

 

If you are concerned that your chimney may be leaking, do not delay.

Schedule a chimney inspection with Hudson Chimney and you can be confident in a company that is licensed and insured. We send a CSIA certified chimney sweep out on every job. Our technicians are experts at damage assessment, and will provide you with a detailed report. Also, we will work with homeowners with a repair plan. In doing so, it will get your chimney back to work in no time.

At Hudson Chimney, we are native to the Jacksonville, FL area. We know it’s important to protect masonry against water damage. That’s why we will not only repair the damage caused by water, but will also stop it at the source.

If a chimney cap is what you need, we will install one.

We even specialize in custom caps. If your chimney crown is damaged or worn, a Hudson Chimney technician can apply a protective sealant. In addition, we can cast a new custom, mortar crown for your chimney. We also repair and install flashing swiftly and correctly, every time. We don’t stop there, though. Our chimney sweeps can apply an industrial waterproofing sealant to your chimney, which will prevent water penetration, but allow vapors to escape as needed. This is a simple procedure that can be completed in a routine appointment and can save you in repair costs later.

Find out more about chimney leaks here and contact us, a certified chimney sweep you can trust, today!

Storm Damage

Have Strong Storms Done Damage To Your Chimney? Let Hudson Chimney Help!

Those of us along the Northeast coast of Florida get our fair share of severe storms and hurricanes – and unfortunately, that can be bad news for our chimneys. Has your chimney been damaged by a recent storm or hurricane? Don’t put off repairs!

Strong winds and heavy rains can devastate your chimney, ripping up flashing, removing or damaging chase pans and chimney caps, damaging masonry, and causing chimney crowns to wear thin. And if these issues aren’t taken care of swiftly, even more damage can be done by water that makes its way into the chimney and home. But we can help.

Our team provides expert chimney inspections and video scans and can take a look at your chimney from top to bottom. We’ll check your chimney cap, crown or chase pan, masonry, and flashing, and look for any damage or entry points for water. Should we find any storm damage, we can promptly make repairs to protect your chimney and prevent any further damage. Our chimney and fireplace repairs and services:

We can also waterproof your masonry to protect it against future storms.

Don’t Wait – Have Your Chimney Inspected & Repaired Today

Whether the damage to your chimney is obvious or hidden deep inside, we’ll find it. We’ll use Chim-Scan video inspection cameras to get a good look at the interior of your flue – from top to bottom so no damage goes unnoticed.

To have your chimney system checked for storm damage, give Hudson Chimney a call at 904-282-4159. We’re here to help! We’ll even help with insurance claims by providing you with written damage reports and photographs. Don’t face the storm alone – call today!

 

One of the most basic services we provide for your chimney and fireplace systems is a thorough sweeping and cleaning. Let Hudson Chimney assist you with this necessary home maintenance task.

Now Is a Great Time to Have Your Chimney and Dryer Vent Professionally Cleaned

When you own a home, you should keep up with the routine maintenance tasks needed to keep everything running smoothly and safely. Neglecting important maintenance can lead to dangerous hazards in your home. At Hudson Chimney, our top priority is fire safety, and we provide chimney and venting maintenance services to the residents of the Jacksonville area that prevent accidental fires and carbon monoxide leaks. For our busy customers, we offer the opportunity to take care of two of these services, chimney sweeping and dryer vent cleaning, on the same appointment date. We strongly suggest that you should go ahead and schedule this appointment now before the busy season of fall begins. It can be difficult to find the most convenient time, and you may end up having to wait even longer to take care of these maintenance tasks. We would like to tell you more about the importance of a professional chimney sweeping and a dryer vent cleaning.

Have Chimney and Dryer Vent Professionally Cleaned Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

CHIMNEY SWEEPING

When you burn wood in your fireplace or stove, creosote develops naturally during the combustion process. As smoke and the other byproducts of combustion pass through the cooler upper walls of the chimney, condensation occurs. During condensation, creosote forms and sticks to the inner chimney walls. After a long winter, large accumulations of creosote deposits can cover parts of the chimney and create a dangerous fire hazard. Creosote is so highly flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named this natural compound as a leading cause of chimney fires. To remove all of the creosote deposits from your chimney, you need a professional chimney sweeping. This is why the CSIA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other top national fire safety groups recommend having your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year. You can trust Hudson Chimney to remove every bit of creosote from your chimney because our chimney sweeps have been certified by the CSIA and have the training and experience to do this job properly and reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

DRYER VENT CLEANING

Every year, thousands of clothes dryer fires are reported in this country. The majority of these fires are the result of clogged and dirty dryer vents. Every time you dry a load of clothes, lint is produced. Although about 75 percent of that lint is collected in the lint screen, the rest of it falls into the vent. After a period of time, that lint can accumulate into a large enough amount to clog the vent. This is a very dangerous situation because lint is extremely flammable. Since a clogged dryer vent causes the dryer to overheat, those high temperatures can easily ignite the trapped lint inside a vent. You will know your dryer vent needs cleaning when your dryer cannot fully dry a load of clothes in one complete drying cycle. To prevent a clothes dryer fire, Hudson Chimney recommends that you schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning appointment with us every year. Not only will the risk of an accidental clothes dryer fire be greatly reduced, your dryer will work much more efficiently. Prolonging the life of your dryer, preventing fires, and lowering your utility bills are among the benefits of our professional dryer vent cleaning services.

Make sure your home is safe with no fire hazards. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney sweeping and dryer vent cleaning services today.