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Schedule Your Chimney Service Now!

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!

Routine Maintenance

masonry chimney with blue skyThe 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!

Preventative Care

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.

The Top 5 Chimney Killers

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.

Water

The Top 5 Chimney Killers - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyYou 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.

Amateur Work

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.

Environment Damage

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.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle

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!

Neglect

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!

Is Your Chimney Ready for Use?

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.

Chimney Sweeping

Is Your Chimney Ready for Use - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyIf 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.

Chimney Inspections

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.

Chimneys Need Proper Maintenance

Your chimney is designed to last the lifetime of your home — and it will, with proper care and maintenance. The most common issue with chimneys is neglect. A majority of flue fires begin as a result of the chimney not being cleaned. Most chimney leaks occur because of a minor issue being overlooked and later becomes a major one. And most obsolete chimneys are forgotten long before they stopped working.

Routine Maintenance

At Hudson Chimney, routine maintenance is very important to us. Proper maintenance will prevent the following issues:

  • House fires
  • Home and chimney leaks
  • Respiratory issues
  • Waste of fuel and utilities
  • Expensive repairs
  • Animal intrusion and damages

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend annual routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney system. A damaged chimney is not only be a fire hazard during the winter, but it can also lead to structural damage and leaks during the summer. In fact, an inefficient chimney could cost you up to 3 times in utilities annually. Don’t let a neglected chimney become a problem – schedule our professionals to take a look now!

Chimney Sweeps

When you schedule a chimney sweep with Hudson Chimney, you will get the professionalism and expertise from our knowledgeable crew. Our sweeps are not only CSIA-certified, but they also can get the job done quickly without leaving a mess in your home. The sweeps will clean any debris, soot, and creosote in your chimney system, including the fireplace, alongside an inspection with documentation for your records.

Chimney Inspections

We offer CSIA inspections year-round, which include Chim-Scan video scanning. We offer Level 1, 2, and 3 inspections, and we will definitely not miss a thing! You should perform a Level 1 inspection annually. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected by a professional in the last 12 months, call Hudson Chimney now to schedule yours.

Chimney Repairs

Schedule your routine maintenance in the spring gives you ample time to repair your chimney system before fall arrives. If any part of your chimney system is damaged or missing, it can be very dangerous. At Hudson Chimney, we make chimney and fireplace repairs year-round, including masonry repairs, relining, cap, damper, flashing, and crown installation and repair, and more. We are the #1 choice in comprehensive chimney care and continue to serve Northeast Florida’s families and businesses – we can help you too!

Are you concerned about spring showers, hurricane season, or summer heat and humidity? Ask a Hudson Chimney expert about waterproofing services! We can apply a simple protective water repellent to your masonry to prevent water penetration and damage. Call Hudson Chimney now at 904-282-4159 or schedule it online.

A Home Inspector is Not a Chimney Inspector

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.

A Home Inspector is Not a Chimney Inspector Image - Jacksonville FL- Hudson ChimneyThe 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.

Legal Documentation

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!

5 Tips for Making and Keeping Appointments

As the evenings get cooler and days grow shorter, we’re inching closer to burning season. If you have a fireplace, stove, or other heating appliance you are probably in tune with the signs that tell you burning season is coming quickly. If fall is approaching and you haven’t had your chimney cleaned since last burning season, you should schedule a chimney sweep now. While scheduling your chimney maintenance you can keep this five things in mind to ease the process.

5 Tips For Making and Keeping an Appointment Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

Find a Chimney Sweep You Can Trust

Before scheduling your chimney maintenance, you should find a chimney sweep that is CSIA certified. Check online reviews, and call if you have questions before scheduling an appointment. You will be spending your hard-earned money and putting your home in the hands of this chimney sweep, so you should be able to trust them.

Schedule in Advance

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. Schedule these appointments in advance, and avoid the hassle of scheduling during the fall rush or during the winter. It’s often frustrating to schedule chimney maintenance during the winter because you can’t use your chimney for 24 hours before the appointment. If you need repairs, replacements, or rebuilds your chimney will be out of commission for even longer. Avoid this headache by scheduling in advance.

Prepare for Your Chimney Sweep’s Visit

Prepare for the chimney maintenance by discontinuing use of the chimney for 24 hours prior to the cleaning. Before the visit you should also clear a space of about 6 feet in front of the fireplace or appliance, as well as remove all sentimental items and valuables from the mantel and around the fireplace.

Maximize Your Time With the Sweep

Some chimney sweep companies might not allow distractions while their CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) works, but this is a great time to learn about the chimney system. Hudson Chimney is happy to accommodate homeowners who’d like to watch our technicians work. Ask questions while our sweep is working—he’ll let you know if he’s too busy to interact with you. It is our goal as CSIA members to educate homeowners above all else. Chimney safety starts with you.

Follow Recommendations from the Sweep

Depending on what your technician is doing, whether a sweep or inspection, he should offer expert advice. You should listen to the professionals you hire to work on your chimney. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, but when it comes to a professional opinion about a repair or replacement, you should plan these things sooner rather than later. When you wait to repair a damaged chimney you can cause more damage and raise the risk of fire.

It’s important to schedule and keep chimney maintenance appointments, and by keeping these tips in mind you can avoid missing something important that may save you time and money.

If you’re ready to schedule your chimney appointment call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or request an appointment online.

Getting out of a Leaky Situation

Leaky chimney got you down? Give the pros at Hudson Chimney a call!

Leaky chimney got you down? Give the pros at Hudson Chimney a call!

Hudson Chimney has been giving quality chimney services for over thirty years now. And throughout our experience, we’ve collected a considerably wide knowledge when it comes to chimney problems and issues.
One of the most common issues that we’ve encountered throughout our experience is the case of the leaky chimney. Seven out of ten households with chimneys have been complaining about leaks and are asking for help to resolve said issue.

Here are a few things that you may find informative and rather helpful.

The common causes of chimney leaks:

  • Although chimneys are generally concrete, there are cases wherein only the outside is solid and the inner portion is filled with solid fillers. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, majority of the masonry materials utilized are actually porous and are prone to absorbing water. The process of filling the brick plus the nature of the materials used makes the brick more susceptible to having cracks and channels that may serve as an entrance for water. One cracked brick is relatively harmless. But imagine fifty bricks or more? The amount of water that can pass through that is enough to cause an annoying leak around your house.
  • For aesthetic purposes, many people make use of fashionable bricks in their chimneys. These bricks are more porous and rough on the surface compared to its regular counterpart. The key thing to look out for when using fashionable bricks is its flashing. The most preferred and advisable flashing to utilize is either the lead, lead coated copper or the copper (gold).
  • Chimney flashing is done to prevent leakage. But sometimes when flashing is improperly installed, worn, inadequate or even corroded, this would backfire and cause what it’s meant to prevent in the first place.

Warning signs that your chimney is leaking:

  1. When you hear a constant, omnipresent dripping noise.
  2. Cracks and deterioration in the flue lining
  3. Water stains on or around your chimney

What you can do to fix it!

Your first instinct once you suspect your chimney is leaking is to go up there and see for yourself if there’s anything amiss. Although this is relatively the first thing you can do, it’s not as practical and effective as you may think. 80% of the time, people without training won’t be able to detect a leaky chimney or know how to remedy it. The quick and effective solution? Call our professionals and schedule an appointment as soon as possible so we can have your chimney waterproofed as well as install a chimney cap or crown!

 

All about Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. It can also cause other unpleasant symptoms like headaches.  If your chimney is not regularly cleaned and inspected, obstructions can interrupt the flow of air…putting you in danger.

If anything clogs the air flow or draft in your chimney, you are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

If anything clogs the air flow or draft in your chimney, you are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Facts

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is formed through moisture, incomplete combustion and negative air pressure. It usually happens when there are people who smoke in the house, fuel-burning devices most especially in your chimney. Carbon monoxide is common inside the chimney because of the air that goes in and out of the chimney and also the particles that come from open combustion; complete or incomplete.

It cannot be seen, felt and also doesn’t have any odor. When you experience symptoms like nausea, headache and fever that are all too familiar, you tend to think it’s just a case of the common flu. So you don’t have it examined by a medical professional. However, only a thorough medical examination by your doctor can determine whether or not it is carbon monoxide poisoning. A piece of advice: when you feel ill, go and see your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment will benefit you in the long run.

Prevention

To proactively stop carbon monoxide from entering your home, it’s always good to have your chimney checked ad swept regularly. Also, the use of carbon monoxide detectors or alarms can prove to be very useful.  They help in determining if carbon monoxide is present inside the house and if it is mild or already too dangerous.

A chimney cap will also help big time. It will lessen the chances for water to seep in since it’s the number one cause of most of the problems in the chimney. It can also prevent any bad air from coming in and allowing bad smoke to also go out properly.

We have been serving the beautiful people in the northeastern part of Florida for over thirty years now, we are proud of the services we provide. Let us become your trusted source for all things chimney.

Creosote Removal

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.

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.

Level I

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.

Level II

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.

Level III

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!

 

Understanding Your Inspection

Chimney Inspections and What They Cover

It is highly recommended that homeowners have their chimneys inspected on an annual basis. Having a professional come in to look at the chimney is the best way to spot any potential hazards before they endanger the household. Before finding an certified sweep to do the job, it is important to understand exactly what should be included in an annual inspection.

One of the first things that a chimney inspector will look at is the structural integrity of the chimney itself. Over time, a chimney can become damaged or weak, especially if there is excessive exposure to rain and snow. They will make sure that the actual structure is still strong and does not pose any risks to the rest of the home.

When a certified chimney sweep does an inspection of your chimney, there are certain trouble spots that are always checked.

When a certified chimney sweep does an inspection of your chimney, there are certain trouble spots that are always checked.

In addition to looking over the general structure of the chimney, the sweep will look at the individual parts. This will include an inspection of the flue liner and damper, among other important elements. They will be able to tell the homeowner whether any individual parts of their chimney require maintenance or repair. Remember, it is necessary for all parts of the chimney to be in good working condition in order for it to function safely.

A chimney professional will be able to tell whether there is a buildup of creosote in the chimney. Creosote is the substance left behind after treated wood and coal have been used for making a fire in the fireplace. It can pose a number of different risks, including internal illness and irritations to the skin and eyes. It is also highly flammable, so a home with a buildup of the material is at a greater risk for a chimney fire than those who have it inspected and cleaned.

During a chimney inspection, there may also be evidence of material clogging the chimney. In many cases, this is the result of animals that have made their home in the flue. A clogged chimney is a serious problem because it prevents smoke and gas from exiting the home the way they are supposed to. As a result, a chimney fire could ignite or the family inside of the home could become ill when they are exposed to the gasses.

It takes specialized training and experience to properly and thoroughly inspect a chimney. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is the organization that trains and certifies all qualified chimney technicians. It is necessary to only use a CSIA certified inspector in order to get the most reliable results. The CSIA website offers a useful tool to help find a qualified technician in the area.

To some homeowners, a chimney inspection just seems like an extra chore and an unnecessary expense. However, an annual inspection is the only way to make sure that the chimney is in good working condition and not putting the home at risk. Be sure to use a chimney inspector who has been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America in order to get the best results.

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