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Carbon Monoxide & Chimney Sweeps

One of the most dangerous systems in your home is your chimney system. People assume it’s because of the risk of fire, but actually, the carbon monoxide exposure from your fireplace is a real danger that sends about 50,000 people to the ER each year. While not all of these cases are caused by your fireplace, they often happen in the home and can lead to serious organ damage and even death.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide is highly dangerous and poisonous, as it is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. When it affects the body, the symptoms are much like the common cold and flu, so it often goes unnoticed. Prevent CO poisoning before it happens to you by taking care of your chimney and fireplace regularly.

Clean Chimneys are Safe and Efficient

fireplace with roaring fireThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends regular chimney maintenance for a safe and efficient chimney system. Having your a chimney inspection annually allows a professional to get a look at your system inside and out. They can assess and diagnose hazards to keep your family and home safe. When you schedule a chimney sweep, a professional comes into the home and clears the entire system of soot, creosote, and other debris. This causes an increase of efficiency for your system and lead to countless problems such as carbon monoxide leaks.

Other Common Sources of CO

Whether your furnace is wood or gas-fueled, it has a risk of exposing your family to carbon monoxide if not properly maintained. Other sources of CO gas include:

  • Room heaters
  • Charcoal grills
  • Cooing ranges
  • Water heaters
  • Automobiles
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable generators
  • Small engines

When a family is exposed to CO gas, some individuals are at risk for more danger than others. If you have children or elderly family members who are experiencing serious symptom, get help immediately. Symptoms are as minor as a headache, dizziness, and nausea. They can be as serious as confusion, memory loss, difficulty coordinating, convulsions, and seizures. These symptoms are lessened when you spend time away from the residence and return again when you return home. Serious symptoms can occur months or years later because carbon monoxide poisoning causes permanent damage to the body’s organs. This is because when it is inhaled, it binds to the blood cells and quickly replaces oxygen in the bloodstream. Eventually, the organs are starved of oxygen and fail, resulting in permanent damage or death.

Take your safety seiously by hiring a professional chimney company you trust. Talk with one of our experts today and find out why regular chimney sweeping and cleaning are important. You can schedule an appointment with Hudson Chimney online today or 904-282-4159.

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.

How to Pick a Chimney Company You Trust

When it comes to chimney safety, the whole industry is incredibly under-regulated. This is not only a danger to residential areas but also a misfortune for buyers. Even though the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) was established in the 1980s and quickly became the national standard for chimney safety, homeowners are still not very knowledgeable about fireplace and chimney standards and safety regulations. The truth is not all chimney companies are the same and neither are all chimney sweeps.

Why You Should Never D-I-Y

When it comes to your chimney system, it is never a good idea to fix the issues on your own. You wouldn’t build your own transmission or build your own house, you should never repair your own chimney either. This task should only be handled by a professional. They know how to clean it properly without damaging the liner or other parts. They can recognize minor damages before they become major ones. And they are full of chimney-related knowledge because they have had plenty of classroom training and field training along with re-certification.

The CSIA Difference

When a chimney sweep is CSIA-certified, you can fully trust them to take care of your chimney. In order to be CSIA-certified, they must:

  • Study residential fire codes and chimney sweeping
  • Attend a review day in person or online
  • Pass an one-hour, 100 question exam
  • Pass a 90-minute exam on residential code
  • Sign a CSIA Code of Ethics to protect consumers and to help prevent scams in the industry. If a member is found in violation of the code of ethics, their membership could be revoked.
  • Must go back to be re-certified every 3 years by credits or exams

It takes lots of time and money to become CSIA certified. This certifications is vital to help consumers decide whether a chimney sweep is an amateur or a professional. Some other ways to figure out if you can trust the chimney company you choose include memberships such as National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and manufacturer certifications, such as the National Fireplace Institute.

Take the time to do your own research, read online reviews, and check out each of their credentials. When you do make an appointment, make sure you are comfortable with every person you’ve spoken with at the company. You should schedule an appointment with the industry’s best–a company with excellent reviews, training, certifications, expertise, and more – choose Hudson Chimney! Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

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.

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