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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.

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.

How Water Can Damage Your Chimney

If your home has a masonry fireplace, you might know that the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) has named water as the biggest enemy of your chimney. Water penetration of your chimney is the biggest cause of expensive and extensive damage to the interior and the exterior of your home. Keeping water out of your chimney is the essential key to prevent the deterioration of the entire structure. At Hudson Chimney, our CSIA-certified technicians are well aware of the damage water can do to a masonry chimney, and we can find the leak, repair the damage, and then prevent further water penetration of your chimney. Often asked by our customers how water can be such a big problem, we would like to share three ways water leaks can do lots of damage to a masonry chimney.

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1. Water leaks can cause brick and mortar spalling, which can lead to structural damage.

The exterior bricks and mortar of your chimney suffer a great deal of water exposure, and this water will penetrate into the materials, which causes them to erode. When this trapped water freezes inside your bricks and mortar, the breaking apart, cracking, and loss of masonry materials occurs when the temperatures rise and the water thaws. The expansion of the thawed water can be too much for bricks to endure, which is why they become loose and/or break off of your chimney. This phenomenon is known as spalling, and unrepaired spalling can lead to possible severe structural damage of your chimney. Additionally, water will continue to invade your chimney through the holes provided by the spalled bricks and mortar. If you ever notice loose bricks or mortar on the exterior of your chimney, contact Hudson Chimney for a chimney inspection. We will repair the damage and waterproof your chimney to prevent spalling from occurring again.

2. Water leaks can cause cracks and other deteriorations to your chimney flue liner, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water penetration not only affects the bricks and mortar of your chimney, but it causes damage to your interior flue liner as well. If you have a clay chimney liner, cracks will form due to water leaks, and if you have a metal chimney liner, rusting will occur from water exposure. Both of these problems can cause your liner to break apart and crack. A cracked liner can be a health hazard since your chimney liner serves to protect you and your family from the by-products of combustion, like toxic smoke and carbon monoxide, from entering your home. At Hudson Chimney, we can repair and restore clay chimney liners with HeatShield, and we can replace damaged liners with a durable stainless steel.

3. Water leaks can cause interior damage to your home, including stained walls and ceilings and mold growth.

Not only does water penetration of a masonry chimney cause many issues to the chimney itself, but a leaky chimney can also stain the ceilings and walls of the room where your fireplace is located. If you find water leak stains in your fireplace room, you should also consider the possibility of mold growth in the ceilings, walls, fireplace, and chimney. Contact Hudson Chimney as soon as possible if you ever see this sort of water penetration damage.

If you have more questions on what types of damage water penetration can do to a masonry chimney, contact Hudson Chimney today. We are happy to help you repair and prevent this kind of damage to your fireplace and chimney.

Using CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps

When looking for a chimney sweep to entrust with the task of cleaning and inspecting your chimney, you may wonder how you are supposed to distinguish a good chimney sweep from a bad one. After all, you want to hire a professional who knows what he or she is doing and who can help you to protect your home from the dangers that owning a chimney can present. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a non-profit organization that reviews and certifies chimney sweep companies in order to provide homeowners with a standard for their chimney needs.

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To be CSIA certified, a chimney technician must attend a review session and pass an exam covering Successful Chimney Sweeping (2011), National Fire Protection Agency 211 (2013), and the 2006 International Residential Code. Anyone applying for certification must also sign the CSIA code of ethics and pay an annual fee. In order to remain certified, this process must be repeated by the technician every three years.

These procedures for certification create a method for homeowners to determine if a chimney sweep is qualified to clean and inspect a chimney in a professional and informed manner. Chimneys and appliances can cause fires and carbon monoxide leaks if not properly maintained. Therefore, making sure your chimney sweep knows what he or she is doing in addition to being dedicated to helping you detect and fix potential problems is of the utmost importance.

It is significant to note that the CSIA not only seeks to educate and evaluate technicians, but also to provide an ethical code for professionals to follow. When technicians sign this code, they pledge to conduct business in an honest and fair manner, as well as to remain knowledgeable and up to date on all chimney standards and procedures. They also agree to do their best to educate you, the consumer, and to act in a professional and respectful manner.

Hudson Chimney is certified by the CSIA, so you can be sure that you will be in good hands. The technicians at Hudson Chimney have been servicing the Jacksonville, Florida Area for over thirty years, ensuring their clients clean, safe, and warm homes with efficient heating systems. You can trust the professionals at Hudson Chimney to be knowledgeable in their skills and to provide you and your appliances with service of the highest quality.

If you have any questions about CSIA certification or policies, or if you have any questions about chimneys and appliances as a homeowner, be sure to check out CSIA.org for more information. Their website is an informative and reliable resource of educational material for your benefit.

Also, if your chimney has not been serviced this year yet, schedule an appointment with a technician at Hudson Chimney as soon as possible. The fall and winter are busy for any chimney servicing company, and the sooner you call, the more likely your home will be prepared for the colder winter months. The professionals at Hudson Chimney will make sure your chimney is prepared!

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