Review Our Business

Our Company Blog

Your Chimney May Look Great on the Outside, but How Does It Look on the Inside?

Exterior damage to your masonry chimney is easily noticed, but problems deep within the flue can be impossible for you to see. A lot of damage can be lurking inside your chimney, and you could be endangering yourself and your family by using your fireplace when any damage exists. This is why it is so important to have an annual professional chimney inspection. At Hudson Chimney, we have all been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) in properly inspecting chimneys. We know where to look for damage inside your flue, and we perform video scans on certain inspections we do, which allows us to see every inch of the interior of your chimney. If we do find any problems, we have the video footage that we can show you to help you understand the type of repairs needed to correct the issue. We would like to tell you a bit more about the importance of chimney inspections.

Your chimney may look great on the outside, but how does it look on the inside - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

What kind of damage can typically be found inside a chimney?

One of the most common problems Hudson Chimney often finds inside chimneys is a cracked chimney liner, which can be very hazardous. If your chimney has suffered a water leak, your liner can suffer from rusting and other corrosion damage and crack and break apart. When your liner has cracks and gaps, the toxic byproducts of combustion can leak into your home. Another issue we see is chimney blockages. Many things can block your flue, including leaves, sticks, nesting materials from birds and wild animals, soot, and creosote. When your chimney is blocked, you are at a higher risk of a chimney fire and a carbon monoxide leak. Something else we often find when we inspect the interior of chimneys is a flue that is not properly sized to the heating appliance. This can cause problems including an overproduction of carbon monoxide, chimney draft issues, and inefficiencies in the operation of your fireplace and chimney.

What is involved in a chimney inspection from Hudson Chimney?

Your chimney inspection will depend on the level you need. Over a decade ago, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopted three levels of chimney inspections to remove inconsistencies in inspections and streamline the process across the country. Level 1 is the most basic level of inspection, which is included with our annual chimney sweeping services. For this level, we will carefully check out the readily accessible parts of the inside and outside of your chimney and the accessible parts of your heating appliance and its heating connection. If you have changed your heating appliance, are selling or buying a home, or have experienced a chimney fire, earthquake, or severe weather event, you will need a Level 2 inspection. This level includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, a video scan, and an examination of the attic, crawl space, or basement. If we find a potentially hazardous problem, we will recommend you have a Level 3 inspection. This level includes everything in a Level 2 inspection and the removal of components, such as the chimney crown and an interior chimney wall. While a Level 3 inspection may seem destructive, it is necessary for your safety.

Just because your chimney looks great on the outside, you could have hidden hazards lurking inside your flue. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule your annual chimney inspection today.

How Ivy Can Damage Your Chimney

Although the look of ivy climbing up your masonry chimney can be a beautiful sight, this climbing vine can actually damage its structure. Especially if your home was built before 1930, ivy may cause deterioration of the bricks and mortar of your chimney. Masons did not use mortar mixed with Portland cement to construct homes until after 1930, and the earlier mortar mixes are not nearly as strong and durable, according to Today’s Homeowner. Climbing vines like ivy can easily grow into any existing cracks in the bricks and mortar, and this growth can quickly worsen that damage. Our staff at Hudson Chimney knows that many people love the appearance of climbing vines growing against their chimneys, but we would like to tell you more about why ivy and other similar plants can damage your chimney.

chimney-ivy-damage-image-jacksonville-fl-hudson-chimney

What kind of damage can ivy and other climbing vines do to my chimney?

Certain types of ivy such as English ivy grow very aggressively and will attach themselves into cracks and other eroded areas in the masonry materials of your chimney. Additionally, it can be challenging to even see spalling and erosion damage of the bricks and mortar when your chimney is covered by ivy. One of the biggest problems with ivy growing into your masonry chimney is that if you attempt to pull away any ivy growth to check for cracked or missing bricks, you risk the possibility of pulling down your entire chimney structure.

What can I do if I want to keep the ivy growing on my chimney?

Hudson Chimney can professionally inspect the condition of the masonry materials of your chimney to see if it can support the growth of climbing vines without suffering from further damage. Well-built masonry chimneys typically do not have problems with damage from ivy and other climbing vines. Our expert chimney technicians will know if your chimney was built with mortar containing Portland cement, and we will make any necessary repair recommendations that should be done that will allow you to keep your ivy growing against your chimney.

Does Hudson Chimney have any recommendations of better climbing vines to plant?

We do suggest that you avoid any aggressive vines such as English ivy. Virginia creeper and Boston ivy are great alternatives to consider planting. You can also keep these vines from growing directly against the chimney by installing a support made of wire, lattice, or trellis around your chimney. Non-attaching climbing vines such as roses, wisteria, clematis, and jasmine can easily grow along this type of support without any possible damage done to your chimney. Even better, you can move the support to make chimney inspections and repairs easier.

If your older chimney is covered with ivy, contact us at Hudson Chimney. We can inspect the condition of your chimney to be sure no damage has been done.

All About Jacksonville

In 1979, Mark Hudson founded Hudson Chimney to provide professional fireplace and chimney services in Northeastern Florida. Certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) as a chimney sweep and a dryer vent technician, Hudson is proud to serve the city of Jacksonville and works hard on community projects to make Jacksonville an even better place. We would like to tell you more about this beautiful city we have served for over 30 years.

image-jacksonville-chimney-sweep-jacksonville-fl-hudson-chimney

WATER ACTIVITIES

With over 22 miles of beaches, Jacksonville is home to three beaches: Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach. Our beach areas offer dining, entertainment, lodging, and recreational activities for the entire family. Fishermen have the best of both worlds in Jacksonville with freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities. You can even deep sea fish in the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Johns River flows through the city and provides a place to kayak and paddleboard.

ARTS AND CULTURE

Named as one of the top 25 destinations for the arts in this country, Jacksonville is home to several museum, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA). At MOCA, you will find over one thousand works of art, such as painting, photography, sculpture, and printmaking. You can also find live theater and live music throughout the city as well as festivals throughout the year that celebrate jazz, blues, and country music.

SPORTS

Sports fans have a lot to enjoy in Jacksonville. You can watch professional football by going to see a Jacksonville Jaguars game, and you can catch one of the biggest professional golf tournaments, THE PLAYERS Championship. Golfers can even play a round at the site of this tournament. Outdoor sports enthusiasts can enjoy biking, hiking, canoeing, surfing, and other activities along our scenic waterways.

HISTORY

Filled with multiculturalism, the history of Jacksonville can be found throughout the city. One of the city’s most important historical sites is Fort Mose, which was both the earliest legal settlements in America for free Africans and the precursor site to the Underground Railroad. For a deeper look at the history of Jacksonville, tour one of our historical museums, such as the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society that shows what life was like in 19th century Florida.

SHOPPING

Whether you prefer shopping at a mall, at locally-owned boutiques, along the beachside, or in a downtown setting, Jacksonville is filled with opportunities to shop until you drop. If you like to save money, you will enjoy shopping at our two outlet shopping centers. No matter your budget, shopping enthusiasts will love what our city has to offer.

Want to know more about Jacksonville? Contact Hudson Chimney to find out our favorite places and things to do in this beautiful city.

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.

water-damage-chimney-repair-jacksonville-fl-hudson-chimney

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.

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!

 

A Blocked Chimney is a Dangerous Chimney

Think of your chimney flue sort of like a drinking straw — its job is to pull what’s inside of it up, and out. And just like a straw, imperfections can quickly stop it from doing that job. Ever struggled with a straw that had a crack in it? A chimney with a damaged flue liner behaves in a similar way — the chimney’s draft can pull and pull, but cracks and gaps fight against the upward draw.

Your chimney should be free of any kind of blockage -- otherwise you'll have big problems to deal with. See to it that you have your chimney inspected and swept as scheduled.

Your chimney should be free of any kind of blockage — otherwise you’ll have big problems to deal with. See to it that you have your chimney inspected and swept as scheduled.

If you’ve ever had a way-too-thick milkshake, you know how your flue responds to a blockage. Once again, try as it might, draft can’t pull the air and gases inside your chimney up, because something’s closing off the passage and hampering upward movement.

Blockages are a serious issue — depending on what it is that’s blocking your flue, you could end up with anything from a smoky living room to a fire hazard or toxic carbon monoxide leaking into your home.

During your annual chimney inspection, Hudson Chimney technicians always check your flue for blockages or potential blockages. But between inspections, if you’re noticing draft issues — from smoke to fireplace stains — give us a call. We can check to see if your flue is blocked, and make the necessary repairs to have your chimney properly venting again.

Some Of The Most Common Chimney Blockages:

Every situation is different, but there are certain types of blockages that we routinely come across at Hudson Chimney:

Nesting Animals Brought Flammable Debris Into Your Flue

Why It Happened: In most cases, animals move into your chimney a) because it’s an attractive place to nest and b) because nothing was stopping them from doing so. If your chimney isn’t closed off to birds and other visitors, they take that as a vacancy sign, and move right in. Their nests and other debris can quickly block your flue and affect your draft, and since nesting materials are generally flammable, they can also create a fire hazard.

What Hudson Chimney Can Do: install a quality chimney cap. Chimney caps help keep moisture out of your chimney, but they also lock animals, and their nests, out. If you want or need something special, we also install custom chimney caps!

Creosote Buildup Is Closing Off Your Flue

Why It Happened: Creosote buildup is a natural part of using a wood-burning heating appliance. Heated air, gases and particles produced through the combustion of wood rise up in the flue, then condense into a liquid as they reach the cooler flue walls. That condensation layers over time and with use, and you have creosote buildup. The longer you go without a professional chimney sweeping, the more creosote buildup you have — and it can get considerable enough to block your flue and affect your draft.

What Hudson Chimney Can Do: properly sweep your chimney, and help you develop a regular chimney sweeping schedule that keeps your flue clear and venting the way it should.

Damaged Flue Liner Pieces Have Fallen Into Your Flue

Why It Happened: Many older chimneys have flue liners made out of terra cotta clay tiles. Although those tiles can be pretty durable, it’s not uncommon for cracks to develop. If those cracks widen enough for pieces of tile to break off, they can fall into the flue and create a blockage. Cracked flue liner tiles are among the things Hudson Chimney technicians look for during a chimney inspection — and that’s an important part of what we do, because a damaged flue liner affects not only your draft, but your chimney’s ability to protect nearby combustible building materials from high heat.

What Hudson Chimney Can Do: assess the damage in your chimney liner, remove the blockage and bring your liner back to proper working order. That can include repairing your existing liner using HeatShield products or installing a new flue liner, depending on the state of your liner and your chimney.

Whether you’re having trouble with your chimney or just want to stay on top of regular maintenance to keep trouble away, Hudson Chimney is here to help. If you have any questions, or would like to make an appointment with our CSIA-certified technicians, give us a call!

Don’t Forget Your Chimney this Spring

It's easy to forget about your chimney the moment spring comes to life. But you shouldn't. Spring is the best time to give proper care to your chimney.

It’s easy to forget about your chimney the moment spring comes to life. But you shouldn’t. Spring is the best time to give proper care to your chimney.

No matter how hard you try, you always seem to forget something when you are making your to do list for the upcoming spring season. You want to make sure you clean the house from top to bottom, begin the gardening, and plan for the summer vacation. Nowhere in this list, does taking care of your chimney’s maintenance fit in. This maintenance must be done and in a timely fashion to protect your family and your home’s safety. Call Hudson Chimney today to schedule your appointment.

Do you really need more than one chimney sweep?

It depends on your usage. If you are frequently using your fireplace, you may need two sweeps. This is because with an increase in burning, more creosote will be released. One chimney sweep should be done closer to burning season so that there is little time for anything to build up inside of the unit. The second should be done right after burning season to remove everything from the winter. You should always make sure your chimney sweep is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified. Since the spring season is also slower for chimney companies, you may be able to get a discount.

What are some common repairs that will need to be done?

Since winter storms can often time hurt your chimney’s structure, the spring season is when the repairs will usually begin. This is the time when weather warms up, but the wet season hasn’t kicked in. Your technician will know to check both the flashing and the rain caps.

You will also want to make sure that your chimney is sealed properly. After the unit freezes and thaws multiple times it will begin to crack and the caulk will begin to loosen. After the sweep and repairs, you should look into having the chimney waterproofed, especially if you live in a wet environment.

What do you do with the animals that may have gotten in your chimney?

Even though your first instincts are to panic, you should remain calm and give us a call. To keep both you and the animal safe, this should only be done by a professional. Animals will use your chimney for both nesting and storage, so having the required sweeps will remove all of their droppings. We also have experience removing carcasses. We’ll make sure there is nothing blocking your chimney.

Find Posts About

Recent Posts