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Schedule Chimney Services Early!

It’s almost time for the first fire of the season, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold. Make sure your chimney system is ready when you are scheduling your chimney services early. Lighting a fire in a dirty or damaged chimney can be a recipe for disaster. It can put your family at risk, lower the value of your home, and cost you dearly in repairs and damages.

Beat the Fall RushSchedule Chimney Services Early! - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

When you schedule early, you can avoid the fall rush and make sure you’re on the books with your preferred company and technician. If you wait, you may end up waiting longer than expected as chimney professionals stay busy during the Fall Rush–the period between October and January. During this time chimney sweeps are busy with routine services, repairs, and installations. Don’t risk lighting a fire in a dangerous or dirty chimney. Don’t miss out on using your fireplace this fall. Don’t wait; schedule chimney services early.

A Clean Chimney

When your chimney was out of use this summer it may have become home to rodents or wildlife. During the summer, humidity or precipitation might have mixed with the creosote and soot to create a corrosive material on the liner. This material left inside the chimney can lead to odors, a drop in efficiency, and even dangerous buildup. There may be a dangerous buildup that becomes an obstruction. The only way to ensure your chimney system is clean and will work efficiently and properly is to schedule a sweep before fall. Schedule a Hudson chimney sweep and you can rest assured that our courteous and knowledgeable technicians will leave your chimney in the best shape possible, safer and more efficient than ever.

Annual Inspections

Like chimney sweeps, inspections are an opportunity for a professional to see your system and recognize a problem that a homeowner will miss. During an inspection, a professional will assess your entire system and you’ll get a clean bill of health, a repair recommendation, and even documentation for your insurance or realtor. This annual appointment is one of the most important for your home. Have it done now, and you’ll have time for necessary repairs before fall.

Repairs

Schedule repairs as soon as you are aware of a problem. If there is masonry damage, missing parts, or any other problems, have it addressed before burn season. If your chimney has cracked, crumbled or falling masonry, a professional should repair it through a process of tuckpointing. A chimney leak should be diagnosed and repaired before winter to avoid the freeze/thaw cycle–whether the flashing or cap needs replaced, crown needs repairs, or the whole chimney needs to be waterproofed. We can repair it before winter when you schedule early.

Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or contact us online so that you can schedule early and rest assured that your fireplace will be ready for a fire this fall.

Bird and Animal Nesting Prevention

You hear about it happening to other people, but you’ve never thought that it would happen to you. An animal has made its way into your chimney! Birds, critters, or anything that can climb on your roof could get inside your chimney. Or worst, the intruders have made your chimney their home. What do you do now? We are going to learn some of the problems that comes with animals and critters invading your chimney, and how our professionals at Hudson Chimney can help get rid of this problem or preventing it from happening in the first place.

The Problems With Animal Intrusion

If your chimney cap is missing or damaged, you may end up with a animal trying to make a nest in your flue. Once inside, they may build a nest, carrying in debris that could ignite or block the flue completely. They may also leave behind a flue obstruction that might smell so foul that it could run you out of the house. If the animal does end up leaving on its own, they could still potentially leave behind nesting materials such as feathers, fur, and even droppings.

Additionally, small mammals may climb out of a chimney using their teeth and claws, scratching and damaging your flue liner. Small scratches on the surface of the liner may not seem like a big deal, but these scratches will collect creosote and soot that continues to corrode the already damaged area. This will eventually become a hazard, which could cause major issues for your masonry and put your safety at risk.

Chimney Swifts

Critters are not the only thing that can make its way into your chimney flue. You may hear the chirping of birds from time to time. A bird may fly in and out of your chimney, or they may even move into your chimney completely! Chimney swifts are a species of bird that move into chimneys and nest in them.

In fact, chimney swifts naturally nest in hollow trees. When North America began to colonize, this eventually lead to more chimneys than hollow trees, so these birds adapted. Now they nest in chimneys, and if your chimney isn’t capped, they’ll be in yours too. Chimney swifts are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and they are unlawful to be removed or harmed while staying in your chimney. You may even want us to come do a humane animal removal, but this is even unlawful for us. Chimney swifts cannot be removed or tampered with. We can only wait and hope they leave on their own, which can take up to 90 days from the time they move in and nest.

Humane Animal Removal

We believe that when it comes to your chimney, you’re better safe than sorry. If you hear an animal in your chimney (even a bird), you can call us at Hudson Chimney, and we’ll determine whether the animal can be removed or not. Our process is safe for both the chimney and the animal, and shouldn’t interfere with your home at all.

If you need to schedule an appointment for animal removal, call us at 904-282-4159 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.

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 Repair Storm Damage to Your Chimney and Masonry

At Hudson Chimney, we know firsthand the affect of recent storms on our neighbors in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Our technicians live in the area, and know the damaging affects that high winds and water have on their homes.

We Repair Storm Damage to Your Chimney and Masonry - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyHurricanes and tropical storms bring with them strong winds. These winds can can rip up flashing, damage chase pans and chimney caps, damage masonry, wear down chimney crowns and more. When these important parts of the chimney are damaged or missing, the water then has access to the chimney system. The water alone causing extensive damage itself. In our tropical climate, it’s important to repair damages like this as soon as possible. The best place to start is with a chimney inspection.

We Provide Inspections

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), you should schedule a level two chimney inspection if your chimney has experienced a change or a natural occurrence that might have compromised the integrity or safety of the chimney system, including hurricanes. Our technicians provide expert and prompt service. In addition, our inspections include a video scan of the chimney system to provide a comprehensive report for your records.

We Will Sweep Your Chimney

The chimney sweep is vital to the safety and efficiency of your chimney, especially if your chimney cap was lost during the storm. During your chimney sweep, our technicians will remove all storm debris from the chimney. Also, removing the naturally occurring buildup of creosote on the chimney walls.

Common Storm Repairs for Your Chimney

Our experience of over 30 years of operation in the area has taught us what to look for first when dealing with storm damage.

  • Masonry and Fireplace Repair
    Our technicians will look for and repair cracks, receding mortar joints, crumbing or cracking chimney crowns, and any other type of masonry shifting or damage. This commonly occurs due to high winds during a storm, and is worsened by prolonged water exposure.
  • Chimney Relining
    We look for damage to the flue liner. Depending on the type of liner in your chimney, our technicians may choose to replace it with a more durable liner. However, our chimney sweeps may choose to apply HeatShield® cerfractory sealant. This product is applied to an existing flue liner, leaving a new, heat resistant surface to your chimney liner.
  • Flashing Installation and Repair
    We look for flashing damage, because any damage at all will affect it’s durability. A single dent can affect the way the water flows across it. This may allow it to penetrate the flashing and the roof. Consequently causing water damage not just within the chimney, but in the home itself.

Hudson Chimney offers a full menu of chimney services and we want to be your choice for storm repairs. To find out more about waterproofing and damage prevention contact a Hudson Chimney professional today.

Does Your Classic Chimney Meet Modern Standards?

The use of fire for home heating is centuries old, as well as the need for a ventilation system. Fireplaces and chimneys have changed in major ways through the years. However, how the chimney works remains the same.

Does Your Classic Chimney Meet Modern Standards - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney IncYour Classic Chimney

Many older chimneys are missing important parts that have been found to be vitally important in recent years. Many older masonry chimneys do not have a chimney liner, or they have an old clay tile liner. In other instances, older chimneys are too big for the size of the fireplace or insert. Chimney caps are also a part of the chimney that are often overlooked by the older generation of homeowners. They have been missing on classic chimneys for years.

There is a reason why these elements have been added to modern standards of chimney and fire safety. The fire industry is constantly changing, which is why chimney professionals renew their training regularly. It’s also why fire codes and municipal standards are always changing as well.

Modern Standards

The industry standard for chimney sweep credentials is the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) credential stands for excellence and training in the ever-changing field. There is a need for such a standard. In addition to have a similar need for manufacturing, installation, and operation standards for everyone’s safety.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical, and related hazards. The CSIA became the industry standard for professional chimney sweeps. The NFPA became the industry standard for safe ventilation, installation of fire-burning appliances, and the construction and installation of chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems.

The NFPA 211 standards address:

  1. Design, installation, maintenance, and inspection.
  2. Chimneys, fireplaces, venting systems, and solid fuel-burning appliances.
  3. Residential, commercial, and industrial occupancy.

Comprehensive provisions address general requirements as well as specific types of units. The appliances are actually manufactured with these codes in mind. So, chimney sweeps are well-abreast of them when they install, maintain, replace, or repair the appliances and chimney systems. This is why you should never install your own fireplace or furnace. Only a certified chimney sweep can install the appliance and properly match it with the perfect venting products.

Hudson Chimney has changed with the industry standards, as we’ve been full-time chimney sweeps since 1979. Our technicians are experienced and trained to bring your classic chimney up to modern standards.

Ready to let someone bring your chimney system into the modern era? Also, keeping your safety and comfort in mind? Call Hudson Chimney today at 904-282-4159. For your convenience you can also request an appointment online.

Celebrating National Chimney Safety Week

Whenever September arrives, Hudson Chimney knows that not only will we be busy preparing chimneys in the Jacksonville, Florida area for the upcoming fireplace season, but we will also be getting ready to celebrate with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) during their annual National Chimney Safety Week, which occurs the last week of September (September 27 – October 3, 2015). This is an opportunity for chimney professionals across the country to educate people about fire and chimney safety before the weather starts getting cold. A fireplace and chimney system can present many hazards, so it is important to know and follow safety practices whenever you use this part of your home. The last thing you would want to happen this winter is a devastating chimney fire because you neglected to schedule your annual chimney inspection. The Director of Education for the CSIA, Ashley Eldridge says, “Fires in chimneys can start for a variety of reasons. They can be poorly built, or incorrectly designed, or the chimney flue sees a buildup of creosote over time. If you’ve ignored the need for an inspection, you are taking a risk.” Other than having your chimney professionally inspected every year, the CSIA offers other things you should do to reduce your risk of a chimney fire, and we would like to share them with you.

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Your chimney is not the only part that should be inspected.

Your wood-burning or gas fireplace should also be examined by a professional to be sure no potential hazards exist. A wood-burning firebox could also have a large buildup of creosote, and this can be an extremely dangerous situation. Ensure your firebox is free from any creosote accumulation before you light a fire inside it. Gas and propane logs may not produce any soot or creosote, but they can deposit corrosive substances within your chimney. Ceramic logs in gas fireplaces can also deteriorate and clog the vents and pilot light. Having the logs checked in your gas fireplace can prevent chimney fires and other fireplace issues that can happen when the pilot light and other connectors are not correctly working.

Be prepared for all severe weather hazards.

To be sure you are ready for a severe storm, such as a hurricane, the CSIA suggest three steps:

1. Know your risk.

Before leaving home in the morning, check the weather reports to be sure you are prepared for any coming weather event.

2. Take action!

Find out more about what kind of weather your area should expect this fall. Make an emergency supplies kit. Come up with a communication plan for your entire family in case of an emergency.

3. Be a force of nature.

If a hurricane or other severe weather storm is heading your way, spread the word! Inspire your friends and family by letting them know how you have prepared for the potentially bad weather.

If you would like to learn more about National Chimney Safety Week, contact us at Hudson Chimney. We are happy to educate you on fire prevention!

The Value of a Video Scan Inspection

Whenever your chimney is inspected by one of our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from Hudson Chimney, you will be able to see exactly what we saw, thanks to video scans from the Chim-Scan Closed Circuit Internal Evaluation System. A video scan inspection can be extremely valuable, especially if damage is found to your chimney during the inspection. Our sweeps benefit from these video scans as well as they are able to see every inch of the inside of your chimney when they use this camera technology. We would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have encountered about Chim-Scan video inspections.

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What exactly is the Chim-Scan Closed Circuit Internal Evaluation System?

Explained by the company that creates and manufactures this system, a Chim-Scan is a remote imaging video camera that has been specifically engineered to be moved up and down inside a chimney. This provides both our chimney sweep and the homeowner a video scan of each inch of the interior walls of a chimney. When this Chim-Scan system is used, everyone can see an up-close view of parts of your chimney that are extremely difficult to see by regular means.

What makes a video scan important in a chimney inspection?

Required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in their Level 2 and Level 3 chimney inspections, video scans are so important to Hudson Chimney that we also use them in our basic Level 1 inspections. One of the main reasons why we feel this way is the ability of the Chim-Scan camera to spy every inch of your chimney’s interior. This allows us to spot hazardous damage that we could have missed seeing if we did not use this tool. You could have damage to the inside of your chimney that needs to be repaired before you can safely use your fireplace. An example of this damage are cracks that could allow the poisonous gases created by combustion to enter your home. Also, if you need to report any damage to your home insurance agent, a video scan can give you the evidence your agent will need to file a claim.

What are the other advantages of video scan inspections?

Along with discovering hard-to-see damage, a video scan inspection can also be used to determine details about damage from a chimney fire, uncover improper repair work, and find animals and/or their nests within a chimney. A crucial part of a chimney fire investigation, a video scan can help diagnose the cause of the fire and the amount of any damage which happened in the fire. You will also be provided with written reports, photographs, and/or video recordings after a video scan inspection.

Discover the value of a video scan inspection. Contact Hudson Chimney today to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

Don’t Wait Until Fall to Schedule Your Chimney Sweeping

Although it may seem far away, the month of September will be here before you realize it. Did you realize that many national fire safety groups like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected before lighting the first fire of the year? The reason behind this recommendation is to be sure that your fireplace and chimney system works properly and safely so that you will not experience any hazardous problems during the winter. September begins the busiest time of the year at Hudson Chimney for our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps. Their schedule will be packed full through December cleaning chimneys across the Jacksonville area, and scheduling an appointment during these months can be difficult. You may have to wait several weeks to be able to arrange your annual chimney sweeping on the date and time you need. We suggest to our customers to go ahead and schedule this important chimney maintenance task in the late summer before fall arrives to be able to get the appointment at a time that is convenient. To let you know what you can expect from a cleaning from our chimney sweeps, we would like to tell you more about this service.

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Hudson Chimney takes care to keep your home clean as we sweep your chimney.

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps begin the sweeping process by covering the area surrounding your fireplace with tarps to protect your home from soot, dust, and other debris. A high-speed vacuum cleaner will also be set up over your fireplace opening to keep dirt from entering your house.

Hudson Chimney sweeps your chimney clean from its top to its bottom.

Our sweeps will use hand brushes as well as brushes on rods to scrub the walls of your chimney clean from the floor of the firebox all the way up to the top of the flue. Your damper will also be cleaned, inspected, and adjusted. Our chimney sweeps will focus on removing all of the accumulated creosote deposits to prevent a dangerous and possibly devastating chimney fire. Creosote is a natural compound which is the residue of the byproducts of combustion of a wood-burning fire and can be extremely flammable. You will be able to safely light fires without any worries of creosote deposits causing problems after your chimney has been swept by Hudson Chimney.

Hudson Chimney performs a professional chimney inspection as part of the sweeping process.

To ensure your chimney is free from hazardous blockages and has no damage, our chimney sweeps will use a close-circuit video camera to get a close look at the interior of your chimney. The exterior of your chimney will also be inspected, and our certified sweeps will pay close attention to the condition of your bricks and mortar. After the sweeping and inspection has been completed, our sweeps will provide a written document of their findings, and they will be sure to explain everything to you so you understand the condition of your chimney.

Don’t wait until the fall to schedule your chimney sweeping. Contact Hudson Chimney today to make an appointment for this essential annual chimney maintenance service.

Summer Storms Can Damage Chimneys

Since we call Northeastern Florida our home, Hudson Chimney is familiar with the heavy rains that come with summer storms, and we are very experienced with the damage these rainstorms can do to chimneys. Repairing leaky chimneys and preventing further water penetration of masonry chimneys are two jobs you can trust our certified chimney technicians with performing. We would like to tell you more about the damage water leaks can do to your chimney and your home as well as the preventive measures we can take to protect your masonry chimney from the heavy rains of the summer storms we frequently see in our area.

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THE DAMAGE DONE BY WATER PENETRATION

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is your masonry chimney’s biggest enemy. Since chimneys are built using materials like brick, mortar, concrete, stone, flue tile, steel, and cast-iron, they are seriously compromised by water leaks because every one of these building materials are negatively affected by direct contact with water. What kind of damage can water penetration do to your masonry chimney system and home? Examples of the expensive and possibly dangerous damage from water leaks include the following:

  • rusted fireplace and chimney parts
  • rotted wood that surrounds your fireplace
  • stains on the walls and ceilings around your fireplace
  • deteriorated exterior chimney
  • cracked or damaged flue liner
  • collapsed hearth support
  • leaning or collapsed chimney structure

THE PREVENTION OF WATER LEAKS

The certified chimney technicians at Hudson Chimney offer a couple of ways to protect your masonry chimney from water penetration and remove the possibilities of water leaks, including:

Waterproofing

Using a 100% vapor permeable formula that allows your chimney to still be able to “breathe,” our chimney technicians will apply this formula to let water that has already penetrated your masonry chimney escape, which will prevent future damage such as spalling and erosion due to the freeze-thaw process. Furthermore, the waterproofing formula keeps water from entering from the outside to protect your masonry chimney from water leaks and other deterioration. You can trust Hudson Chimney to never use paint or clear sealers as these may cause even more spalling damage by trapping water vapors and moisture inside your chimney.

Flashing

A poorly done flashing job can actually cause water to penetrate your chimney because water from rain and melted snow can enter through gaps in the flashing. Our technicians will customize the flashing to properly fit around your exterior chimney where it meets the roof. We will work with a licensed roofer to guarantee the flashing has been done correctly.

Be prepared for the heavy rains from the upcoming summer storms. Contact Hudson Chimney to prevent water penetration damage of your masonry chimney.

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