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Storm Damage Repair

One thing that many homeowners try to prepare for is hurricanes. This is especially true if you live in Florida. How many homeowners are prepared for more than one hurricane? How about two hurricanes and one tropical storm in one season? Our customers in Jacksonville are busy putting things back together after devastating storms statewide. Now we’re here to help!

Common Storm Damage

Tropical storms come with sustained winds of 39 mph and higher. Once the maximum sustained winds pass 74 mph, the storm is considered a hurricane. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and even a heavy thunderstorm can cause damage to your chimney system. Winds can blow off or damage flashing and chimney caps. Hail and rain can damage masonry, and if the damage isn’t repaired, more can occur. This season, our service area in Jacksonville has been battered, and you might not have gotten the repairs your chimney needed before another storm passed through.

Your Chimney Cap

In high-wind areas, you can opt for a chimney cap designed to handle hurricane-force winds, and deflect wind from coming into the flue. A functional cap should block rain from falling into the flue. However, when it blows off during a serious storm, it will allow water into the chimney system. Water destroys a chimney from the inside out. If it isn’t corrected, it will continue to ruin parts of the chimney system, as well as components of the home.

Your Flashing

The flashing is made up of thin sheets of metal, placed along the seam of the roof and chimney intersection. This is the most vulnerable of all the chimney system. Not to mention it becomes worse when flashing is installed incorrectly – as it often is. It’s best to have the chimney inspected regularly and know the flashing is in good shape and ready for Florida weather. What happens if the flashing becomes damaged, shifts, or is blown away? Water from tropical storms will penetrate the roof, affecting the chimney, flooring, walls, and structural materials of the home!

Your Chimney Repairs

Hudson Chimney sees a lot of storm damage this time of year, after hurricane season, and before fall. This is the time that homeowners are getting ready for burn season. So, it’s the best time to have the chimney inspected and schedule necessary repairs.

Flashing Repair – Hudson Chimney repairs flashing with the expertise required to properly place flashing according to the slant of the roof, the roofing materials, and the high wind area you live.

Masonry Repair – Depending on the damage to the masonry itself, whether water or wind damage, a masonry repair may be in order. Hudson Chimney sweeps can repair spalling masonry through a process called tuckpointing, replace chimney crowns, and waterproof the masonry for added protection.

When the storm has passed, it’s time to assess the damage, and start repairs. If you have questions about chimney damage, preventative maintenance, and insurance claims, a Hudson Chimney technician can assist you. Just call 904-282-4159 or schedule an appointment with Hudson Chimney online today!

 

Does Your Chimney Need to be Relined?

The interior of your chimney is often forgotten because the old adage is true: out of sight, out of mind. The chimney’s interior is used and abused all winter long and can become damaged from simple wear and tear, and the homeowner may never know. This is one reason that the yearly chimney inspection is vitally important. This is the only time a professional will look at your chimney from top to bottom.

What is a Liner?

The liner protects the house from the heat of your chimney. In an unlined chimney the heat can transfer from the chimney to structural combustibles. The liner also protects the chimney itself from the corrosive byproducts that exist in the chimney. Without a liner, the chimney is susceptible to erosion contributing to a shorter life. The liner is also essential to your fire’s ventilation. It is professionally installed so that it’s sized specifically for the capacity of the fireplace or appliance. This means that your masonry chimney can be used even if you change appliances and fuels. The chimney can be relined, but won’t require a rebuild.

Signs Your Chimney May Need Relined

  1. You’ve noticed water damage in your fireplace there is most likely damage to the flue liner. If there are water stains on the chimney’s masonry, it has most likely penetrated the liner.
  2. Seeing pieces of your clay liner falling into your fireplace then it needs to be relined. The National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 211 requires that chimney liners be replaced if they are cracked, broken, or missing.
  3. If your liner isn’t appropriate for the type of fuel you’re burning, you need to get another liner installed. Stainless steel liners are the most durable, and appropriate for use with wood, gas, and oil burning fires.
  4. Purchase a new appliance or having your fireplace rebuilt you may need a new liner. The liner should be sized appropriately. Wood stoves and oil furnaces require a correctly sized flue to perform properly. If the chimney doesn’t vent properly you risk flue fires, carbon monoxide intrusion, and decreased efficiency.

The Most Important Time to Have Your Chimney Liner Checked

The most important time to have your chimney liner checked is when you’ve purchased a new home. This is because you probably don’t know anything about your chimney. When you schedule a chimney inspection with a certified chimney sweep you can save money in the future. A chimney expert can catch flue liner damage before it becomes a serious fire hazard, and a chimney expert can repair minor damage without relining!

At Hudson Chimney our technicians are certified HeatShield® technicians. HeatShield® is a cerfractory flue sealant that combines the strength and durability of ceramic and concrete to resurface the chimney lining. It’s ideal for clay flue liners and is rated for use with all fuels. Even if your entire chimney needs relined, HeatShield® is right for you as long as your chimney is structurally sound. This relining process can be just what you need to avoid a complete relining or rebuild.

Hudson Chimney is Jacksonville’s chimney choice for over 30 years. We will put your chimney first every time. Contact Hudson Chimney today to find out how we can help you.

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.

Now Is a Great Time to Have Your Chimney and Dryer Vent Professionally Cleaned

When you own a home, you should keep up with the routine maintenance tasks needed to keep everything running smoothly and safely. Neglecting important maintenance can lead to dangerous hazards in your home. At Hudson Chimney, our top priority is fire safety, and we provide chimney and venting maintenance services to the residents of the Jacksonville area that prevent accidental fires and carbon monoxide leaks. For our busy customers, we offer the opportunity to take care of two of these services, chimney sweeping and dryer vent cleaning, on the same appointment date. We strongly suggest that you should go ahead and schedule this appointment now before the busy season of fall begins. It can be difficult to find the most convenient time, and you may end up having to wait even longer to take care of these maintenance tasks. We would like to tell you more about the importance of a professional chimney sweeping and a dryer vent cleaning.

Have Chimney and Dryer Vent Professionally Cleaned Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

CHIMNEY SWEEPING

When you burn wood in your fireplace or stove, creosote develops naturally during the combustion process. As smoke and the other byproducts of combustion pass through the cooler upper walls of the chimney, condensation occurs. During condensation, creosote forms and sticks to the inner chimney walls. After a long winter, large accumulations of creosote deposits can cover parts of the chimney and create a dangerous fire hazard. Creosote is so highly flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named this natural compound as a leading cause of chimney fires. To remove all of the creosote deposits from your chimney, you need a professional chimney sweeping. This is why the CSIA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other top national fire safety groups recommend having your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year. You can trust Hudson Chimney to remove every bit of creosote from your chimney because our chimney sweeps have been certified by the CSIA and have the training and experience to do this job properly and reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

DRYER VENT CLEANING

Every year, thousands of clothes dryer fires are reported in this country. The majority of these fires are the result of clogged and dirty dryer vents. Every time you dry a load of clothes, lint is produced. Although about 75 percent of that lint is collected in the lint screen, the rest of it falls into the vent. After a period of time, that lint can accumulate into a large enough amount to clog the vent. This is a very dangerous situation because lint is extremely flammable. Since a clogged dryer vent causes the dryer to overheat, those high temperatures can easily ignite the trapped lint inside a vent. You will know your dryer vent needs cleaning when your dryer cannot fully dry a load of clothes in one complete drying cycle. To prevent a clothes dryer fire, Hudson Chimney recommends that you schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning appointment with us every year. Not only will the risk of an accidental clothes dryer fire be greatly reduced, your dryer will work much more efficiently. Prolonging the life of your dryer, preventing fires, and lowering your utility bills are among the benefits of our professional dryer vent cleaning services.

Make sure your home is safe with no fire hazards. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney sweeping and dryer vent cleaning services today.

Your Prefab Fireplace May Be Calling Out for Help

If you have a prefab fireplace, you know how important it is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions so that it works safely. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says that using your prefab fireplace properly is critical to operate it efficiently and safely. Even though these types of fireplaces are not built to last as long as masonry fireplaces, you can prolong the life of your factory-built fireplace with regular maintenance and service. One of the most common problems with prefab fireplaces has to do with the firebox. Over the years, the lining of the firebox can suffer from rust corrosion, which can cause the firebox to crack. When this happens, your home is at a greater risk of an accidental fire because the cracks and gaps allow fire and heat to reach the combustible materials in the walls that surround the fireplace. Hudson Chimney has years of experience in repairing damaged fireboxes in prefab fireplaces, and we would like to tell you more about what can damage your firebox.

Your Prefab Fireplace May Be Calling Out For Help - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

WATER LEAKS

The main reason a firebox in a prefab fireplace suffers from rust corrosion is exposure to water. When you have a prefab fireplace and chimney that is covered with a chase, you need a chase cover to keep water out of the chimney. If the cover is damaged or missing, water from rain can easily enter your chimney, and this is how your firebox becomes corroded with rust. Hudson Chimney can not only repair your damaged firebox, but we can also install a new chase cover that will protect your chimney and fireplace from water leaks.

FREQUENT USAGE

Prefab fireplaces are designed to be used occasionally, and if you burn fires in your prefab fireplace everyday, it can lead to firebox damage. This type of fireplace is not made to handle daily exposure to extremely high temperatures. If you want to use your fireplace everyday during the winter, Hudson Chimney can help you upgrade to a fireplace insert that is manufactured to be used more often.

WRONG PART INSTALLATION

When certain parts, such as the damper and smoke dome, of your prefab fireplace and chimney need to be replaced, it is essential that those parts match the brand name and model number of the original parts. If these parts are not replaced with parts that match the originals, your prefab fireplace will not operate safely and properly. You could end up experiencing a house fire in this situation. Hudson Chimney will take the time to find the exact parts needed for your prefab fireplace.

If your prefab fireplace is calling out for help, Hudson Chimney is here to solve the problem. Contact us to schedule an inspection of your prefab fireplace today.

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.

Home Inspectors Are Not Necessarily Chimney Experts

When you buy a home, you have to hire a home inspector to make sure there are no hidden problems with any of the major systems in the house. Your home inspector will check out the electrical and plumbing systems, the structure and foundation, and other parts of the home. After you receive the final inspection report, you may believe everything in the fireplace and chimney system works properly, but home inspectors are not necessarily chimney experts. Many of the national fire safety organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend that the chimney and venting system should be inspected by a professional certified chimney technician before you buy a home. Our CSIA-certified chimney professionals at Hudson Chimney are trained and experienced in finding damage and potential problems in chimneys and fireplaces. You may think you are saving money by not hiring a chimney technician for an inspection before you purchase a house, but there could be a problem with the system that can not only cost you a lot more money in the future, but it could also be a danger to your life. We would like to tell you about the importance of a professional chimney inspection when you are buying a home.

Home Inspectors Are Not Necessarily Chimney Experts - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

Home inspectors can miss some major problems with a chimney and fireplace system.

While home inspectors have been trained and certified to professionally inspect the major systems of a house, they usually have not received any professional extensive training concerning fireplaces and chimneys. For example, the CSIA reports that a home inspector approved a chimney and fireplace system, which was found to have some major problems by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. The chimney inspection discovered that the height of the chimney was not tall enough to meet building code regulations, the existence of drywall exposure, and the separation of the hearth from the wall. These problems could cause chimney draft issues, fire hazards, and carbon monoxide leaks. If the homeowner had not hired the chimney sweep because the home inspector found no problems, he or she could experience a devastating fire or become ill from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Home inspectors are not required to thoroughly inspect chimneys.

The most a home inspector will typically do to check out the chimney is using a flashlight to look into the flue. A chimney inspection from the CSIA-certified sweeps at Hudson Chimney will include a video scan from a closed-circuit camera that has been designed to be used inside a chimney. We will have a close-up look at every inch of the inside of that chimney, and we can show you any damage or possible problem we may find. You will also have the needed evidence to show to the homeowner of damage that needs to be repaired before you will agree to purchase the home.

Shopping for a new home? Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for a professional chimney inspection to be sure the home you are buying poses no dangerous risks from the chimney and fireplace system.

Replacing Your Chase Cover

Protecting your chimney from water leaks is an important part of maintaining your chimney. If you have a prefabricated chimney, you likely have a chase that is built around its metal exhaust pipe. When you have a chase around your chimney, it needs to have a good chase cover (also known as a chase pan) that will keep water out of your chimney and chase. Water is the greatest enemy of chimneys, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). You want to be sure you are doing everything you can to prevent water from penetrating your chimney because of the damage water can do. Not only can water damage the metal components of your chimney, but it can also cause damage to the ceilings and walls in your home. Unfortunately, chase covers do not last forever and should be replaced when you notice any signs of damage. Hudson Chimney sells, installs, and repairs chimney chase covers, and we would like to tell you what you should look for to know it is time to replace your chase cover.

Replacing Your Chase Cover - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

How do I know if my chase cover is damaged?

Although you may have to get on your roof to get a closer look, you will probably be able to see signs of corrosion from rusting on your chase cover from the ground. Chase covers are made from metal, and the cheaper metals tend to start rusting pretty quickly. As soon as your chase cover starts rusting, the cover will develop holes in it, and these holes allow rain to easily enter your chimney. While Hudson Chimney can repair chase covers, if the cover is made from galvanized steel, the metal is probably to weak to repair. You cannot even clean the rust corrosion off of the chase cover because it could break apart.

What should I be looking for in a replacement of my chase cover?

You want to find a chase cover made from either stainless steel or copper. You also want to be sure the cover has been designed correctly. Look for a chase cover that has been designed with a slope from the middle to the sides so that water will run off of the cover and not pool on top in the middle. When water pools on top of a chase cover, it leads to quicker corrosion. Hudson Chimney can help you select the best chase cover for your chimney. No matter if you have multiple flues in one chimney or have an unusually shaped chimney, we can customize a chase cover to protect your chimney and chase from water penetration.

Is it time to replace your chase cover? Contact us at Hudson Chimney to find out how we can help you prevent damage from water leaking into your chimney with the perfect chase cover for your chimney chase.

Is Your Chimney Ready for a Wet Winter?

Here in the Jacksonville, Florida area, we are fortunate to enjoy moderate winters, but even though we do not have to deal with much ice and snow, we do have quite a bit of rain during this season. As we have mentioned before, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named water as the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. Water from rainfall can cause quite a bit of expensive damage to your chimney, including the collapse of its structure. Hudson Chimney has been repairing leaky chimneys over the past 30 years, and we have seen some truly horrible damage done to the bricks and mortar of chimneys. Not only do we fix chimney leaks, but we also offer a few preventive services to keep water out of chimneys. We are here to help you get your chimney ready for a wet winter so you can avoid expensive chimney repairs from water damage.Is Your Chimney Ready for a Wet Winter - Jacksonville FL

Chimney Cap Installation

An essential component of a chimney and venting system, a chimney cap keeps water from rain and melted snow out of your chimney. Without a cap, your chimney is a big hole on the top of your house. You would never leave your doors and windows open during a rainstorm, would you? Hudson Chimney can help you pick out the perfect chimney cap and professionally install it to protect your chimney from water penetration. Not only will a chimney cap keep water out of your chimney, but it will also prevent birds and animals from making a home out of your chimney. Chimney caps also keep sparks from jumping out of the top of a chimney that can ignite an accidental fire, and some types of caps can improve chimney draft problems.

Flashing

Consisting of metal sheeting, flashing wraps around the base of the chimney to keep water from entering at the point of where the chimney meets the roof. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will take precise measurements of your chimney to create a flashing system to protect your chimney from water penetration. We also can make repairs if your existing flashing system is damaged.

Waterproofing

To create a barrier against water penetration, Hudson Chimney provides waterproofing services. We feel that waterproofing is one of the best ways to prolong the life of your chimney. Our chimney technicians will start this service by cleaning the exterior of your chimney and then apply a layer of ChimneySaver’s Water Repellant, a 100% vapor permeable formula. This means no water will be able to penetrate into the bricks and mortar of your chimney, but any water vapors already trapped inside these masonry materials will be able to escape.

Prevention is always easier and less expensive than repairing damage. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to make an appointment for us to get your chimney ready for the wet winter.

Chimney Sweeping Logs Are Not a Substitute for a CSIA Professional

Have you ever wondered why you need to have your chimney professionally swept annually? Of course, your chimney gets pretty dirty from regular fires in the fireplace, but soot and dust is not the most important reason for this maintenance task. Your chimney should be cleaned professionally once a year to remove the accumulated creosote from the inner walls of the flue. A compound that forms naturally as a result of the combustion process of burning wood, creosote is extremely flammable and is the main cause of chimney fires. It is essential to get all of the creosote out of your chimney so you can enjoy your fireplace without worrying about this fire hazard. You may have seen chimney sweeping logs, a product that claims to remove and reduce creosote from your chimney, and considered that they could be a substitute for a chimney sweeping by one of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney professionals from Hudson Chimney. However, this is not the case, and chimney sweeping logs can even lead to dangers in your home. We would like to tell you more about why you should never substitute a professional chimney cleaning by using chimney sweeping logs.

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WHAT CHIMNEY SWEEPING LOGS DO

Burning a chimney sweeping log in your fireplace or stove releases chemicals that use catalytic action to remove a portion of accumulated creosote from your chimney. These chemicals cause creosote to flake off and break away from the chimney wall. While this product does remove some of the creosote, the CSIA has its concerns. The claims of chimney sweeping logs are not completely accurate and can lull homeowners into a false sense of security.

THE RISKS OF CHIMNEY SWEEPING LOGS

As we said earlier, creosote is very flammable, so when pieces of creosote are falling down your chimney after flaking off, they could easily catch on fire and lead to a devastating chimney fire. Even if the creosote does not ignite on its way down, the pieces end up at the bottom of your chimney to gather on the smoke shelf and form together to cause yet another fire hazard. Any creosote remaining in your chimney, whether or not it is stuck to the walls of the flue, poses a dangerous fire hazard.

WHY A PROFESSIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEPING IS SO CRUCIAL

Firstly, you can trust our CSIA-certified sweeps at Hudson Chimney to completely remove all of the creosote from your chimney. We know far too well the dangers of creosote, and we take great care to be sure we have gotten all of the accumulated deposits out of your chimney. Not only do we thoroughly clean your chimney, but we also provide a professional inspection with every chimney sweeping. Our sweeps will closely examine the interior and exterior of your chimney to look for any damage that needs to be fixed for your fireplace and chimney to function effectively and safely. If any debris such as nests from birds and animals or leaves are blocking your chimney, we will also remove the blockage to prevent any accidental fires or carbon monoxide leaks.

Have you had your chimney professionally swept this year? Stay away from chimney sweeping logs, and contact us at Hudson Chimney to make an appointment for a safe chimney this winter.

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