by Mark Hudson | Mar 31, 2020 | chimney maintenance
Procrastinating on chimney repairs can lead to very dangerous results. There are many reasons why you should never procrastinate on repairing your chimney. A fireplace is a wonderful addition to your home to keep you warm and cozy, however, it is important to remember that the chimneys that serve them work to make sure that the fire burning doesn’t result in dangerous gases and other by-products of combustion getting into your home.
Reasons why chimney repairs are important
Smoke from fires contains dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause illnesses or even death if exposed to large amounts.
Another risk is that delaying repairs could lead to chimney fires. As all of the different substances produced as wood burns are expelled through the chimney, it could result in residue that sticks to the inner walls of your chimney. This is called creosote. Creosote is a black or brown oily residue that is highly combustible. If it’s not maintained and taken care of, the buildup could ignite causing chimney fires.
Another reason to not delay repairs is that the further the damage, the more costly it could get, especially if it deals with cracks or leaks. Cracks in your chimney could lead to overheating and dangerous gases to leak into your home. Leaks in your chimney could lead to further damage of the structure of your home. As it impairs the efficiency of your chimney, it can also cause leaks into your ceilings, walls, and other structures.
Leaks occur because a lot of masonry materials are porous to expel the gases, however this also means that it can absorb large amounts of water. According to the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA), common bricks act like a sponge, absorbing water & moisture into the interior of your chimney system.
Preventing leaks is very affordable and easy. Here at Hudson Chimney, we want to do everything we can to help from water damage to preventing dangerous gases to enter your home.
Look for signs
There are many different ways to know if you need chimney repairs. With leaks, it could be hard to find any symptoms. However, if you see any of these following signs, call a chimney professional right away.
- Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox parts or rusted fireplace accessories
- A dripping noise
- Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
- Water-stained walls and ceiling around your chimney
- Stained chimney exterior or decaying exterior mortar
- A cracked or deteriorated flue lining
- A tilted, collapsed or settled-looking chimney
- Rainwater in or around your fireplace or furnace thimble
With possible creosote build up, you shouldn’t see any heavy or dangerous signs such as loud cracking or dense smoke if you get your chimney swept regularly. As creosote build up comes in different stages, the further you get, the harder and more costly it will get.
Some early signs to look for are:
- Reduced drafting in fireplace
- Black soot in and around your fireplace
- Very dark smoke coming from your chimney
- If you can see more than ⅛ of an inch of soot build up
- Not as much as ash left after burning
- If you see any of these signs, make sure you contact a chimney professional to help.
How We Can Help
Hudson Chimney has been in the business for over 30 years and we have dealt with all kinds of repairs. We have certified chimney professionals that will help inspect your chimney and repair them for you. We want to make sure that your home is protected from preventable danger concerning your chimney.
With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking precautions to ensure your safety as well as your professionals. We are taking measures not to shake hands, we will be wearing gloves, laying down tarps, which are washed everyday when professionals return, and we have many tarps to ensure that we are not spreading the virus from home to home.
by Mark Hudson | Feb 27, 2019 | Chimney Inspections
This is the best time to get your annual chimney inspection to ensure a problem-free spring and summer. After a long winter of fires, there may be winter damage, water damage, and inefficiencies because of dirty and damaged parts in your chimney. However, no matter how well your chimney and fireplace worked all winter, it won’t continue to work well if it’s not given proper maintenance. The best way is to schedule your annual inspection.
Inspections Prevent Dirty Chimneys &
After a full season of burning fires, your may find that your chimney flue is full of soot and creosote or even debris from animals or weather. Soot is a carbon residue released when your burn fires inside your fireplace. Creosote happens when you burn organic fuel. When these substances are not cleaned out on a regular basis, they can build up in the system. This can lead to numerous problems such as a drop in efficiency, obstruction of airflow, or even a dangerous fire hazard.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agree that chimney systems that are inspected regularly are safer. When your chimney is inspected, your technician will catch hazards big and small. This also brings down the risk of accidental residential fires–saving your lives and property.
Three Levels of Thoroughness
When you schedule your chimney inspection, we can help you determine which level of inspection your chimney needs too. We offer three levels of inspections, and the condition of your system determines which level your chimney needs.
- Level One – This is required annually when your chimney has been used in the same way and no changes have been made. Level one inspection is a visual assessment of the interior and exterior. Our expert techs examine the readily accessible portions as well as connections and appliance. At the end of this appointment, your chimney will have a clean bill of health.
- Level Two – This level is required before the sale or transfer of property, when any changes are made to the system, or when there has been a problem that affects the chimney. This inspection includes a Chim-Scan camera footage of the interior.
- Level Three – The most thorough inspection is required when serious hazards are suspected. This inspection require limited demolition to gain access to the suspected hazards. The chimney crown or interior wall may need to be removed, and then replaced following inspection.
As we come into the off-season, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a professional. Trust Hudson Chimney with your Chimney Inspection. We’re licensed, certified, and we are ready to serve you.
Call 904-282-4159 today to ensure your system is ready for the rainy spring days. If you neglect this important appointment, you could put your home and family in danger. A damaged chimney also allow animals and wildlife in, and it may not be safe to use once fall returns.
by Mark Hudson | Oct 30, 2018 | Chimney Leaks
Chimney leaks are a common problem and something we often see at Hudson Chimney. Tropical storm weather and frequent rains can lead to chimney leaks that lead to serious chimney damage. Water can wreck a chimney in no time, and must be detected and repaired as soon as possible, so dripping in the chimney system is a serious issue.
Signs of a Chimney Leak
Dripping in the chimney system is only one sign of a chimney leak. It may be one of the first signs of a leak that a homeowner recognizes. Usually visible or obvious signs aren’t detected until major damage has occurred behind the scenes, and that’s because they aren’t sure what the signs are.
If your chimney system has a dripping sound or visible dripping, there is a drip inside, probably causing water to pool on the smoke shelf, damaging interior parts, and allowing mold and mildew to grow.
Green and dark green staining on the fireplace interior is a sign of a prolonged leak. Rust stains on the chimney exterior, near the top, is a sign of a leak that is causing the cap or chase to leak. White stains on the exterior (efflorescence) is a sign that water is moving through the masonry and leaving deposits on the outside of the masonry.
If odors are present in the system, there is most likely water inside. This may be mildew or moldy odors, or even the smell of barbecue (which also indicates a dirty chimney).
Even if there are leaks in other areas of the house, the problem is usually the chimney. Water moves through the chimney, travels through walls, ceilings, and floors, and then pools at a low point before forming a leak. If your house has a leak, don’t call the contractor! Call a chimney professional.
What Water Does
If you notice dripping or other signs of chimney leaks, you must call a professional right away. Water damage can cause deterioration, structural damage, rusted and damaged parts, water damage to the rest of the home, and even leaning and crumbling of the system. It is not just a situation where the risk of fire is higher, but also that the structure itself can become dangerous.
If chimney leaks are not repaired as soon as they’re detected, then your system can take on more damage during tropical storm season as well as winter. A professional should correct the problem right away, whether it’s replacing the cap, crown, flashing, or repairing the masonry. An amateur or general contractor may repair the water damage, but a chimney professional will fix the problem at the source. A Hudson Chimney sweep will leave your chimney in the best shape–probably better than it’s been since you’ve owned your home–and help it last a lifetime.
Call Hudson Chimney for all your chimney care in Jacksonville, Florida area today at 904-282-4159.
by Mark Hudson | Sep 29, 2018 | Chimney Inspection
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 Rush
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.
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.
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.
by Mark Hudson | Aug 14, 2018 | Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida is known for many things, especially the climate and wildlife. Despite mild temperatures, many homeowners prefer to have in their home a fireplace and chimney. This helps to lower utility bills during seasonal transitions and also adds to the ambiance and decor of the home. At Hudson Chimney, we understand the magic that transforms a home when a fire is lit in a beautiful hearth. We also know the importance of maintaining fireplaces and chimneys to keep them safe and efficient. We make it our priority to keep our neighbors and families in Jacksonville safe season after season.
Why Choose Hudson Chimney
In over 20 years, Hudson Chimney has serviced countless families, businesses, and contractors, bringing safe fire appliances into residential and business spaces in and around Jacksonville. Located in Middleburg, Florida, we’re located in the heart of our service area and are well-versed in local and state fire and safety regulations. When we come into your community and your home, we treat you as neighbors. We live and work in the area, and it’s our goal that residential fires become a thing of the past for our communities.
We are certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), Independent Safety Commission (ISC), C-DET, and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), Georgia Chimney Sweep Guild (GCSG), and the Florida Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps (FGPCS) of which owner Mark Hudson is President and Founder. At Hudson Chimney, education is a valuable asset and ongoing experience. When you choose Hudson Chimney, you will get a professional with the training and experience necessary to complete the job, as well as the backing of an established, licensed, and certified company.
Comprehensive Chimney Care for Jacksonville
In order to offer the best services to our service area in Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding communities, we strive to have certified technicians on staff who are experienced and formally trained. We offer preventative chimney maintenance year round, as well as chimney leak repairs, masonry repairs, routine maintenance, installations, parts replacements, and more.
Hudson’s Service Area
Though we serve a large area in Northeast Florida, there are certain cities and towns where we work every day, including:
Green Cove Springs
Ponte Vedra Beach
If you reside in any of these cities and would like to find a new chimney sweep company for all of your chimney needs, give Hudson Chimney a call today at 904-282-4159. If you don’t see your city name, or your zip code here, we may be able to work with you when you call to speak with a chimney expert.
You can also contact us online with this online form.