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The Top 5 Chimney Killers

The chimney is made to last a lifetime, or at least the life of your home! However, if a chimney is constructed properly, components installed properly, and the correct materials are used, it won’t be able to last a long time. So why do you need regular chimney sweepings, anyway? It can save you time and money in the future, and it can even save your life. There are five things that can turn your chimney into a disaster, but all of these factors are preventable and the dangers caused by them are easily avoidable.

Water

The Top 5 Chimney Killers - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyYou cannot control the weather, but you can prevent water from entering your chimney system. When water penetrates your chimney system, it damages it from the inside out, it can cause the following damages: rusted parts, damaged structure, ruined furniture, rooms, and decor, stained masonry, and more. Water in the system cause your chimney to drop its efficiency and raises risks for potential dangers. It also cause you to burn more wood, resulting in a smoky fireplace, allow mold to grow, and cause odors.

Prevent chimney leaks by making sure your chimney is safe. Certain parts need to be protected to keep water out, this include the cap, crown, and flashing. Additionally, ask a Hudson Chimney expert about waterproofing services today. We use ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent to keep water from getting in, this is the best solution against water damages.

Amateur Work

Only a professional knows the ins and outs of comprehensive chimney care. They’re certified through classroom and field training. They also  adhere to local and federal safety codes, and they have experience with all types of fire appliances. Hiring an amateur can result in dangerous hazards and costly repairs down the road. Instead, you should find a local CSIA-certified chimney sweep to take care of all your chimney needs. You should also read reviews and hire a professional who is qualified. Membership in chimney sweep guilds are a bonus, check out Hudson Chimney’s credentials here.

Environment Damage

Storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires can cause some serious damage to the structure of your chimney. These can all cause your chimney to work less efficiently. The damage can be minor shifted parts or serious like leaning or spalling. The best thing to do for your chimney after a strong storm or natural occurrences is to visually inspect it. If you find damage, call a professional for a thorough inspection right away.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle

Water damage get worse during freezing temperatures. The freeze/thaw cycle is the process in which water penetrates and fills cracks in the masonry, freezes and expands, breaking apart the masonry, then melts again, moving further into the masonry to repeat the process. You should have your chimney system inspected annually, especially before winter, so that cracks and voids in the masonry are repaired. You should also invest in chimney waterproofing to prevent the freeze/thaw cycle and water penetration!

Neglect

The biggest threat to your chimney system is neglect. A chimney that is cleaned and inspected regularly is safe and more efficient. These services keep your chimney working safely and properly, save you money, prevent damage, and lengthen the life of your chimney system.

It’s time to really invest in your chimney and fireplace system, especially if you want your system to last a long time. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and schedule services today!

Is Your Chimney Ready for Use?

With fall comes pumpkin spice coffee, ghouls and goblins, and relaxing by the fireplace. Even in warmer climates, a fireplace is a favorite home upgrade, making a room cozier, creating the perfect photo backdrop, and even supplementing the heat bills. You can benefit a lot from a fireplace, but is your fireplace ready for use? Lighting a fire in a dirty or unsafe fireplace is a bad idea and can put you at risk.

Chimney Sweeping

Is Your Chimney Ready for Use - Jacksonville FL - Hudson ChimneyIf you haven’t had a chimney sweep since last winter, your chimney is not ready for use. Every time you burn a fire in the fireplace, soot and creosote are deposited in the chimney interior. Additionally, while sitting there this summer, your chimney could have become home to critters or birds. Storms is another major factor, as it might have damaged the mortar, cap, or flashing to allow debris into your chimney.

There is no way to identify damage unless you hire a professional to come check it out. A certified chimney sweep knows what to look for, and they are have lots of experiences with chimneys and fireplaces. A standard chimney sweeping includes a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and a visible inspection of the exterior.

Chimney Inspections

Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend to get your chimney cleaned regularly and inspected annually. A CSIA inspection is a thorough assessment of all accessible portions of the chimney system. Chimney systems that have been changed, used differently, or have sustained damage require a level two inspection. This includes a video scan. A level two inspection is also required when a property is sold or transferred.

Repairs and Prevention

Scheduling your chimney sweep and inspection now gives you plenty of time to make necessary repairs or changes before fall arrives. If your chimney professional identifies damage, big or small, it can be repaired now to avoid more damage. Waiting to repair masonry or replace missing or damaged parts allow water to enter your system to cause much more costly repairs.

At Hudson Chimney, we not only repair chimneys and fireplaces, but we can also waterproof your masonry. Our technicians can apply ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent, which protects the masonry from water penetration while still allowing heat and vapors out. This product is 100% vapor permeable, and this will not affect the look of the masonry. It also works for ten years.

If you’re not sure whether your fireplace and chimney are ready to use, call the professionals to check it out before taking a chance. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and get on our schedule now.

We Are a Full-Service Chimney Company

Hudson Chimney of Middleburg, Florida has been providing comprehensive chimney care for the area since 1979. Our full-service chimney and hearth care include chimney and fireplace maintenance, repairs, diagnostics, and sales and installations. Our technicians live and work in the area, so we have the neighborhood advantage. We know the local fire safety codes and even work together with local businesses and contractors to make safety a priority in our communities, no matter who’s doing the work. Hudson Chimney goes above and beyond, also providing dryer vent cleaning and installation to further keep families safe from accidental house fires.

Preventative Care

Our comprehensive list of chimney services starts with and includes preventative maintenance. Chimney fires are 100 percent preventable. Chimney leaks are 100 percent preventable. Dryer vent fires are 100 percent preventable. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney system. Safety and efficiency go hand-in-hand. If your chimney’s efficiency drops due to neglect, it becomes less safe and results in damage and health emergencies.

When you schedule your preventative care with Hudson Chimney, don’t forget our waterproofing services, seasonal preparation, and routine inspections and sweeps that keep the chimney working properly year-round.

Repairs and Installations

Whether you need a repair, or a part needs completely replaced, Hudson Chimney has you (and your chimney) covered. Common repairs we see here at Hudson Chimney include tuckpointing, firebox repair or rebuilds, masonry repairs, stain removals, mortar crown repairs and installations, and relining. There are many issues minor and major that may require repairs, but if you’re proactive about chimney care, you will avoid the major repairs that cost more time and money than you’d like.

Extend the Life of Your Chimney

Maintaining your chimney system properly will allow you to save more, work less, and your chimney will last as long as designed. Not only that, but a well-maintained chimney and fireplace are easier to convert to a new fuel such as a wood-to-gas conversion, and easier to install a new insert to bring up efficiency.

Choosing a full-service chimney company like Hudson Chimney today means you don’t have to worry about your chimney tomorrow. Whether you’re scheduling preventative care, repairs, conversions, or even have an emergency with your chimney system, you can call Hudson Chimney. Our chimney sweeps are certified and experienced in all aspects of chimney maintenance and repair, as well as fire science, and fire safety.

If you’re in the Middleburg, Florida area, including St. Augustine, Gainesville, and Clay, Duval, Putnam, St. Johns, Barker, Bradford, Alachua, and Nassau counties, we will come to you. If you aren’t within this area of service, please give us a call and see if we can still help you with all your chimney and fireplace needs! At Hudson Chimney, it’s our goal that all of our neighbors in Northeast Florida are comfortable and safe this season and year-round.

Call Hudson Chimney 904-282-4159 or contact us online today.

3 Ways Negligence Ruins the Chimney

It's important to know what could happen if you keep on ignoring your chimney's needs. Negligence on your part might bring you to regret.

It’s important to know what could happen if you keep on ignoring your chimney’s needs. Negligence on your part might bring you to regret not taking care of it.

If you have ever wondered why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), along with numerous other fire safety and government health organizations, recommend an annual chimney sweeping and inspection, “dirty chimneys kill.” While we are not trying to scare you into scheduling your yearly chimney cleaning, Hudson Chimney would like to tell you exactly why you need an annual chimney sweep and inspection, so you can understand the urgency behind following this important step of chimney maintenance.

1. A chimney sweeping removes the buildup of creosote from the walls of your chimney.

If you burn wood, creosote will occur naturally during condensation from when smoke, gases, and vapors from your fireplace exits the upper, cooler walls of your chimney. Sticking around as a residue, creosote can be black or brown and varies in appearance. Whether it is shiny and hard, crusted and flaky, or gummy and tar-like, creosote is highly combustible. If enough of the creosote residue builds up in your chimney and the internal flue reaches high temperatures, you have the makings of a dangerous chimney fire. An annual chimney cleaning from a CSIA-certified company like Hudson Chimney can remove creosote deposits before they can become large enough to ignite a fire.

2. A chimney inspection will alert you to any water penetration damage that might exist in your chimney.

If you own a masonry chimney, you should know that the CSIA has called water the number one enemy of the bricks and mortar of your chimney. For good reasons, water penetration can cause extensive and expensive damages and repairs to masonry fireplaces and chimneys. From loose bricks and mortar to rusted appliances to serious structural deterioration, the destruction caused by water can be alarming. Hudson Chimney can find the leak that is causing the damage, repair the leak and damage, and then apply a waterproofing sealant to prevent any more water penetration of your masonry chimney.

3. A chimney sweeping and inspection can prevent toxic gases like carbon monoxide from entering your home.

Unfortunately, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are on the rise, due to the focus on energy-efficiency. While the temperate air is sealed in, saving you money, the toxic by-products of combustion are also sealed inside, as air flow has been restricted. If there is not enough oxygen coming in to completely burn the fuel, carbon monoxide is produced, and since you cannot see, smell, or taste it, you and your family could be breathing it in for quite a while. A CSIA-certified inspection from Hudson Chimney will ensure the drafting and venting is working to keep the air flow going through the house, bringing oxygen to the heating source. A sweeping will also remove any possible blockages like animal nests to prevent another source of carbon monoxide invading your home. If you and your family develop flu-like symptoms that do not disappear, ask your doctor for a carbon monoxide blood test to be sure your health is not at risk.

If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping and inspection this year, contact Hudson Chimney today. Proper chimney maintenance begins with this important step.

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.

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