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Don’t Procrastinate Your Chimney Sweep and Inspection!

When it’s time to light the first fire of the season, the last thing you want to think about is rushing to schedule important chimney and fireplace services. When you wait until the last minute to schedule your chimney sweep and inspection, you risk the Fall Rush. This is the first few weeks of burn season in which chimney sweep companies are busy. Packed schedules can make getting necessary services almost impossible. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate! Schedule important services now. Your chimney sweep and inspection is an investment in your future. It saves lives, property, and even money in the long-run.

The Fall RushSweep cleaning chimney on ladder

Homeowners who procrastinate important maintenance for their home may end up paying for it in the future. If you depend on your fireplace, insert, or stove for supplemental heat, you cannot risk lighting it without an inspection. By lighting it before an inspection, you put your home and family at risk for fire and chimney emergencies. If you wait too long, you may miss out on the services you require at a desirable time. We don’t want our customers to choose between safety and comfort this year. We want you to be able to light your fire safely this year, and we always want to be your trusted choice. That is why we offer our expert chimney services year-round and encourage homeowners to schedule ahead of time!

Proper Maintenance = Safe Chimneys

Only those fireplace and chimney systems that are routinely cleaned and annually inspected are safest and efficient. Even the most advanced fire appliance and a properly installed chimney system will become inefficient without proper maintenance. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimney inspections and sweeps for safety and efficiency no matter how old the system is and no matter how often it is used. As a fire is burned in the hearth, creosote and soot are produced and rises up the chimney. These microscopic particles of carbon and tar cling to the sides of the flue and will eventually lead to corrosion and buildup if not removed. When creosote is allowed to buildup and overheat, the water vapors are removed and it is transformed into a hardened, highly flammable mass of “glazed creosote”. This material slows airflow through the flue and creates a serious fire hazard as dangerous temperatures heat the creosote and ignite it, resulting in a flue fire.

It isn’t just wood fires that need to be maintained annually. Gas fires don’t produce creosote, but they do produce carbon monoxide and water vapors. These can still lead to furniture and home damage and respiratory issues for the family. Carbon monoxide exposure can lead to permanent organ damage and possible death. The only way to ensure your system is working properly and safely is to schedule maintenance annually with a certified expert.

Clean Chimneys for Christmas

The chimney sweep and inspection are vital for safety for certain, but it also enriches your home and your holiday experience. When your chimney and fireplace are squeaky clean, the blaze will be beautiful and strong, the hearth will be clean of creosote and ash, and your living space will be warm and cozy. The fireplace has a special place in the holiday scene. It’s the backdrop for gift-giving, movie nights, parties, and even family photos. With a clean chimney, you won’t have to worry about a smelly living room either!

Chimney Inspections in Jacksonville

Whether you burn a fire every day or only a few times per month, you still need to have it inspected every 12 months. This keeps it working safely and identifies damages and hazards before they put your family and your home in danger. Residents in and around Jacksonville have put their trust in Hudson Chimney for over 30 years for chimney care and diagnostics. We offer level one, two, and three inspections, and our trained eyes and skilled hands know exactly where to look for problems both common and uncommon.

SCHEDULE A LEVEL ONE INSPECTION if you:

  • have had no problems with your chimney system over the last year
  • haven’t changed it
  • plan to use it the same way for the next year as well.

SCHEDULE A LEVEL TWO INSPECTION if:

  • you’ve made changes to your system
  • you suspect problems with your system
  • it’s been through a serious storm or natural disaster that might cause damage to your system.

A level two inspection is also required before the sale or transfer of land and includes a thorough assessment of the entire chimney interior by video surveillance equipment.

SCHEDULE A LEVEL THREE INSPECTION if:

  • a hazard is suspected during a lesser level inspection.

Your technician should present a detailed report before proceeding with a level three inspection because they may require demolition and most often end in repair.

Remember, before you light your fire this fall, make sure it’s safe! Schedule your chimney sweep or inspection with Hudson Chimney today. Dial 904-282-4159.

Don’t Procrastinate! Have Your Chimney Serviced for Winter

Using a fireplace that hasn’t been cleaned or inspected puts your home and family at risk. Your fire may burn nicely with a beautiful, dancing flame, but there may be unseen problems. Many homeowners don’t know what signs to look for that might indicate a chimney problem. Much of the system is unseen and oftentimes there is serious damage by the time the homeowner notices any problem at all. The safest chimneys are those that are maintained by a professional regularly.

Routine Chimney Serviceshouse with snow on roof and chimney

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that the safest and most efficient chimneys are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. Home and business owners in and around Jacksonville, Florida can have their chimney systems cleaned and inspected by Hudson Chimney, Jacksonville’s favorite for over 30 years.

Chimney Sweeping and Cleaning

Cleaning the chimney system from top to bottom means it’s safe from the inside out. When you schedule a chimney sweep with us, a certified expert from Hudson Chimney will be there to help. We’ll use specialized brushes and rods to sweep away soot and creosote from the flue walls. Then, we collect the dust and debris in an industrial vacuuming system.

Creosote buildup in the chimney system is a serious fire hazard. Lighting a fire in a dirty chimney may put your home and your family at great risk. Creosote is made up mostly of tar and can reach a condensed level of buildup called Glazed Creosote. This buildup can slow airflow through the flue and ignite when temperatures are extreme and sparks rise up the chimney. Glazed creosote cannot be removed by brush during a standard chimney sweep but will require professional removal by an industrial product. Avoid this extra hassle by schedule regular chimney sweeps to remove creosote before it becomes a problem.

CSIA Inspections

Homeowners may not know what to look for, but a trained and experienced chimney expert will. Your chimney inspection is the most important appointment you’ll make for your home this year. They prevent accidental fires, chimney water leaks, and serious structural damage.

It’s our goal and mission in the chimney industry to bring down the instances of residential fires and a large part of this is accomplished through providing important services like these. Chimney fires are 100 percent preventable. A properly-constructed chimney system with all the right parts working together correctly will vent the fire safely and efficiently. When you schedule a CSIA inspection and your chimney gets a clean bill of health from a certified professional, you can rest assured that the system will work correctly all winter long.

If you reside in Jacksonville and own or rent a home with a fireplace, there is time to schedule your chimney maintenance in time for your winter fires.

Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

Don’t Procrastinate! Schedule Your Chimney Services Now

Fall is the time of year for pumpkins, harvest parties, and relaxing evenings by a fireplace. Before you light your first fire of the season, schedule important chimney services to ensure it’s ready to burn safely and efficiently. A dirty or damaged chimney or fireplace may cause a dangerous fire, air quality problems, and more costly damages that you didn’t bargain for.

Why Schedule ServicesSeasoned firewood in front of a  lit fireplace

Your chimney system works every time a fire burns in the fireplace. While a fire is burning, there are hazardous gases, corrosive chemicals, soot, creosote, and particulate pollution rising up the chimney. Over time the system can become coated in soot and creosote, causing a dangerous buildup, and corrosive chemicals can damage the lining system as well as the masonry. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep chimney systems at their safest and most efficient.

Chimney Sweeps – During a routine chimney sweep, a chimney professional will tarp off the area around the opening of the fireplace to protect the flooring. A high-speed dust collector will prevent soot from escaping into the home and affecting the breathable air. Using special brushes and rods, we’re able to clean away soot and creosote from the chimney, and collect it with the vacuum system. After a thorough cleaning, we’ll adjust the damper, making sure it’s installed and assembled correctly. We’ll inspect the exterior of the chimney, and finish the appointment by providing you with a detailed document of our findings, including photos if necessary, and video footage. This written evaluation may include recommended repairs.

CSIA Inspections – Although a chimney sweep includes a basic inspection, your chimney may at times need a thorough inspection. A CSIA inspection is required annually, but what type of inspection you need depends on your chimney. A level one inspection is the basic inspection to schedule annually if your fireplace and chimney hasn’t been changed or presented a problem in the last 12 months. If there has been changes or damage to your system or the sale or transfer of property, you need a level two inspection. A level two inspection includes all readily accessible portions of the system (the same as a level one inspection) in addition to hidden portions that are accessed by doors, such as in attics or basements. If a serious hazard is identified, a level three inspection is required–which may include removal of components of the chimney or the structure to access the suspected hazard.

Your CSIA inspection should include a video scan and a detailed report regarding damages and recommended repairs.

Schedule your services now, by calling Hudson Chimney, and you can rest assured that your fireplace is ready when you are this fall. Dial 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

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.

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.

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.

chimney-sweeping-logs-facts-jacksonville-fl-hudson-chimney

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.

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.

What to Do with a Smelly Fireplace

Can't bear that unpleasant odor coming from your fireplace? It's time for an inspection and thorough cleaning. Schedule an appointment today.

Can’t bear that unpleasant odor coming from your fireplace? It’s time for an inspection and thorough cleaning. Schedule an appointment today.

If your home has the strong, musty, smoky smell of an old cabin in the woods—but that’s not exactly the effect you were going for—and the origin of the smell seems to be your chimney and/or fireplace or stove, there is hope.

Being the owner of a well-loved and often-used fireplace does not mean you have to live with that overpowering fireplace odor. A trained chimney sweep will be able to suss out the cause of the smell and plot an effective plan for removal.

Why Does My Fireplace Smell?

Even though odors don’t usually vary much from fireplace to fireplace—hence most people know exactly what we mean when we say “that campfire smell”—this smell can actually be caused by a number of factors. The important thing to focus on isn’t why your chimney smells smoky; it smells smoky because it has likely accumulated soot and creosote from the fires you burn. Instead, you should focus on why this smoky odor is being dragged into your house. Ordinarily there is a problem with proper venting or with air pressure—both issues that can easily be addressed.

If you live in or around the Jacksonville, Florida, area—where we have worked for more than 30 years—one of Hudson Chimney’s certified chimney technicians will be able to determine the origin of your chimney’s odor. In the meantime, here are a few possible culprits:

  • Dead animals or animal infestations are in your chimney; once the animals are removed, this problem can be easily remedied by adding a chimney cap or top-sealing damper to prevent animals from entering in the future.
  • A clothes dryer, bathroom vent fan, or another appliance is exhausting air outside your home, and as a result negative air pressure is drawing outside air into your home through your chimney.
  • If you have two or more chimneys, they may be competing for air pressure. This is known as “smoke crossover,” and occurs when a fire is exhausting from one chimney, causing the other chimney to draw in air and drag smoke in along with it.

How Do I Deodorize My Chimney?

If it’s been a long while since your chimney was professionally inspected and cleaned, those of us at Hudson Chimney will probably recommend that you start there. It’s kind of like having a physical if you haven’t been to the doctor in a long while. A thorough chimney and fireplace cleaning and sweeping will see to it that excess creosote and combustion byproducts—all of which are strong-smelling—are removed along with any animal nests or blockages.

If there is a backdrafting issue, no thanks to the recent addition of a range hood or energy efficient-windows, for example, your chimney technician will be able to recommend ways to allow your house to “breathe.” Beyond that, there are many proven methods for deodorizing and preventing chimney odors.

Have questions about chimney odors? Call Hudson Chimney today.

All About Chimney Liners

Problems in your chimney’s flue can pose a threat to your family’s health and safety. It is important to have a fully-functional and efficient chimney liner. Here’s what you need to know:

Is smoke coming in instead of going out? If you think your chimney liner needs repairing or replacing, Hudson Chimney can offer you the best services.

Is smoke coming in instead of going out? If you think your chimney liner needs repairing or replacing, Hudson Chimney can offer you the best services.

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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