by Mark Hudson | Aug 10, 2019 | Master Chimney Sweep
When it comes to your chimney, its services, and repairs, it’s important to schedule with a certified professional. Hiring an amateur, general contractor, or handyman may result in improper installations. When products are installed improperly or repairs are made incorrectly or haphazardly, it can result in increased fire risk and a drop in efficiency. An inefficient fireplace and chimney system is not only dangerous but can also cost you money!
CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps
A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep is a professional who has gone through hours of classroom and field training, rigorous testing and lives by a code of ethics. Every three years the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep (CCS) must recertify through examination or continuing education courses. Sweeps strive to further the CSIA mission of eliminating residential fires by educating the public and professionals.
Hire a Master Sweep for the Best
Those chimney sweeps who have gone above and beyond are able to apply for Master Sweep status. These chimney sweeps do everything in their power to stay at the very front of the chimney and venting industry. Applicants must be an active CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who has held this certification for a minimum of nine consecutive years or 18 total years. Those that are interested in becoming a Master Sweep must complete the following courses in order to obtain the credential:
- Chimney Physics (online or 2-day course)
- Inspection and Report Writing (2-day course) or Diagnosis and Documentation
- CSIA Masonry Repair for Chimney Professionals
- CSIA Lining Masonry Chimneys with Stainless Steel
- CSIA Rope/Roof Access
- CSIA Advanced Masonry Repair
- NFI Core Review + NFI Specialty Review
- Advanced Inspection and Documentation
- Master Chimney Sweep Comprehensive Burn Wise Course
- 12 hours of CSIA online training (not to include reviews, lining masonry chimneys, or chimney physics online)
These courses are filled with valuable knowledge and information related to an ever-changing industry. Master Sweeps are expected to complete them in order to stay at the front of the industry in service, safety, technology, and standards.
NFI-Certified Master Sweeps
Not only does a Master Sweep need to be CSIA Certified, but also have an active NFI Certification through one of two CSIA classes. This requirement may also be fulfilled by having held an NFI certification for a minimum of six years, a current F.I.R.E. Certified Inspector, OR an Associate degree in Fire Science from an accredited college.
Once all requirements are completed, an application is submitted, and the one-time fee is paid, the process can begin. The Master committee will make a decision within 30 days, and the sweep can begin working under this new and prestigious title. If you have hired a Master Sweep with current status, you can rest assured they are current on all certification requirements, which means they have the classroom training to get any job done and done well. The Master Sweep signature is trusted by professionals across the industry and beyond. Hire a Master Sweep and your reports, repairs, and diagnostics will be appropriate for your attorneys, realtors, and more.
Sometimes, especially in regions that endure heavy rains and tropical storms, a chimney sweep isn’t enough. Sometimes your chimney needs a Master Sweep.
Schedule with Jacksonville’s trusted Master Sweep today by calling 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
by Mark Hudson | Jul 31, 2018 | Chimney Sweeping Before Fall
Despite what you may think about summer, it may be the best time to think about your chimney system. In fact, summer is the best time to have chimney work done! This includes installations, conversions, repairs, and routine maintenance. Your chimney requires certain preventive services in order to continue to work safely and efficiently year after year. Your chimney should be swept–and when you schedule during the summer, you beat the fall rush.
The Fall Rush
The period that occurs every year between October and January is called the fall rush. This is the time that chimney professionals are busy with emergency calls, repairs, and installations. If you wait until fall to schedule your chimney sweep, you may not get the desired appointment time, the technician you want, or even the company you trust. If it comes to waiting for an appointment time, many homeowners may even take the risk and use a fireplace that hasn’t been swept or inspected. This can put the family at risk and create bad habits that cause damage to the system. Schedule now, and avoid the fall rush altogether.
Why Schedule a Sweep
Chimney sweeps are one of two very important appointments that continuously keep your chimney system working for you. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections keep the chimney system safe and efficient year after year. Fortunately, many chimney sweep companies offer a chimney sweep that includes an inspection. Hudson Chimney offers chimney sweeps that include overall assessments year-round, and we encourage our customers to schedule during the summer.
What to Expect
When you schedule a chimney sweep with Hudson Chimney, you are guaranteed the best courtesy and care to accompany your chimney work. Our first priority is the safety of our customers in and around Jacksonville. We hope to accomplish this task, first, by offering the best services, and then by treating each job with professional courtesy and expertise.
We start by tarping the area in front of the fireplace and a high-speed vacuuming system that collects the soot from entering your living space or affecting your carpet and floor. Once ready, we use brushes and rods, hand brushes, and a vacuum to clean soot and creosote from top to bottom. The damper will be cleaned and checked for correct installation. The exterior masonry is checked, with close attention to mortar, brickwork, and crown. Your technician will document all findings and present you with photos and video footage along with a written evaluation. This inspection is for your records and should be kept in case you need it for homeowners insurance for a sale, or even for an appraisal or refinance. Most of all, when you schedule a chimney sweep, you can rest assured that your chimney system is ready for the first fire this fall.
If you’re ready to schedule your chimney sweep, and you own a home or business in the Jacksonville area, Hudson Chimney is here for you.
Call 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
by Mark Hudson | Apr 26, 2018 | CSIA Certified
When it comes to chimney safety, the whole industry is incredibly under-regulated. This is not only a danger to residential areas but also a misfortune for buyers. Even though the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) was established in the 1980s and quickly became the national standard for chimney safety, homeowners are still not very knowledgeable about fireplace and chimney standards and safety regulations. The truth is not all chimney companies are the same and neither are all chimney sweeps.
Why You Should Never D-I-Y
When it comes to your chimney system, it is never a good idea to fix the issues on your own. You wouldn’t build your own transmission or build your own house, you should never repair your own chimney either. This task should only be handled by a professional. They know how to clean it properly without damaging the liner or other parts. They can recognize minor damages before they become major ones. And they are full of chimney-related knowledge because they have had plenty of classroom training and field training along with re-certification.
The CSIA Difference
When a chimney sweep is CSIA-certified, you can fully trust them to take care of your chimney. In order to be CSIA-certified, they must:
- Study residential fire codes and chimney sweeping
- Attend a review day in person or online
- Pass an one-hour, 100 question exam
- Pass a 90-minute exam on residential code
- Sign a CSIA Code of Ethics to protect consumers and to help prevent scams in the industry. If a member is found in violation of the code of ethics, their membership could be revoked.
- Must go back to be re-certified every 3 years by credits or exams
It takes lots of time and money to become CSIA certified. This certifications is vital to help consumers decide whether a chimney sweep is an amateur or a professional. Some other ways to figure out if you can trust the chimney company you choose include memberships such as National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and manufacturer certifications, such as the National Fireplace Institute.
Take the time to do your own research, read online reviews, and check out each of their credentials. When you do make an appointment, make sure you are comfortable with every person you’ve spoken with at the company. You should schedule an appointment with the industry’s best–a company with excellent reviews, training, certifications, expertise, and more – choose Hudson Chimney! Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.
by Mark Hudson | Jun 6, 2017 | Professional Certifications
Hudson Chimney is proud to announce that Mark Hudson, owner and operator, is now a CSIA Master Sweep! This is a designation that is awarded to CSIA certified professionals who have gone above and beyond what’s required to maintain CSIA membership. They make efforts to stay ahead of others in the chimney and venting industry. How? By educating the public and putting consumer safety above all else.
To become a CSIA Master Sweep, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) must maintain membership for a minimum of ten continuous years and be actively certified as a CSIA Certified Exhaust Technician®. In addition to these certifications, the chimney sweep must complete many advanced courses to further their education and training in the chimney industry.
The Importance of Choosing the Best
When you are searching for a chimney professional, you shouldn’t look further than the best. The CSIA Master Sweep is an individual who puts consumer safety above all else. There are some chimney professionals in the industry who may go their entire careers without becoming a certified chimney sweep or master sweep. They may boast of cheaper prices, but their service reflects their lack of training and expertise. Master Sweeps, in order to maintain CSIA certification for ten consecutive years, have chosen to continue their training and commitment to chimney safety year after year.
CSIA Membership Requirements
- Code of Ethics
CSIA certified sweeps must adhere to a stringent code of ethics. This is designed to protect homeowners from scams in the service industry. What if a sweep is found in violation of this code? Their certification may be revoked, despite fees paid and training completed.
- Continued Education
Every three years a CSIA certified sweep is subject to re-certification by either continuing education credits or by examination. This is a vital component of maintaining a high standard for CSIA memberships. Why? The chimney industry changes frequently as technologies change.
Does it Cost More to Hire a Professional?
It will cost more to hire a professional to maintain your chimney than it will to hire an amateur. A chimney sweep that lacks the education, experience, and commitment that it takes to maintain CSIA standards is not worth your money! Additionally, it may cost you more in the long run. Hudson Chimney is committed to chimney safety and your safety. We have been serving Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas since 1979. That’s almost 40 years of service to this community!
Since 1979, we have continuously gone above and beyond our competition. We stay abreast of all the latest tools, trends, and major/minor code changes in the chimney industry. This is done by attending every class and conference available. It has paid off. Now our loyal customers in Northeastern Florida can benefit from our commitment to chimney safety even more, as all of our work is backed by the Master Sweep CSIA credential.
You can schedule an appointment with a Hudson Chimney sweep today by calling 904-282-4159 or request an appointment online!
by Mark Hudson | Oct 10, 2016 | Chimney Inspections
If you are familiar with real estate, mortgage brokers, or state and municipal codes, you may be familiar with home inspectors. The are NOT to be confused with a chimney inspector. Expecting a home inspector to properly assess the complex workings of the chimney system? That’s like expecting a sport’s car expert to inspect an RV. They are similar, yes. They have some of the same features, yes. However, there is a lot more to the RV than the car. Likewise, there is a lot more to a chimney than meets the eye.
The CSIA Difference
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has been the industry standard for training, education, and certification since the 1980’s. Members are required to undergo aggressive training and field hours. They also have to re-certify every three years by way of exam or continued education.
Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® (CCS) has the experience and expertise to inspect the entire chimney system properly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) along with CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections. There are three levels of inspections:
- Level One
This is the annual inspection. It’s scheduled when no changes are made to the chimney system. This inspection is a visual check of all easily accessible parts of the chimney system.
- Level Two
This inspection should be scheduled when the chimney system is changed in any way. For example, when fuel is changed, appliances are installed, or there has been parts repair or replacement. This will happen when a level one inspection requires further investigation. It involves accessing hidden portions of the chimney system.
- Level Three
This is the most thorough inspection. It’s scheduled when a level two inspection requires further investigation. During a level three inspection parts of the home can be removed. This allows access to all parts of the chimney system. These include areas surrounding the chimney system, like in attics, crawl spaces, and behind walls.
Why These Levels of Inspection are Important
The three levels of chimney inspections include any issue that might arise with the chimney. Even the level one inspection is more thorough than that of a home inspector. According to Total Home Inspection the home inspector will assess the visible parts of the chimney. These include the flashing, masonry, and chimney cap. However, a home inspector or general contractor does not have the trained eye that a certified chimney sweep does. By the time a chimney reaches the level of damage that an inspector checklist describes, (damaged brick, cracked joints, staining) it could be overwhelming. Regardless, there is more than likely extensive damage that would have been noticed first by a certified chimney sweep.
Scheduling an inspection of your chimney may be for real estate sales, property ownership transfer, or an insurance policy. No matter the reason, you want to be sure your documentation will be accepted. Hudson Chimney not only offers inspection services. We offer video documentation of the interior of the chimney, as well as a detailed report for your records. The CCS credential is what your insurance, loan, or real estate broker will look for. Choose a certified chimney sweep every time.
Call Hudson Chimney and ask about our inspection services today or request an appointment online!