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.
It can be quite difficult to properly diagnose a chimney problem when you don’t have the proper equipment to get the job done right. Licensed and certified professionals who are trained in chimney science and diagnostics are able to get to the source of the matter and offer a report that is clear and helpful. Once the homeowner has the report, the repairs can be planned and completed so that more damage isn’t sustained in the wait.
Expert Diagnostics With Chim-Scan
Chimney professionals use a special CCV camera system designed to go inside the flue and offer a view where most cannot look. Using the Chim-Scan system, chimney experts are able to inspect even the most out-of-reach places. Chim-Scan inspections result in HD quality images and document the general condition of the chimney interior. This is the only real way to verify chimney safety and diagnose chimney damage.
Masonry and Pre-Fab Chimneys
Chimney professionals can use a Chim-Scan system to inspect your chimney whether it’s a pre-fab chimney or a masonry one. They are used when a real estate inspection is needed, to verify repairs have been done properly, to complete a level two inspection and more. In order to get the most of the inspections, there are a few different models that work with certain types of systems or after certain serious damage has occurred. When it’s time to have the system inspected, there’s no need for you to fret over the decisions. Your chimney sweep will determine how to best scan the system and provide the most detailed report possible.
Chimney Inspections in Jacksonville
Whether your fireplace and chimney have been acting up, or you simply need your annual inspection to ensure the safety and efficiency of your system, we can help. Residents in and around Jacksonville depend on Hudson Chimney for comprehensive chimney care year-round. We travel from Jacksonville South to Crescent City and from Lake Butler and Gainesville to St. Augustine, covering a large area and many cities. When there is a problem that needs to be diagnosed or a repair that needs to be made, we handle it with expert care and professional courtesy. For the convenience of our customers and the safety of our communities, we offer three levels of inspection that provide the best diagnostics and lowest cost to our customers.
Level One – This is the chimney inspection necessary under the best of conditions when the chimney system has been used in the same way with no changes and no problems. A level one inspection is required annually for safety and efficiency and includes all readily accessible portions of the chimney interior and exterior.
Level Two – When the chimney has had a problem functioning properly when repairs or changes have been made, or after a natural occurrence like a fire, earthquake, or tornado, a more thorough inspection is necessary. A level two inspection is also required before the sale or transfer of property, but this is not the same as a home inspection, as a home inspector will not properly assess a chimney and fireplace system. A level two inspection includes all accessible portions of the system (including those found by way of doorways in attics, basements, and crawlspaces) and a video scan for detailed diagnostics and reporting.
Level Three – When a problem is detected in a lesser-level inspection, your chimney sweep will recommend a level three inspection. This is a thorough inspection designed to access suspected hazards even if it requires minor demolition. Your technician may have to remove panels and even masonry to access a suspected hazard and repairs usually follow a level three inspection.
If you schedule your annual inspection and a problem is discovered, it will be handled swiftly by our team at Hudson Chimney. Our technicians are CSIA certified and have the knowledge and experience to handle any job, big or small. Our goal is safety for our customers. This keeps our friends and neighbors warm, and our communities safe from accidental fires. Because we know the seriousness of the matter, we also know the solution. When it comes to chimney safety, prevention is key. The only way to prevent chimney accidents, hazards, and costly damages is to schedule important routine services for your chimney now. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) asserts that chimneys must be inspected annually and cleaned regularly for safety and efficiency. The chimneys that are dangerous are those that are neglected, affected by unseen damage, or used improperly. When one of our experts takes a look at your system on a regular basis, we catch the damage, we correct the problems, and we answer questions and share all the newest information available.
Our dedication to your safety and comfort season after season, year after year, is why we continue to choose and trust Chim-Scan closed circuit internal evaluation system. When we can’t see the damage, it doesn’t get addressed. This is why homeowners trust Hudson Chimney, and we trust Chim-Scan.
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 Services
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.
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.
Your chimney is at risk of serious damage if it hasn’t been waterproofed. Many homeowners think that a well-constructed chimney or professionally-installed system is good to go. Many homeowners aren’t even aware that chimneys can BE waterproofed—and should be! The truth is that water is such a hazard to a properly-functioning chimney that industry professionals have designed specialized products to protect them.
Chimney Water Damage
Your chimney is at risk for water damage year-round. Whether you live on the coast, in the mountains, in a mild climate, or elsewhere, your chimney will be affected by water. The goal of every homeowner and every chimney professional is to keep the water on the OUTSIDE of the chimney. Once it penetrates the system, it can damage it from inside out. What’s more, your chimney leak can lead to water damage and leaks in other areas of the house.
Water-stains of masonry, walls, floors, and furniture
Winter Water Damage
Water damage is worse in winter months than at any other time. This is because once the water penetrates the masonry through cracks or porous spaces, it freezes and expands. As the water expands, space is made and the masonry is broken apart. When a fire is lit in the system and the chimney warms up, the ice is melted and the water runs further into the damaged masonry. This process, called the freeze/thaw cycle, is repeated month after month, all winter long. The freeze/thaw cycle results in what professionals in the industry call “winter damage”. When your chimney isn’t properly waterproofed, it will take on winter damage that will need to be repaired in the spring to avoid more damage and costly repairs.
Like many problems and hazards that can affect your chimney system, water damage is also preventable. You can protect your chimney by hiring a certified professional to maintain it properly. Serving Jacksonville for over 30 years, Hudson Chimney strives to offer valuable services to our customers year after year. By choosing Hudson for all of your chimney needs, you ensure your system is ready for all the seasons, tropical storm season, fire season, and anything that comes your way. Your chimney system is meant to last years—at least as many years as your home or longer. Chimneys and fireplaces add value to your home, but only if they aren’t costing you every year in damages!
We diagnose and repair leaky chimneys, but we also prevent chimney leaks in the first place! Schedule waterproofing services with Hudson Chimney this fall and protect your masonry from tropical storms, mineral-heavy water, humidity, and more. We apply an industrial water-repellant that allows you chimney to breathe and vent properly while also keeping water molecules out. This waterproofing agent doesn’t change the look of your masonry at all, penetrates deep into the masonry, and lasts up to 8 years! If you have never waterproofed your system or have had recent masonry repairs, contact our team today to schedule.
When it comes to chimney installation, repair, and maintenance, it’s important to hire only certified professionals for the job. For years the chimney industry had been under-regulated until the 1980s when the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) created a standard by which to hold professionals. Now, chimney sweeps across the country have a credential strive for and homeowners and consumers have a certification they can depend on.
CSIA Certified Professionals
We are not only CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps (CCS), but also CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians (CDET). We trust the Chimney Safety Institute of America with our training, examination, re-certification, and our progressive advancement in an ever-changing industry. As CSIA certified professionals, we are educated online or in a classroom, examined over standards, chimney safety, and federal codes and regulations. Those holding a CSIA certification must re-certify every three years by way of re-examination or continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics created to protect consumers from scams of the industry. Those found to be in violation of the code of ethics can have their certification revoked. It’s our goal as CSIA certified technicians to not only serve our customers but also to educate and protect them.
Affiliations and Memberships
We are not only certified professionals, but we also connect with other experts in our field by joining associations and maintaining memberships and affiliations. We maintain memberships in the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCWG), the Georgia Chimney Sweep Guild (GCSG), and owner Mark is the founder and president of the Florida Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps (FGPCS). Through these organizations, we are able to stay ahead of the best brands, products, and technologies in the industry as well as changes to standards and more.
Education as Foundation
The foundation of a good chimney sweep company is education. It is important to us and our customers that we stay up to date on all new advancements and standards to keep our customers safe and comfortable year after years. Our team at Hudson Chimney doesn’t stop at the standard set for the industry but rises above and beyond it with the latest tools, trends, equipment, and products. When you depend on Hudson, you are trusting your chimney with the best—Jacksonville’s chosen chimney care company for over thirty years!
Hudson’s Comprehensive Chimney Care
If you reside in or around Jacksonville, Florida and own or rent a home with a chimney, Hudson Chimney has all you need for comprehensive chimney care. We offer routine preventative maintenance recommended by both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). When we find damage—big or small—during a chimney sweep or inspection, we can repair it. We make repairs correctly and we complete them swiftly. When you schedule repairs now, your chimney system will be ready for use when temperatures drop this fall.
When your chimney needs work, don’t trust the amateurs, trust the professionals with appropriate credentials and expertise to get the job done right.