It’s Breeding Season for Federally-Protected Chimney Swifts!

July 5, 2018 | Inspections

Thinking of Removing Birds from Your Chimney?  …Not So Fast!!Every year, the appropriately-named Chimney Swifts migrate to North America from Peru during springtime, and commonly build their nests inside of chimneys.  Their glue-like saliva allows them to attach their nests onto the inside wall of your chimney.  This species of birds (Chaetura pelagica) is federally-protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, therefore it is against federal law to remove or disturb them – or their active nests – during their breeding season without a Federal Migratory Bird Depredation Permit.  Breeding season typically lasts until around the end of the summer, but you can check out this interactive migration map to learn more about their migration habits!Though their chirping can be loud and bothersome, Chimney Swift hatchlings typically leave their nests around 30 days after hatching.  To help prevent the youngsters from falling down your chimney shaft, you should make sure your … Continued

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Chimney Hurricane Season Prep

June 18, 2018 | Inspections

What would you do if you knew you had a hole in your roof that was big enough for a watermelon to fit through?You would no doubt get your roof repaired without delay!

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Old systems are safe…. right? Why you should get a level 2 service!

June 7, 2018 | Inspections

This week we cleaned and inspected the chimney system of an older home from 1945.  Beautiful home!  The owner of the home wasn’t sure they wanted a Level 2 service (which includes a scan of the flue with a video camera).  The general question was “since the system is so old and has been in place so long, there’s probably nothing to see”.  We always recommend a Level 2 service because… well, you just never know.And wow!  We found some very exciting things!  And by exciting, I mean… very dangerous problems!  As our chimney tech was scanning the flue with his video camera, he discovered the dark area you see in the image below.  I’ll explain…What you’re seeing here is an entire section of the clay flue liner that is MISSING.  You see the orange clay liner, then you see a definitive line where it transitions to a dark grey … Continued

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Old wood burning system incorrectly converted to gas – dangerous!

May 29, 2018 | Inspections

Check out the nice fireplace below.  Looks good, right?  Unfortunately, this system is a problem waiting to happen, and a very dangerous situation.  See below for further explanation…This is an older wood burning factory built fireplace, commonly called a Pre-Fab fireplace.  At some point, the system was converted from wood burning to gas.  However, check out the next photo below:The data plate above clearly states “for use with solid wood fuel only”.  ONLY!  This pre-fab firebox was designed to only handle wood, not gas.  The problem is the gas will likely overhead the system beyond what it was designed for.  This is a problem for any surrounding combustibles (all the wood framing around the fireplace), and the additional radiant heat could break down the components of the chimney system.  But since you can’t see those internal components, you won’t know they’re breaking down until one day – a fire breaks … Continued

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How do birds make a nest in your chimney?

May 22, 2018 | Inspections

We’ll never understand why birds choose to make a nest in your chimney!  This week, we found a nest, complete with eggs, waaay waaay down the flue – the next was located about halfway.  The only way we found it was through our video camera scanner, which we use during our Level 2 Cleaning & Inspection service.  Birds nests pose serious issues in your chimney – not only can they catch fire themselves, which could cause serious damage to your system, but they can also create a blockage such that smoke fills your home instead of going up through the chimney!  That’s never good.  Check out our photos below!First you’ll see the video image on the Chim-Scan showing the nest and eggs.  The next photo is the location of the nest…. see that little brush looking thing hanging down the flue?  That’s our video camera hanging down.  And way down … Continued

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How a chimney leak can go from minor to major in just one storm

April 10, 2018 | Inspections

You never know what you might discover during a chimney sweep and inspection. In this case a leak into the brick chimney was allowing water to flow onto an electric outlet. Because you never know when chimney damage can occur, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends and annual chimney inspection by a CSIA Certified chimney inspector…. just like the ones here at Chimney Champions!  904-268-7200

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Riverside Avondale Preservation Home Tour 2018

April 3, 2018 | News

We’re so excited… the 44th Annual Riverside Avondale Preservation Spring Tour of Homes is April 14-15, 2018!Each spring, select residents of this beautiful area of Jacksonville open their homes to benefit RAP, a local grassroots organization dedicated to the preservation of historical assets in Riverside and Avondale.Chimney Champions is a proud supporter of this event, and will have a representative present in one of the tour homes for the entire weekend to answer all your chimney related questions!For more information on the event, including a list of the homes, please visit

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The debate continues… are ventless fireplaces safe?

February 20, 2018 | News

We recently did a Level 2 Cleaning and Inspection for a buyer of a beautiful new home – at least new to the buyer!  Unfortunately, they were very concerned about the fact that the home had a fireplace, yet had no chimney.  No chimney, you ask?  Yes, no chimney.One of our favorite things to do is educate clients about fireplaces and chimneys, so we were glad to have this opportunity to share what we know about ventless fireplaces, which are becoming more common in the Jacksonville area only recently despite having been sold in the United States since 1980.

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Chimney Fires in the Jacksonville News

January 20, 2018 | News

“I saw flames, smoke; I couldn’t breathe. I had to slide down the stairs, started to lose consciousness….and I didn’t know where the flames were coming from!”That’s what Timothy Zapata told Jacksonville firefighters after they rescued him from his burning home off St. Johns Bluff Road according to News4Jax reporters. Fortunately for Zapata he was awake when his home began to burn, “A bowl of cereal saved my life… I mean, had I gone to bed, I would have probably died from smoke inhalation.” The fire marshal told Zapata it looked like a bad flue in the fireplace was the culprit.

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