Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Book An Appointment Before We’re Booked Up!

We’re getting into the autumn season; the leaves are starting to get some color, it’s getting dark earlier, and the days are starting to cool off. It’s the time of year that we start to think about getting things tucked away for the winter. Things like taking out your fall wardrobe and bringing in all the fall produce are just a couple examples. It’s also a great time of year to start a fire in your fireplace and cozy up after a long day of raking leaves or hiking in the woods. Before you start building a fire, though, there are some things you need to take care of.

Book An Appointment Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend ChimneyThings To Do

Before you start a fire in your fireplace, you’ll want to make sure that you have a good supply of firewood. However, not just any firewood! You’ll want to make sure that the wood that you’re going to burn is well seasoned. The wood that you burn should have been allowed to sit for at least six months, or longer if possible. When you cut wood, it can contain 50% moisture content. Wet wood will not burn easily. Not only that, it will give off a lot of smoke. This makes for an unpleasant atmosphere – that is definitely not relaxing!

Inspection

What’s even more important than getting your firewood ready? Having your fireplace and chimney system inspected and cleaned. There are many things that a professional chimney sweep will be looking for that you, the homeowner, doesn’t know to look for. First off, your chimney sweep will be inspecting the outside of your chimney. This is to make sure that the bricks and mortar are in good shape and don’t need to be replaced. If they do, your chimney sweep might suggest tuckpointing. This is the process of picking the old, weak mortar out from between the bricks and filling it in with new, strong mortar.

Another thing your inspector will look for is the condition of your chimney cap, or whether you even have a chimney cap! This important piece of equipment keeps animals, dried leaves, and even precipitation out of your chimney. In doing so, it keeps the interior of your chimney in good working condition. Your inspector knows when your chimney cap needs repairs or needs to be replaced.

Creosote Buildup

Of course, the biggest thing that your chimney sweep specialist will be looking for is creosote buildup. As you use your fireplace, the smoke that goes up the chimney carries the water vapor, gases, and chemicals out. This is so you don’t have to worry about them getting your home. The thing is, some of that gunk sticks to the interior of your chimney and forms creosote, a flammable substance that puts you in danger of a chimney fire! A quality chimney sweep will make sure that the creosote buildup is gone so that you can burn a fire safely.

Call Santa’s Friend

Do you live in central Mississippi and want expert workmanship and quality service? If so, give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call and schedule your annual chimney inspection now, before they are booked up for the season!

By Justin Perkins on October 20th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

National Fire Prevention Week – October 8-14

Your home is where you go to relax and wind down. It’s where you put your feet up and enjoy the company of the ones you love. So, when it comes to keeping your home and family safe, there’s nothing you won’t do! You make sure that sharp corners are covered so little heads are protected from cuts and bruises. Additionally, you turn the handles of pans in toward the stove so they don’t catch on someone’s clothes as they pass, protecting them from burns. You even make rules, like no throwing balls in the house, to protect the people and possessions you hold dear. That’s why it’s so important to take notice of the week of October 8 – 14: National Fire Prevention Week!

National Fire Prevention Week - Jackson MS - Santas Friend ChimneyStatistics

The U.S. Fire Administration collects data which helps it keep people informed about the importance of fire safety. There’s some really good news based on the latest data collected, too. Between the years of 2005 and 2014 the number of house fires gone down. In addition, with that decrease came a decrease in fire related deaths and injuries as well. That’s a great trend, one that everyone would like to see continue! There are things all homeowners can do that will help prevent a deadly house fire.

Fire Safety Tips

Keep all things flammable away from your fireplace. Make sure that any pillows, rugs, blankets, toys, books are at least three feet away from your fireplace. This keeps them from possibly igniting when too close to a fire. Contain your fireplace fire by having a metal or glass screen in front of your fireplace. Make sure its one that is big enough to catch any stray spark or ember. Also, never leave a fire unattended, especially if there are children in the room!

One thing that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life is checking out smoke and fire detectors. Check the batteries at least once a month and change the batteries every six months – whether they need it or not. This simple, inexpensive tip can make sure you and your family have enough warning to get out of the house and to safety, if a fire starts in your home.

A fire safety plan is also essential when it comes to keeping your family safe from the devastating effects of a house fire. Make sure that every family member is aware of the safest escape route from each room. Also, make sure it is well practiced to getting out of the house by that route. National Fire Prevention Week is a great time to come up with such a plan and practice putting it to use!

Inspection

A great way to stop a fire before it starts? Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. Make sure you use a CSIA certified chimney sweep company like Santa’s Friend Chimney Service! This will make sure that your chimney is clean and safe to use. Put your worries at ease by calling Santa’s Friend today.

Avoiding A Chimney Fire This Winter

Most people try to avoid going to the dentist – even if you don’t have any cavities, it just isn’t that much fun, either. Does anyone try to get in a car accident? Of course not – that’s something to be avoided at all costs. Something else that you want to avoid at all costs? A chimney fire! Of course, this is nothing that anyone wants to happen – and there are definitely things that you can do which will help you avoid this type of devastating occurrence.

Causes of Chimney Fires

Avoiding a Chimney Fire this Winter - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendThe biggest cause of a chimney fire is creosote build up. Creosote is the sticky or shiny, black or brown, nasty substance that builds up on the inside of your chimney – especially near the top. It’s formed when the chemical particles and water vapors that are released as smoke hit the cooler surface of the chimney and condense onto the bricks and mortar. This substance is incredibly flammable, and that means that any spark that flies up could cause a chimney fire.

Another thing that can cause a chimney fire is having something in your chimney that doesn’t belong there – anything from trash and dried leaves and twigs to a dried bird’s nest or animal’s nest. Your chimney is an ideal place for an animal to start a family – dark, warm, out of the way of wind or predators. Unfortunately, dried nests or garbage in your chimney can easily catch a spark or ember and cause a chimney fire.

Both of these problems are easily solved. All it takes is a good inspection and cleaning by a CSIA certified chimney sweep found at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. They know how much creosote is too much, and also how to remove any obstruction that could be a fire starter.

Tips to Prevent Chimney Fire

Although calling in the experts from Santa’s Friend is the first step in preventing chimney fires, there are some things you can do on your own that will help, as well. One big step? Pick the right firewood! Make sure that the firewood you pick is dry. This will make it burn hotter, which helps prevent creosote build up. Another wood tip? Make sure you burn the hardest wood possible, as this also will burn hotter and help keep the creosote levels down. Anything you can do to keep the fires burning hot prevents the build-up of this highly flammable substance.

Prevention is the Best Solution

It is always better to avoid a difficult situation rather than deal with it after it happens. Avoiding a chimney fire is a way better solution than rebuilding your chimney or cleaning up after the fact. The best way to avoid a chimney fire? Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today and schedule your annual inspection and cleaning. They’ll make avoiding a chimney fire an easy thing to do!

By Justin Perkins on September 22nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Fixing Your Leaky Chimney

We all know that your car tires can leak, right? If your umbrella leaks, you’ll know it really quickly by your wet head. Another trouble area is your chimney. Unfortunately, even though this structure is built to last, over time it can develop areas that cause leaks. This may end up as structural damage and big repair bills. It’s time to be proactive: give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call today and you’ll soon have a leak-free chimney!

Your Leaky Chimney Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney ServiceSigns of a Leaky Chimney

Just like with a leaky tire or a leaky umbrella, there are signs that your chimney has a leak. Look around your fireplace: if you see peeling and stained wallpaper or a water stained ceiling, it could be that your chimney has a leak. Not only does this look unsightly in your home, but it also signals that there is damage that needs to be repaired. It’s important to catch the cause of the leak and to fix it early. In addition, along with any damage that has occurred, before it leads to bigger problems later on!

Leaks in your chimney cause more than just cosmetic damage to your home. Your chimney can actually have structural damage! Leak damage can include: deteriorating firebox assembly, rotting wood in your home, rotting wall coverings, rusted dampers, and even structural instability of the chimney itself. Of course, the worst of these is structural damage. This is because the chimney is such an important part of your fireplace structure. The chimney is where the byproducts of your fire are directed and released into the atmosphere, instead of into your home. Unfortunately, if there is structural damage, you could have an improper release of fumes. Consequently, this could lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide inside your home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be released when the wood you burn isn’t burned completely. The reason that carbon monoxide is so harmful? It displaces the oxygen in your blood; in fact, your body will reject oxygen and take in the carbon monoxide instead. When this happens, your heart, brain, and other organs are being deprived of the oxygen they need to keep you living!

Stay Safe!

It’s easy to see the damage that could occur if you leave chimney leaks that aren’t repaired. Not only can you have damage that looks bad, but some of the damage could put your family at risk. Let the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service inspect and clean your chimney. They’ll be able to detect and repair any damage that leaks have caused. Not to mention, your chimney will be cleaned as well! Don’t put your family at risk when a solution is just a phone call away!

By Justin Perkins on September 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

We Repair Old Chimneys

A stately chimney can add to the beauty and grace of an elegant, older home. It brings to mind dinner parties, or quiet family evenings watching the patterns in the flames of a crackling fire. Unfortunately, even these durable old chimneys can suffer from the effect of precipitation and use. Consequently, if not kept in a state of good repair, have the potential to lead to a dangerous situation. Not to mention, being an eyesore on an otherwise beautiful home! Luckily, help is just a phone call away. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service doesn’t just inspect and clean chimneys, they also offer a wide range of chimney repairs and rebuilds.

Repair Work

It’s a well-known fact that you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. However, has it been a few years since you’ve had an inspection? If so, there are some things that you can see for yourself might indicate repairs are needed:

  • Spalling – as water (in the form of precipitation) hits the bricks that make up your fireplace. Over time, it can enter the bricks and cause the brick to flake or peel, reducing the strength of the bricks and compromising the structure of your chimney.
  • Crumbling Mortar – if you take a look at your chimney, you may notice that the mortar is loose and crumbly. This is another condition that can compromise the integrity of your chimney. Have you noticed lots of loose, crumbly mortar? You may be looking at a procedure called tuckpointing. This is in when your chimney specialist uses special tools to remove the old mortar and replace it with new mortar. It will matche your old mortar, leaving your chimney structurally secure and looking like new.
  • Chimney Fire – believe it or not, you may have had a chimney fire over the course of the winter and not even realized it! When most of us think of a chimney fire, we think of a roaring blaze that could easily overtake the rest of the home; this is not always the case. Most chimney fires don’t have enough fuel or enough air to make them all that noticeable. Nonetheless, damage will occur to the interior of your chimney. Sometimes this damage can only be detected by inspection by a qualified professional. If the damage is left undetected and untreated, you could be in for major, expensive repair work in a few years!

Expert Repair Professionals

Have you kept up with having your chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis? If so, chances are any of these problems were caught before they became too worrisome. If you haven’t, then you might be looking at major repairs. You’ll want to get these taken care of as soon as possible, so that you’ll be able to enjoy your fireplace when the cooler days of winter hit. Make sure you call the CSIA certified specialists from Santa’s Friend Chimney Service so that you can use your fireplace safely this winter!

By Justin Perkins on August 22nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Getting A Jump-Start On Your Fall Chimney Inspection

Summer is drawing to an end. State fairs are starting and last minute summer vacations are being taken. Kids are asking about buying school supplies and new clothes to start the school year off right. You’re probably starting to think about getting your house cleaned and ready for the winter months. Even if you aren’t, there’s one part of your house that definitely needs to be inspected before fall and winter move in, and that’s your chimney! Now is the time to call to book your annual inspection and cleaning and beat the fall rush.

Jump-Start On Your Fall Chimney Inspection Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney ServiceInspection

When a chimney inspector comes to look at your chimney, they are looking for several things. He’ll be looking for obstructions. This includes any type of damage that might have occurred over the past year of use. He will also look for creosote build up. If you’ve had some type of trauma to your home, such as some type of traumatic weather system, your chimney specialist might ask to look at your roof or your attic. This is in order to see if there’s any structural damage that will need to be repaired. If a really catastrophic event such as a chimney fire has occurred, then your inspector will need to take a deeper look into your chimney. It may even turn into a tear down/rebuild job!

Reasons for Inspection and Cleaning

There are several things that can happen to your chimney that cause the need for it to be cleaned. First, it’s pretty obvious that your chimney gets dirty during use. In addition, when you build a lot of fires over the winter months, that build up just gets thicker and thicker. What is building up is creosote! This is a mixture of the gases, water vapors, and other chemicals that are released in smoke.

When the smoke hits the higher, cooler part of the chimney, it condenses onto the sides of the chimney and forms a black, sticky (or possibly brown and shiny) substance that is called creosote. The thing is, this substance is highly flammable. Unfortunately, if it’s left on the there year after year, the likelihood of a chimney fire will continue to increase dramatically! CSIA certified sweeps, like those at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, know what to look for. Also, they have the tools to remove the creosote from your chimney.

Another thing that your chimney professional will be looking for is obstructions. If you have a mild winter and don’t use your chimney much, you might think that you don’t need to worry about creosote build up. Well, there are other things that can cause some chimney trouble. Animals and birds are drawn to your chimney as a great place to build a nest. When the critters leave, the nest remains. That nest is also a fire hazard! This is another thing that Santa’s Friend knows how to remove – nests and other debris that may be obstructing the chimney.

Professional Cleaning

Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today to get ahead of the fall rush. When you do this, you’ll have one less thing to worry about as the busy fall season approaches!

By Justin Perkins on August 8th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment