Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Keep Out Unwanted Holiday Guests with a Bird Screen

It’s Christmas time and you’ve got everything ready for all those holiday parties and family get-togethers. You’ve cleaned and baked, cooked and decorated, shopped for presents, wrapped them up, and put them under the tree. Everything is just perfect. You’ve invited your family and friends and can’t wait to see them all together again at such a happy time of year. What do you do when an uninvited guest shows up? You invite them in and let them help themselves to the food and fellowship! However, you want to avoid uninvited furry and feathery guests. Unfortunately, sometimes these guests can get in through an uncovered chimney. On the bright side, this is an easy fix, and one that Santa’s Friend Chimney Service will be able to take care of in a jiffy!

How Do These Critters Get In?

Keep Out Unwanted Holiday Guests with a Bird Screen - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendSo why would a bird venture down your chimney anyway? Birds go into chimneys looking for food or a warm place to nest and stay out of the elements. Once they get in, they may get confused or dazed, and that makes it difficult for them to get back out. The same might be true of a squirrel or other small animals or even bats. And when up means heading towards the cold and down seems warm and inviting, you might just find yourself with an unwelcome visitor in the middle of your family dinner or friends’ Christmas party!

If this happens, you will need to take some care of getting this guest out. Your best bet would be to call the animal control number in your neighborhood and let them handle it. This will ensure that your home stays intact and that the creature is unharmed.

Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service provides a simple solution to unexpected critters. A bird screen is a frame that’s been fitted with a wire mesh that fits over your chimney and keeps birds and other unwanted visitors out. This also keeps good ventilation happening. Professionals should put the proper bird screen on top of your chimney because certain kinds can actually clog quite easily. Clogs cause poor ventilation and even contribute to creosote buildup.

All of us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service want you and your loved ones to have a relaxed and happy holiday season, one that isn’t filled with the excitement of an unexpected critter running through your party. Give yourself an early present and call us today so we can fit your chimney with a bird screen!

By Justin Perkins on December 19th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Be Santa’s Friend With A Clean Chimney

Can’t wait to hear the jingling sleigh bells and little tapping feet on your rooftop? It won’t be long now until that jolly old elf, Mr. Claus himself, will be making a trip down your chimney. But there’s nothing that makes Mrs. Claus quite so unhappy as having to spend time after the holidays cleaning soot stains off Santa’s red suit! Here’s how you can help make Santa’s and Mrs. Claus’ lives a little easier when it’s time to relax after the busy holiday season – make sure that your chimney is safe and clean by having it swept and inspected now, before it’s time for Santa to make his visit.

What’s Making it Dirty?Be Santa's Friend With A Clean Chimney Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

So, why is your chimney getting so dirty anyway? It’s the smoke that’s causing all the problems! What kind of firewood you burn can make a difference in how much smoke is being produced. When you burn a hot fire using hardwoods, your chimney will get less dirty because less smoke will be produced. Hardwoods, such as oak, maple, ash, or beech work best, but it’s also important that the wood you burn be well seasoned. This means drying it for at least six months to a year in order to make sure that the moisture content of the wood is very low. This will cause less moisture in the smoke, which means less creosote buildup, and that means Santa’s suit stays cleaner!

Creosote Build Up

An even bigger worry with creosote buildup, however, is the worry of a dangerous chimney fire. Even when you use the right kind of wood, you’ll still get some creosote buildup. Creosote is the thick, gummy deposit that condenses onto the interior of your chimney when smoke floats up. This is extremely flammable, and a buildup of even as much as an eighth of an inch is enough to catch a spark and cause a serious chimney fire. You’ll want to make sure to hire the CSIA certified technicians from Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to make sure that every bit of creosote is cleared away.

Obstructions

Another thing that could cause some problems for Santa is obstructions in the chimney. Over the course of the summer, birds and other animals could have made their home in your chimney to avoid the weather and predators. Trouble is, when they leave their home, they leave the nest behind. This won’t just make it tougher for Santa to fit through that already narrow space, it could also be a catalyst for a chimney fire! All it takes is one spark touching that dry tinder and you could have a fire burning in your chimney. That could cause chimney damage at best and a fire disaster at the very worst! Santa’s Friend will clear those obstructions out lickety-split!

Avoid Problems by Having Your Chimney Cleaned

All it takes is one phone call to make sure that Santa’s trip down your chimney is safe and clean. Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to set up your chimney cleaning today and enjoy a safe and beautiful holiday season!

By Justin Perkins on December 5th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Advantages of a Wood Burning Insert

So, you love your fireplace. There is something about a crackling fire that is just mesmerizing. Nothing can quite replace that comforting feeling. The trouble is, wood burning fireplaces are known to not be very efficient, and there’s nothing comforting about high heating bills due to heat loss through your fireplace. In fact, according to the This Old House website, you could be losing up to 8% of your furnace air up that leaky chimney. If you hate losing money but can’t give up the contented feeling you get when you relax in front of that fire, then a wood burning insert might be just the thing for you.

Wood Burning InsertsAdvantages of a Wood Burning Insert Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

You can keep the homey look of your beautiful fireplace while making it much more efficient by adding a wood burning insert to your fireplace. Although there is an initial cost to get an insert installed, in the end, the money that you save on heating bills will soon make up for any expense of installation.

So, what exactly is a wood burning insert? It’s a self-contained unit that sets into your fireplace and in which you can burn a wood burning fire. Wood burning inserts are very energy-efficient – in fact, a wood burning insert can be up to 75% efficient, unlike the around 25% that a normal wood-burning fireplace can be. Not only this, but wood burning inserts give a cleaner burn than your old-fashioned wood burning fireplace.

There is more than one type of insert to choose from. One type is a pellet burning insert, which has the benefit of burning clean while delivering even heating. Wood burning inserts offer a long-burning source of heat and the beauty of a snapping, crackling fire.

There are a couple of other features you will want to look for in a wood burning insert. First, make sure that there is a control that allows you to adjust the airflow, so that you can regulate the heat going into your home. You’ll also want to be able to directly vent your appliance; there are several styles available, so you’ll be able to choose the system that’s best for your home. A unit that has a cast iron door is also desirable because it resists the heat, which allows you to access the coal bed with less risk than steel doors give.

Get Expert Advice

If you are shopping for a wood burning insert, make sure you get advice from a company that knows all there is to know about these appliances: Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. They can help you choose the insert that will best meet your needs and can also help with the installation process. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can offer a wide range of services, including upkeep and cleaning of your wood burning appliance once it’s installed. All you’ll need to do is enjoy the savings!

By Justin Perkins on November 17th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of a Chase Cover

There are so many parts to a chimney. There’s the damper, which helps seal the fireplace closed when you’re not using it and to allow enough draft when there is a fire burning. There’s the flue, which lines the inner part of your chimney and protects it from the smoke gases and chemicals that could damage it. A chimney cap or rain cover serves as a protection to the interior of your chimney from rain and other types of precipitation that can cause damage to the mortar of the chimney. But there’s another piece, the chase cover, which is often mistaken for the chimney cap. It’s important to understand the difference between these two and to know why each is so important.

Chimney Cap or Chimney Chase Cover?

A chimney cap can do many things for your chimney. It can keep out rain, and it can keep out animals and debris. It offers protection from a downdraft from the wind, and also offers protection to your roof from stray sparks that may work their way up the chimney and land there, possibly causing a fire. A chimney cap has wire or mesh around the outside which allows for the air flow to continue while the top keeps the rain out.The Importance of a Chase Cover Image- Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

The chimney chase is a “structure built around, and enclosing portions of a chimney exterior to the house.” This structure protects the exterior of your chimney from the effects of weather, which can wear away at both the brick and the mortar, weakening the structure. It can also be a beautiful addition to your home, covering up any imperfections that your chimney might have.

If your chimney has a chase, then you’ll definitely need a chase cover. Rather than fitting on top of the chimney, like a chimney cap does, a chase cover fits over the top of the chase itself. It is made out of metal and has slanted sides so that the rain that falls on it doesn’t go straight down the chase to the metal chimney flashing (metal sheets that cover the joints where your chimney meets the roof). If the precipitation lands there, it could cause these flashings to rust. This is why it is so important that the chase cover fits properly, has a slant to it, and is installed properly.

It’s quite apparent that a chimney chase cover and cap hold two very different purposes. If your chimney has a chase, then a chase cover is what you are looking for.

Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service

If you’re looking for a chase cover, make sure you call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. Their expert technicians will make sure that you get the chase cover that fits your chase to a “T” and will be able to properly install it so that your chimney is protected from the effects of wind and precipitation. Give them a call today!

By Justin Perkins on November 3rd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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.