Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Schedule Your Spring Chimney Inspection and Cleaning

Once the weather starts to turn warmer, thoughts of summer activities start to fill your mind. This might include swimming at the beach, or picnicking at a park, or planning your vacation. Before this happens, however, many people like to get their spring cleaning done. Things like washing the windows, cleaning cupboards, or repainting the interior walls can make the house look refreshed. But there is another thing that you’ll need to do in order to make sure everything is spic and span. Get your chimney inspected and cleaned. There’s no better time to get this done than right away in the spring; you can get it checked off your to do list and get on with the fun times of summer.

Why It’s Important to Get Your Chimney Cleaned

Using your chimney throughout the winter can cause some serious creosote build-up inside your chimney. What is creosote, you might be asking? The GuideOne Insurance website states, “The chimney is the main escape for fire extracts, such as water vapor, unburned wood particles, tar fog and various minerals. These extracts create what is called creosote, a build-up of residue in the chimney.” Although you could wait until fall to get your chimney cleaned, there are perks to getting it done in the spring.  Spring appointments allow you time to get any repairs fixed that your chimney service finds during its inspection.

Another reason that it’s important to get your chimney cleaned is to make sure that your chimney cap is in good shape. There are several functions that your chimney cap performs:

  • Reduces moisture: moisture from precipitation can cause damage to stainless steel liners, chimney mortar joints and dampers, and it can also cause mold and mildew. A chimney cap helps protect your chimney’s interior from precipitation.
  • Helps stop downdrafts: depending on the direction of the wind, downdrafts can go down your chimney. This can cause outside air to flow down into your house.
  • Keeps animals and debris out: animals and birds like to use chimneys to climb down. In some cases, they’ll build their nests there, and you won’t be able to move them until their young are old enough to be out on their own. In other cases, these critters could get stuck in your chimney, and if they die, they will eventually become odorous. If other debris blows down your chimney, it can also cause obstructions that will need to be cleared out before using your fireplace next winter. A well-fitted chimney cap can keep these things out of your chimney.

Check It Off Your List

You’ll want to make sure that the chimney service you use offers professional service. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers complete chimney cleaning services, as well as any repairs or rebuilds that may be necessary. They are CSIA certified and are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. They have also received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for three years. Call them to set up your spring chimney inspection and cleaning!

By Jim Robinson on March 21st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Make Sure Your Clothes Get As Dry As They Should!

Way back when, living was a lot tougher than it is now. If you needed to wash clothes, you hauled water and heated it. If you wanted a good meal, you went out to the garden to pick the produce. Afterwards, you cooked it over a fire on a cook stove. Also, you hung your clothes out to dry, whether it was summer and sunny or winter and cold. Now things are easy. We have microwaves and electric ranges, refrigerators and grocery stores.

To get your clothes clean, there are machines to do the work for you.  You simply throw those wet clothes into the dryer for a quick cycle. In not time, you’re pulling those warm, fluffy clothes out, ready to be folded. However, have you noticed that your clothes need to run through two or three cycles before they’re dry? If so, then there might be something wrong with your dryer. Chances are, it probably isn’t something major that’s wrong; chances are, your dryer vents are full of lint. This isn’t only a nuisance, it could be a hazardous situation waiting to explode!

Dangers of Lint Build-up

When you dry your clothes in the dryer, tiny particles from your clothes shake off and collect in different parts of your dryer. Even if you clean your lint screen on a regular basis, some of those particles still escape into the dryer vent. Over time, those particles build up and can cause an obstruction. If the air is really dry, static could cause a spark. If that spark catches in the lint build-up, it could be an instantaneous fire.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, “(I)n 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination washer/dryers) resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries, and $236 million in direct property damage.” This is a hazard that is too often overlooked, and yet easily remedied.

Professional Help

Although cleaning your dryer vents may seem like an easy task, you need to ask yourself: is it worth the risk of losing your home and endangering your family to save a few dollars? According to Angie’s List, it is wise to hire a professional to clean your dryer vents at least once a year. If you use your washer and dryer often, then you may want to have it done two or three times a year. Homeowners that use do-it-yourself kits to clean their own vents can be lulled into a sense that their vents are safely clean. Consequently, not realizing that it’s a bigger job than what it seems. That’s why it’s important to call on professionals who know exactly what it takes to get the job done right. And those professionals work for Santa’s Friend Chimney Service!

Get the Job Done Right

The employees at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service know all the places to look where lint likes to build up. They are educated in the proper cleaning techniques, and they have the tools to ensure that your dryer’s venting system is clean and safe. Give them a call today and get your dryer on an annual cleaning schedule!

By Jim Robinson on March 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

All About Wood Burning Inserts

There’s nothing quite as nice as sitting in front of a crackling fire on a cool winter’s evening. Unfortunately, many fireplaces, especially the older ones, are not efficient at all. Consequently, much of your nice warm air is being sucked right up your chimney. In fact, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, when rating wood burning fireplaces for efficiency, rated efficiency on fireplaces manufactured before 1990 at 10% or lower!

Increasing Efficiency

Do you love the smell and feel of a wood burning fireplace, but hate the idea of ‘money going up the chimney’? If so, then buying a wood burning insert might be just the answer to your dilemma. There are several advantages to adding this to your existing fireplace, not the least of which is a much more efficient burn.

What is a Wood Burning Insert?

A wood burning insert is a closed combustion system. It consists of a firebox that is enclosed on three sides by cast iron, or in some cases steel, and has insulated glass in the front. This make-up allows the heat to be trapped instead of going up your chimney. Some inserts are even equipped with blowers. This is so that you can blow the hot air back in to heat the room. It’s clear to see that this would make for a much more energy efficient system, not to mention a cozier room.


Another reason that a wood burning insert is a good idea? Safety! Instead of an open fireplace, an insert is contained. This is so any embers or sparks won’t shoot out of the enclosure.

What Do I Need To Do?

Are you interested in saving money by purchasing a wood burning insert? If so, the first thing you’ll want to do is to have your chimney inspected to make sure it’s up to code. You can check with your local fire department. In addition, you can also trust the qualified professionals at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. They will check out your existing fireplace. Also, give great advice on choosing and installing an insert.

Don’t be surprised if your inspector tells you your flue needs to be relined. Many of the old, over-sized fireplace flues are too big. Therefore, the new inserts are so efficient that the stoves can’t heat the over-sized flue. If not enough draft is created, the gases that float up your flue will more easily condense on the inside of your chimney. This forms creosote build-up, which could create a dangerous situation. Even the possibility of a chimney fire. So if it’s recommended, be sure to go for the relining.

Hire Professionals

Proper installation is the key to making sure that you have a safe, energy efficient wood burning insert. To ensure that you pick the correct insert to best meet your needs. Plus, that the insert is properly installed, call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, Mississippi’s most experienced sweeps!

By Jim Robinson on February 21st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service – Offering Chimney Relining

You know how important it is to have your chimney system inspected and cleaned once a year. However, did you know how important your chimney liner is? This key part of your chimney is one we don’t often think about. Not only can your chimney liner be in a state of disrepair, but did you know that not every home with a fireplace has a chimney liner? If your home was built before 1940, it could be that your chimney doesn’t have a liner. This is definitely a problem!

Chimney Liners

The Chimney Safety Institute of America tells us that a chimney liner plays a vital role in making sure that your fireplace is running efficiently and safely. There are several reasons why this part of your chimney is so important. First off, a chimney liner protects your home’s interior from the heat of your fire. Unlined chimneys allow heat to move through your chimney very quickly. This can have disastrous results.

Another reason that a liner is so important? Your masonry chimney is susceptible to the corrosive effects of a fire. The gases that are released from your wood burning fire are acidic. This means that they can eat away at the mortar joints of your chimney from the inside. As these joints erode, more dangerous gases can leak back into your home.

Proper Fit

In order for your chimney liner to do the job it’s supposed to, it has to fit properly. Your chimney liner should allow the gases from your fire to escape, but it also allows air in to provide the draft to allow for combustion. If this liner doesn’t fit properly, your fire could produce more creosote build-up in your chimney, and that increases the possibility of a chimney fire.

Reline or Install

As stated earlier, an older home may not have a chimney liner at all. Even if you do have a chimney liner, there are things that can cause it to fall into a state of disrepair. Rain, when it combines with the gases that escape out your chimney, aids in erosion. Consequently, there’s no way to protect your chimney from precipitation. Also, as with any building materials, time takes its toll and your chimney liner can just wear down. Unfortunately, when your chimney liner breaks down, your fireplace doesn’t run as efficiently as it should; worse yet, it could be a fire hazard. Whether your chimney liner is broken or if you don’t have a chimney liner at all, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can help you out.

Make the Call

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you have your fireplace system inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis; so does the National Fire Protection Agency. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable service from CSIA certified professionals. Not only can they inspect and clean your chimney, they can also advise you on whether your chimney is in need of a new chimney liner. Give them a call today!

By Jim Robinson on February 8th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Reducing Fire Hazards This Winter

It’s time to think about safety! Fire safety, that is. During the winter months, one of the nicest things to do is to snuggle down in front of a cozy fire. Unfortunately, too often a cozy night can turn into a nightmare. Consequently, because of unsafe fire practices, a chimney fire can destroy much more than just your fireplace. So this winter, make sure that you are taking safety precautions. This ensures many safe, happy nights in your warm home.

Fire Hazards

The big fear that many fireplace owners have is the fear of chimney fire. Roaring flames, smoke billowing out of the chimney, and loss of property. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to happen. How can you greatly reduce the possibility of this situation? Simply follow a few preventative measures.

First, inspect the room around the fireplace. Make sure that there is nothing flammable stored too close to the fireplace. This includes pillows, blankets, books, toys, or even furniture. If placed too close to the fire, these things could easily catch a spark that could ignite into a bigger fire. Make sure matches and lighters are kept out of the reach of children. In addition, educate your children on how to use fire extinguishers.

Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors

This little tool can be vital for saving your home. If you’re wondering how many fire extinguishers you should have, the National Fire Protection Association recommends you have one on every floor. Even if you can’t completely extinguish the fire, it may help you contain the fire until the fire department arrives. Be sure that you take no risks, however. Being safe yourself is more important than material goods. So, if you feel like the fire is getting out of control, get yourself and your loved ones out of your home immediately! In fact, a fire plan is absolutely the most important thing you can do to protect your family in case of a fire. Make sure that everyone knows how to get out of the house and where to meet in case of a fire, and practice this plan often.

Another important protective device is a smoke detector. According to the U.S. Fire Administration website, you should have a smoke detector installed on each floor of the house (including the basement), in each bedroom, and outside of every sleeping area. Your smoke detector is only as good as its batteries, however. So always make sure that you check your smoke detector batteries once a month and replace the batteries every six months.

Who To Call

Most chimney fires aren’t as dramatic as you might think. In fact, in many cases the homeowner might not even be aware that a chimney fire has taken place. Unfortunately, even a small chimney fire can cause damage to the structure of your chimney. This internal damage can only be detected by a knowledgeable professional like the inspectors and sweeps at Santa’s Friend Chimney Sweep. This is why it’s so important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. These inspectors can detect structural damage and creosote build-up and can recommend whatever repairs or cleaning may be necessary to keep your fireplace running safely and efficiently!

By Jim Robinson on January 26th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Waterproofing

The Effect of Water

Fire and water – two elements that don’t mix very well. And that holds true when you’re thinking about your fireplace. There are important rules to follow when caring for your fireplace. Yet, many people fail to realize the damage that can result from precipitation.

How Moisture Damage Occurs

Rain – such a welcome occurrence. It makes the earth green, fills the creeks, lightens the air. But it can wreak havoc on your chimney system. Chimneys are normally made up of stones, bricks, or blocks, held together by mortar. Although stones are pretty water resistant, bricks, blocks, and mortar are not. When rain or sleet occurs, water enters these components of your chimney and can cause major structural damage over time. It’s important to have your chimney inspected on an annual basis by qualified, CSIA certified inspectors like the ones you’ll find at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service.


It’s important to understand that water damage can exist and what are signs of this happening. If spalling occurs,flaking, peeling, or cracking around or on your chimney, it’s a good indication that water damage has occurred according to If mortar is crumbly and soft, it means that water has penetrated this area, also, and that you could be in for major repairs.

These exterior clues are usually easily visible to a homeowner, but unfortunately, damage can also be occurring in less visible places. The chimney interior, which is invisible to your eye, is susceptible to moisture damage. To understand how much damage has occurred, give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call. They can thoroughly inspect your chimney, inside and out, make any necessary repairs, and then waterproof your chimney to help prevent further damage.

The Process

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) explains that waterproofing your chimney is an important means of defense to help stop water damage from occurring. It’s important that the chimney service you pick uses a quality waterproofing agent. The product will keep precipitation from entering your chimney from the outside while allowing water that has penetrated previously to escape. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service uses ChimneySaver Water Repellent. This product is the best in the industry, and Santa’s Friend has been using it for over twenty years with exceptional results.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service technicians know how to apply your product correctly. The product will ensure that your chimney is protected from water damage for many years. They start by thoroughly brushing and cleaning the components that make up your fireplace. Then technicians carefully apply the weatherproofing product, taking care to cover every inch of your chimney.  You will be able to rest assured that your chimney will be protected from the elements for years to come because of Santa’s Friend’s expert application process. Give Santa’s Friend a call today!

By Jim Robinson on January 12th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment