Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

How To Build A Safe Fire This Winter

The scene is beautiful: Family and friends gathered in front of a beautiful fire, toasting to old memories, and creating new ones. However, things can turn ugly quickly. Especially, if you don’t know how to safely build and maintain a fire. There are several ways to make sure that your beautiful fireplace scene stays just that way.

How To Build A Safe Fire This Winter - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney ServiceMaintain Your Fireplace

The first thing to do to make sure that you have a safe, stable fire is to be proactive! Have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. When you’re looking for a chimney sweep service, it is important to hire someone who is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified. This ensures that your chimney inspection is held to the highest standard of quality in the industry. When you hire the qualified technicians at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, you’ll be getting just that. The staff at Santa’s Friend has over 26 years of experience. In addition, they use the latest techniques and technology, ensuring that things are fixed promptly and cleaned thoroughly.

How to Light Your Fire

There’s more to lighting a safe fire than just throwing some wood down and lighting a match. According to the Martha Stewart website, start by opening your dampers all the way. Crumpled newspaper makes a great fire starter. So, crumple some up and put it under the grate, then top this with strips of newspaper. Add eight or so pieces of kindling on top. Afterwards, add a few thin, split logs to top the kindling off. If you stack this too tightly, air won’t be able to circulate. If this happens, you will have trouble starting the fire. It’s best to keep these layers loose. Light the tinder, then, when the fire is burning steadily, add a couple of small logs and one large log. If you add too much too soon, you risk smothering your fire. Worse yet, you might get a larger blaze that is difficult to control.

After It’s Lit

After you have the fire burning, there are other things to consider to make sure that things stay safe. Make sure that there is nothing flammable near the fireplace, including books, toys, furniture, or curtains – any of these can easily catch a spark that cause a fire that can put your home and loved ones in danger. tells us to be sure that the fire is completely out before going to bed or going out for the evening. Absolutely never leave little children alone in a room with a burning fire. Also, don’t leave matches or fire starters out where children can get a hold of them.

It is also very important to make sure that your smoke detector batteries are charged. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, you should have a smoke detector installed on each floor of the house. This includes the basement, as well as in every bedroom, and outside every sleeping area. Check your smoke detector batteries once a month, and change the batteries at least twice a year.

Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service

If you have questions or concerns on fireplace safety, call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service at 601-854-7563. Their qualified professionals have the answers to help keep your home safe and worry-free.

By Jim Robinson on December 15th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Let Santa Go Down A Dirty Chimney!

Listen … Can you hear it? Can you hear the jingling of sleigh bells and the tap, tap, tap of tiny reindeer feet? Everybody is looking forward to seeing that jolly old man pull up in his shining sleigh. His sleek looking reindeer ringing their sparkling sleigh bells. Plus, Mrs. Claus has her hubby looking his holiday best in his bright red suit. One thing is sure. You don’t want your chimney to be the one to leave nasty soot stains on Santa’s pretty outfit!

Don't Let Santa Go Down a Dirty Chimney - Jackson MS- Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Why Does My Chimney Need Cleaning?

You spend time cleaning, baking ,and making sure that everything is just right. This is especially true for your family and friends. Everything needs to be just right before they arrive. This is so that you can have a relaxing time, reminiscing and making new memories. In all the fuss and hurry, you might be tempted to forego cleaning something that no one will ever really see – the inside of your chimney. But skipping this can be a costly mistake!

One reason it is so important to have your chimney cleaned? Fire burning is a dirty business! According to the GuideOne Insurance website: When the water vapor, unburned wood particles, tar fog, and other minerals that are released while a fire is burning make their way up your chimney, it causes a build-up of gunk that is called creosote. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) website states that, if this creosote build-up equals or exceeds ¼ inch, it needs to be removed by a CSIA certified professional. Cleaning this creosote makes your fire burning more efficient. In addition, it will decrease the risk of a chimney fire, since creosote is highly flammable.

Another good reason to have your chimney cleaned? Make sure it’s clear of any blockages. After all, Santa needs plenty of room to get down your chimney! In the summer and fall, your chimney can accumulate dead leaves and twigs. Also, even bird, squirrel, or other animal nests are not uncommon finds. These blockages can force the air that is supposed to be escaping through your chimney back down into your house. Also, chimney fires can start from sparks catching on any blockages that are left in your chimney.

A Job for the Experts

You may be tempted to do this job yourself. However, this is a job that you should leave for the professionals. To really do the job right, you need special equipment and protective gear. This is to protect you and to keep your house from getting too dirty.

When looking for expert cleaning technicians, make sure that your chimney sweeps are CSIA certified. Santa’s Friend Chimney sweep professionals are CSIA certified and certified by several other chimney safety organizations. This ensures that you will be getting top rated technicians trained in the latest chimney inspecting and cleaning techniques.

Don’t let old Kris Kringle down by making him slide down a dirty chimney. Give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call today and know that your chimney will be ready for all your fireplace needs!

By Jim Robinson on December 1st, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Fix Up Your Chimney Before the Temperature Drops

You love your fireplace! It brings hours of comfort and happiness in the cooler winter weather. So, when you discover that your chimney is leaking, it is a cause for alarm. There are several reasons that leaks can occur. Also, it’s much easier to get these leaks fixed before it gets cold, rather than waiting until you’re wanting to use your fireplace. The first step to take when your chimney is leaking? Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. Their expert staff will inspect your fireplace and determine any problems, before the temperature drops.

Fix Up Your Chimney Before the Temperature Drops - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney ServiceThe Problem Could Be Water

According to Chimney Safety Institute of America, weathering that occurs from exposure to outdoor elements, such as rain or sleet, can cause major problems for your brick or block masonry chimneys. And if you have a stone chimney, you’re not out of the woods! Stone chimneys take a lot of mortar to hold together, and that mortar is affected by precipitation.
Precipitation can eat away at the mortar, but a bigger culprit is the freeze/thaw cycle. During the freeze/thaw cycle, water seeps into the mortar between the bricks or stones, then freezes. Freezing water expands, which causes cracks to occur. This cycle continues throughout the cold, rainy season.

Cracked flashing can also cause leaks to occur. The flashing is the sheet metal that keeps the intersection between the chimney and the roof tight. This intersection is a likely place for leaks to occur. According to the This Old House website, the flashing leaks because it wasn’t properly installed in the first place. But even properly installed flashing wears down over time, and this can cause leaks to occur. The simplest solution to leaks caused by flashing issues? Stop them before they start. Have your chimney inspected on a regular basis by the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service.

The Problems Water Causes

When the mortar between the bricks or stones breaks down, not only can the exterior of your chimney be damaged, but the interior can be damaged as well. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America website, when your chimney leaks, several things can be damaged. This includes a deteriorating central heating system, stained chimney exterior, rusted damper assembly, and stained ceiling and walls. Consequently, these are just a few of the problems that might occur.

A Fix is on the Way

All of these problems are fixable. One way to make sure that those leaks are fixed is by waterproofing your chimney. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers waterproofing products that take care of the leaks, while allowing vapors formed from your fire to escape.

Probably the simplest solution for a leaky chimney? The addition of, or repair, to a chimney cap. This is an important part to the make-up of your chimney, because it can keep precipitation from getting in your chimney. Plus, many homes just flat out don’t have a chimney cap. A simple inspection can determine if a chimney cap is absent or in disrepair, and after that, it’s a quick fix.

Trust the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to take care of your leaky chimney, or any other service your chimney needs! Call 601-854-7563.

By Jim Robinson on November 17th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Never Too Late To Have Your Chimney Swept Before Winter

Before winter hits, precipitation and wind can leave a chill in the air, even here in Central Mississippi. You may have already caught the scent of wood burning from a distant neighbor’s fireplace. All the sudden, the smell reminded you to order some wood. You haven’t had the chimney swept in a while. Is it too late in the season for an appointment? The truth is that it is never too late to have your chimney swept before winter.

All we ask:

Never Too Late To Have Your Chimney Swept Before Winter - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Services

We only ask for 24 hours. However, we don’t need 24 hours to do the work. All we ask that you refrain from using the fireplace for 24 hours to give the whole system time to cool down. You can also help us out a lot as well. For instance, giving us at least 6 feet of clearance around your fireplace so we can place tarps on the floor. This will keep your home clean. We love pets, but oftentimes pets don’t love us, or the noise of our vacuums. So, for their well-being, we ask that you crate your pets or put them in another room while we work.

What we’ll do:

Believe it or not, in this dirty job of chimney sweeping, we will keep your home clean. That’s right! The designation of a CSIA-trained and certified chimney sweep means that we know how to do our work efficiently and without a mess for you to clean after we are gone. Drop cloths are placed in the work area and the powerful vacuum we use contain the grime and debris. So, when we leave, the only reminder of our visit is a gleaming chimney!


We won’t take up your whole day either, unless there have been heating systems changes or there are major problems with the chimney. For example, a chimney that requires a Level 2 or 3 inspection. Otherwise, the job shouldn’t take more than 1 ½ hours with a Level 1 inspection. In that time, your system will be scrubbed from the fire grate to the top of the stack both with special brushes and by hand. We’ll make any needed adjustments to the damper. We check for fire hazards, and also perform a visual exterior check of the masonry. We share with you our findings and leave you with a written evaluation, so you know the condition of your chimney and fireplace.

Now that you know what we need to do the job, you can rest assured that it’s never too late to have your chimney swept before winter. Contact us today at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for an appointment and look forward to those cozy days and evenings in front of your fireplace.

By Jim Robinson on November 3rd, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Make Your Masonry Repairs Before Winter

A brick chimney looks like a stalwart sentry watching over the horizon at the top of your house. It takes the brunt of all elements – baking sun, battering rain and wind, fluctuating temperatures, snow, and ice. A chimney gets no cover and no respite from the weather. Even though it remains standing and continues to do its job, it slowly breaks down and needs repair. Mississippi was hit hard this year with storms. So, to ward off any potential problems, get your chimney masonry checked out and repaired before the winter begins.

Make Your Masonry Repairs Before Winter - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney ServiceMississippi Weather

Central Mississippi entertains a variety of weather patterns and brick chimney masonry. This masonry, which is made of sand, takes a beating that causes it to breakdown. This Process is called spalling. Weather is the worst enemy of this type of masonry. Beach lovers know that high tides and big storms wash away beaches and that is essentially what is happening to your chimney. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) warns that a neglected chimney can also be a safety hazard.

What Masonry Damage Looks Like

Spalling can look like several types of damage. It may be as dramatic as actual breakage or plain as cracks. There might also be flaking. These are all warning signs that your chimney is weakening. The expansion and contraction from temperature fluctuations serve to put stress on the structure. And according to CSIA, water penetration is its greatest enemy. Moisture will rust the metal portions of chimney and chip away at all the other components that make up brick masonry. Eventually, seepage will cause mildew and fungus, as well as odor that will infiltrate your home.

Types of Repairs

Repairing leaking chimneys, waterproofing, and relining are so ordinary in this area that if you haven’t needed maintenance done to your masonry, you are rare. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service technicians are specially trained and certified to rehabilitate your chimney so that it is safe and in working order. We will assess the damage and then sit down with you to discuss the best options. It may be a matter of repointing or rebuilding. Once the repairs are complete, you may want to consider waterproofing the chimney to avoid problems of moisture. The process creates a barrier between the masonry and the elements.

Don’t wait! You don’t want to learn during the winter that your masonry needs repairs. That means that in addition to the structural damage, you are uncomfortable as you try to stay warm and dry. Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service while the weather is still mild and let us help get you ready for winter.

By Jim Robinson on October 20th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Advantages Of Wood Burning Inserts

A fireplace is often the showpiece of a home. What could make a room look better and more welcoming than an open hearth with a fire burning warmly? It’s hard to believe, but there is something more. And not only does it make your fireplace look better, it’s safer and more energy efficient. If you don’t already have a wood burning insert, it’s time to consider the benefits of one of these inserts.

Looks, Efficiency, And Safety:

The Advantages of Wood Burning Inserts Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

You only have to look at pictures to imagine the polish a wood insert will give your fireplace and the whole room. It also eliminates the messy appearance from ashes. No changes to the fireplace masonry or the chimney system are needed. The insert is an enclosure, often made from cast iron or steel that is fitted into the firebox. The EPA  encourages wood burning inserts, partly because of their efficiency.

Whether you use your fireplace as a primary or secondary heat source, warm air will no longer be escaping to the outside. Rather, the insert will help to draw air in to keep you cozy warm. And we will offer guidance on choosing one that is certified by the EPA for maximum energy efficiency. Another important aspect is safety. You no longer need to worry about embers and sparks coming from your fireplace because an insert will contain it all.

Size, Style, And Installation:

Wood inserts make your fireplace look so good that the options may be overwhelming. The professionals at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service help to make it easy. Having the right size guarantees efficiency. Your trained consultant will take the proper measurements. Then they will sit down with you and go over the styles that are available, and discuss other options such as whether to invest in a mesh screen or blower.

Whether you have a small, medium, or large fireplace or a classic or modern home, we can help you find the right style of EPA-approved insert. When it’s time for installation, we do the job expertly. Our customers appreciate the assistance we give them in making the best decisions for their fireplace and chimney needs, and they have shown that through our repeated honor as an Angie’s List Super Service award recipient.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service has been around for more than 20 years and we are trained and ready to assist you. Don’t wait another day. Contact us and let’s get together to talk about how to add more style to your home while also making it safer and more energy efficient.

By Jim Robinson on October 6th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment