Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Chimney Cap Replacement

Probably the biggest fear of homeowners is a chimney fire. There really is no good way to stop sparks from heading up your chimney. Plus, if they fly out of your chimney you might have a roof fire on your hands. Another big threat when it comes to damage to your chimney is water. There is just no way to protect the exterior of your chimney from the damage that can come from rain, sleet, or snow. The inside of your chimney, however, is a different matter. When it comes to protecting your roof from sparks and the interior of your chimney from water damage, the best protection you can buy is a solid chimney cap.

What Can A Chimney Cap Do?

First, let’s consider the danger of fire. One problem with your chimney is that it’s a natural place for birds and other animals to want to build their nests. It’s protected from the elements and from other natural predators that threaten their young. When the young leave the nest and the critters leave for good, the nest stays behind and dries out. This is perfect kindling for those sparks that shoot up your chimney. Not only can nests cause a problem, but paper, dried leaves, and twigs can also blow down your chimney; these can also provide a great spark catcher for a chimney fire. According to Angie’s List “(A) professionally installed chimney cap, sized properly, will prevent animals from entering the chimney.”

Another area that is susceptible to fire is your roof. When sparks fly up your chimney, they can fall on the roof. If it’s been a particularly dry year, all it could take is one good spark. All of the sudden, you’ll find yourself with a very big problem: a roof fire. If not caught quickly enough, this could end disastrously with the loss of your home. A chimney cap can also stop those sparks from escaping from your chimney, thus preventing that disaster from occurring.

Interior Damage

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, water penetration can cause a lot of damage to the interior of your chimney. Some problems that can be caused include rusted damper assemblies, collapsed hearth support, water stained walls and ceiling, rotting wood and ruined wall coverings that surround your fireplace. Not only that, but it can also cause mold and mildew to grow inside your chimney. This mold and mildew can eat away at the mortar of your chimney, and it can also produce a very unpleasant odor. A chimney cap can help stop rain water from getting down into your home’s chimney.

Finding the Right Company

When it comes to chimney caps, it’s important to make sure that you find the right size and shape to fit your chimney. That means it’s especially important to find the right company to help you obtain the perfect chimney cap. That company is Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. They are experts when it comes to making sure that your chimney is up to regulation and running efficiently. Call them early to make an appointment – whether you’re looking at chimney cap repair or replacement, you’ll be glad you did!

By Jim Robinson on April 4th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Proudly Serving Jackson, Mississippi

Since 1988, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service has been proud to serve the fireplace and chimney needs of residents of Jackson, Mississippi, and over the years, we have increased our service area to include the entire central Mississippi area. You cannot find a more experienced staff of chimney technicians in the whole state. Our chimney sweeps have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to maintain, repair, and install chimneys, fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and other heating appliances. We also provide dryer vent cleaning services as well as sell and install various chimney products, including chimney caps and chase covers. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the services we offer in the central Mississippi area.

Proudly Serving Jackson Missisppi - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney Service


The CSIA and other national fire safety organizations all recommend that you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected once a year. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can take care of these tasks for you, and you can trust us to remove all of the hazardously flammable creosote from your chimney and to carefully inspect your chimney for blockages and other damage. We can also repair several common chimney problems, including relining your chimney with HeatShield or with a new stainless steel liner. We specialize in fixing leaky chimneys as well as in waterproofing your chimney to prevent water penetration from occurring.


If you have never had your dryer vent professionally cleaned, you may want to contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule an appointment for our services. The most important reason you should have this done is to reduce your risk of experiencing a clothes dryer fire. Lint, which is what clogs your vent, is so flammable that the Boy Scouts recommend using it as a fire starter, so you can imagine how dangerous a large accumulation of lint can be within your dryer vent. Our professional dryer vent cleaning services also will prolong the life of your dryer and save you energy and money on your utility bills.


In our warehouse, we keep an inventory of several important chimney components, including chimney caps, top-mounted dampers, bird screens, chase covers, mesh spark screens, and replacement firebox panels. Our CSIA-certified technicians can install all of these products for you so that they will work efficiently and safely. We also sell and install wood-burning fireplace inserts that can convert your older traditional fireplace into a more energy-efficient heating appliance.

If you live in Jackson, Mississippi or anywhere else in the central state area, contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for any of your fireplace and chimney needs. We are here to help you enjoy your fireplace, and you can trust us to do the best possible job.

By Jim Robinson on March 11th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

It’s My Job: Chimney Sweep

My name is Jim Robinson, and I’m the owner of Santa’s Friend Chimney Service in Jackson.

Jim Robinson Newspaper PIc - Santa's Friend

Courtesy Greg Jenson/ The Clarion Ledger

I grew up in the Shiloh community between Brandon and Pelahatchie and still live here. In fact, I live on the house site of my great-grandfather, James Thomas Knight, whom I was named after.

I graduated from Brandon Academy and attended Mississippi State for two-and-a-half years. I grew up on a dairy farm, so I majored in dairy science at MSU. We had a fairly large family operation, but I knew I was ready for a career change. I had no idea in my wildest dreams it would turn out like it has!

To make a little extra money, I started selling firewood in the mid-‘80s.  One of my customers told me about cleaning the chimneys of the firewood customers. So one very hot Saturday afternoon in June 1988, I “cleaned“ four chimneys. I can look back now and see how unprofessional I was, starting out.

This rocked on a few years until 1994, when I first got certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Up until that time, I had no idea what a code book was. When you are CSIA certified, you become aware of proper clearances, codes, standards and practices as they relate to chimneys. I attended a National Chimney Sweep Guild convention shortly thereafter and saw the potential in this industry and, in 1996, I went full time.

Today, I have one full-time employee, Justin Perkins, a chimney sweep who has been CSIA certified since 2010. My wife, Terri, is also very involved in the office, and she is the one who came up with the name for our business!

We offer a wide range of services related to the chimney— of course, sweepings, but also masonry repair, firebox repair and rebuild if needed. Solving water leaks in chimneys is a big part of our business. We reline a lot of chimneys with stainless steel or, if the situation is conducive to it, we resurface the interior flue.

We also clean dryer vents. This is needed when the dryer is not located on an outside wall and the long vent to the outside collects lint. Over time the vent will restrict the airflow and overheat the dryer. As you can imagine, lint is very flammable.

One of the main services we specialize in is solving chimney problems, whether it is a performance problem with a smoking chimney or a smelly, stinking chimney. Both of these problems are very common and are directly related to indoor air quality.

It’s important to have a chimney cleaned regularly, because as the smoke cools going up the chimney, it condenses on the interior chimney walls as soot or creosote, which is flammable. Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t matter what type of firewood you use, as long as it is not treated wood and is dry.

There are a lot of variables, but generally it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to clean a chimney.  As a general rule, we sweep the chimneys from the bottom using a rotary drill, adding rods until it reaches the top. The attachments on the head can be either “Weed Eater” string for light deposits, steel cable for medium deposits or twist link chains for heavy, glazed creosote. The vast majority need the steel cable. If I have a question or concern about the flue, I have a video camera that will inspect every inch of the interior flue. It has the capability to capture the image, and we can email a report to the customer.

When we’re working, we always wear black, of course — it is a dirty job. We take precautions because soot and creosote are carcinogenic. We have a couple of methods for dust control and, of course, put tarps in front of the fireplace. We get comments regularly on how clean and neat we are.

The best part of this job, without a doubt, is the people I have met — customers and chimney sweeps — and the places we’ve been able to go. My customers are some of the finest people anywhere — as a general rule, anyway. By going to the NCSG convention almost every year, I’ve made very good friends with fellow chimney sweeps all across America. We are very unique in that we freely share information with each other, whether it be business practices or the latest code developments.

The most interesting was the trip in 2004 that Terri and I took to the International Chimney Sweep Festival in Santa Maria Maggiore, Italy. This is held every year in September in this small village in the northern Alps. It was started to commemorate the small children who were forced to work inside chimneys in the early to mid-1900s. Of course, they had no respirators, and a lot of them died from cancer before they were 25 years old.  During that week, there is a parade through the village with about 800 chimney sweeps dressed in traditional attire. Several countries are represented, with the lead person in the group carrying their country’s flag. Of the 800, probably 700 are German. You better believe it is a party with that many Germans!

We attended again in 2006 and in 2008 toured Europe with some chimney sweep friends.

The biggest challenge in my job is definitely having too much work from the middle of September until Christmas.— but, the rest of the year, the work load is just about right!

By Jim Robinson on March 9th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Relining

Your chimney system consists of several components that are necessary for it to function properly and safely. Included in these components is your chimney liner, which has several important purposes, such as protecting your home from the extremely high temperatures that are produced within your chimney. Unfortunately, chimney liners do not last forever and can suffer damage over the years that can cause your chimney to be unsafe to use. If you live in an older home with a masonry chimney, your liner may not be in the best condition and could be in need of repair. At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we offer a couple of chimney relining options that will restore the safety and efficiency of your chimney. We would like to tell you more about our chimney relining services by answering some frequently asked questions we have received from our customers.

Chimney Relining - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney Service

Why is a chimney liner so important?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimney liners serve three crucial functions. They prevent your home from catching on fire from the high temperatures produced when a fire is burning. They protect the masonry materials of your chimney from the corrosive byproducts of combustion. They also allow your chimney to function efficiently and safely by providing a correctly sized flue for your heating appliance.

What kind of chimney liner do I have?

There are three main types of chimney liners: clay tile, stainless steel, and cast-in-place. If you have a masonry chimney, you most likely have a clay tile liner, but it is possible to have another type. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians can inspect your chimney to find out exactly what type of liner you have as well as to examine its condition.

What chimney relining services does Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offer?

To reline clay tile liners, we offer HeatShield, which is economical, reliable, and much less time-intensive than constructing a new clay tile liner. Also known as a cast-in-place liner, HeatShield is a specially formulated sealant that restores the integrity of your clay tile liner by filling in the cracks and gaps. Our chimney technicians have been trained on how to apply HeatShield and know exactly how to apply the cerfractory sealant to repair your liner and make your chimney safe to use again. You can trust us to restore your clay tile liner with HeatShield, which comes with a 20-year material warranty.

If you do not have a clay tile liner, we can reline your chimney with a durable stainless steel liner, which has a lifetime warranty. Durable and strong, a stainless steel liner is guaranteed to protect you from hazardous situations, including chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks. This type of liner also allows us to create a correctly sized flue if you are converting your old fireplace to a new insert. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service has years of experience with installing stainless steel chimney liners, and we will ensure your chimney will function efficiently and safely.

Want to know more about our chimney relining services? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to talk to our staff about your options.

By Jim Robinson on January 8th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

How a Chimney Cap Can Improve Draft

You may know how important a chimney cap is to a chimney because of how it prevents water from rain and melted snow as well as birds and animals from entering inside the chimney. A chimney cap is one of the least expensive ways you can protect your chimney from the extensive damage that water, birds, and animals can cause to the interior of the chimney. A chimney cap also has another helpful function in that it can improve any draft issues your chimney might be having. If you have ever noticed smoky air or unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, your chimney has draft problems. Draft issues can also be hazardous such as poisonous gases like carbon monoxide remaining inside your chimney for longer than they should. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service would like to share some information from The Wood Heat Organization to explain exactly how a chimney cap can solve draft issues by improving how air flows through your chimney.

Chimney Caps & Draft - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

Wind and Its Effects on Chimney Draft

To understand how draft works in a chimney, you need to know how the speed and direction of wind around the chimney affects the chimney draft. When air flows across the top of your chimney, it creates a driving pressure that increases the chimney draft because it helps pull the exhaust gases up and out of the chimney. In a perfect world, wind would always blow directly over the chimney; however, the wind is unpredictable and uncontrollable. If wind flows downward into the chimney after passing over a neighboring obstacle like a roof or tree or flows upward to the chimney from below its top, the wind creates a positive pressure over the chimney which can cause a negative effect on the outward flow of air from the chimney. That positive pressure results in chimney draft issues such as smelly, smoky air and toxic gases entering your home from the chimney through the fireplace.

How a Chimney Cap Improves Draft

Without a chimney cap installed at the top of your chimney, you will most likely experience problems with the draft. A standard chimney cap is better than no cap, but to most successfully battle wind problems, a chimney cap equipped with baffles, flow-directing panels, can do the trick by limiting the access of wind into the chimney. Designed to always create a driving pressure at the top of the chimney, a chimney cap with baffles will improve your chimney draft regardless from which direction or speed wind approaches your chimney.

Experiencing chimney draft issues? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to learn more about how we can solve that problem by installing a new draft-improving chimney cap.

By Jim Robinson on September 16th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

It Could Be Time to Replace Your Chimney Cap

Long been recognized as an important chimney safety and damage prevention component, chimney caps have been called by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) as the least expensive preventive measure a homeowner can take to prevent water penetration of the chimney. When water leaks into your chimney, it can cause extensive and costly damage to its masonry materials and other components like the liner and the damper. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service understands the importance of having a chimney cap professionally installed on top of a chimney to keep water from deteriorating the bricks and mortar of the structure. If you do not have a chimney cap installed on top of your chimney or if your existing cap is aging and damaged, fall is the best time to replace your chimney cap because you want to be sure your chimney is protected before the arrival of winter. We would like to tell you more about this crucial part of your chimney system.

Chimney Cap Replacement - Jackson MS

Why is it so essential to replace a damaged chimney cap before winter begins?

Without a proper chimney cap protecting your chimney, there is the potential for large amounts of rain and snow to easily enter the chimney flue. Over the course of just one winter season, the freeze/thaw cycles of that winter can cause large amounts of spalling damage which can jeopardize the structure of your chimney. It is especially important to prevent water penetration of a chimney during the cold months of winter to avoid the chipping and breaking apart of bricks and mortar that occurs during spalling.

What are other benefits to having a chimney cap other than preventing water leaks?

A strong, well-designed, and correctly installed chimney cap can keep birds and animals from invading your chimney to nest. Chimney caps are equipped with mesh sidings to prevent animals from getting into the chimney. This meshing also serves as a spark arrestor to keep sparks and hot embers from jumping out of the chimney to ignite a fire on a roof, tree, or yard. Certain types of chimney caps can also improve the draft inside your chimney.

What types of chimney caps does Santa’s Friend Chimney Service sell and install?

Our expert, CSIA-certified chimney technicians recommend installing a chimney cap made from stainless steel or copper because they are more durable and will last longer. We also carry chimney caps constructed from aluminum and electrolytically-painted galvanized iron. We also sell and install chimney caps made from clay, which are also known as pot toppers or chimney pots. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can also make a custom chimney cap, which we will also install for you to best protect your chimney.

Is it time to replace your chimney cap? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule an appointment with our experienced chimney technicians.

By Jim Robinson on August 31st, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment