Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

We Love Serving the Jackson, Mississippi Area

For more than 26 years, the residents of Jackson, Mississippi have counted on Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for their fireplace and chimney needs. Our commitment to safety has made us the top choice for chimney maintenance and sales in the Central Mississippi area. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps provide chimney cleaning, inspection, repairs, sales, and installation services, and we can also prevent devastating house fires by cleaning clothes dryer vent systems. We are proud to serve this area, and we also love living here ourselves. We would like to tell you why we love Jackson, Mississippi.

We Serve Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

Musical Heritage

Part of the Mississippi Blues Trail, Jackson has more historical musical markers than any other city in the state. Known as the “City with Soul,” Jackson is home to several blues record companies, including Trumpet Records, Ace Records, and Malaco Records. Legendary blues singers and musicians like Sonny Boy Williamson and Lightnin’ Hopkins recorded albums here. Every August, the city hosts the Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival, which offers five stages of Mississippi Blues musical acts, along with regional and national Rhythm & Blues artists. We love to catch some of the best blues musicians in the country as well as enjoy delicious Southern cuisine like catfish and barbecue ribs.

Sports and Recreation

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service looks forward to every fall because of college football from the Jackson State University Tigers and the Belhaven University Blazers. We also enjoy playing sports ourselves at the numerous athletic centers, sports fields, and parks throughout Jackson. Fans of sports history love the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Featuring exhibits on famous Mississippi athletes such as Jerry Rice, Archie Manning, Brett Favre, Dizzy Dean, and Ralph Boston, this museum was named by ESPN as one of the top ten most amazing baseball museums in the United States.

If you are fortunate enough to be a resident of the Jackson, Mississippi area, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for all of your fireplace and chimney needs. We provide many services such as repairing and cleaning chimneys. Since the safety of our customers is always our top priority, you can count on our certified staff to reduce fire hazards.

Animals and Your Chimney Crown

Animals don’t just move into your chimney flue for a warm place to live. They also find their way underneath your chimney crown. Call us today if you think critters might be up in your chimney. The damage they do can be very expensive!

Animals Living Under the Chimney Crown - Jackson MS

By Jim Robinson on July 30th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

How Do You Know When to Replace Your Chase Cover?

If your home has a prefabricated or factory-built chimney inside a chase, you most likely have a chase cover at the top of the chimney. The chase cover serves as a seal of your chimney and prevents water, debris, and animals from entering the flue and is typically installed with wood framed and sided chimney chases. Like a chimney cap, the chase cover keeps your chimney from becoming damaged by water penetration. The chase covers that come with prefabricated chimney systems are often constructed out of inferior galvanized metal or aluminum. Sadly, these inexpensive chase covers are not very long lasting. How do you know when to replace your chase cover? Since our chimney experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service regularly deal with damaged chase covers, we can tell you the signs that alert you that you may need a new chase cover.

Rust on the Chimney Chase - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

Have you seen signs of rusting?

Rust formations are the most obvious sign of a chase cover that needs replacing. Rust stains anywhere on the chase, especially around your chimney cap, mean the condition of your chase cover should be inspected by Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to see if the cover has suffered any damage.

Have you seen water pooling on the chase cover?

Water pooling on the chase cover typically signifies that the chase cover was not correctly installed. Your chase cover should be positioned at an angle so that water from rain and melted snow will run off the cover and not stay on top where it may cause rusting and other types of corrosion. When water pools on top of a chase cover, it can lead to water penetration of your chimney as well as costly damage. You have probably heard us say before that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named water as the greatest enemy of a masonry chimney.

Have you noticed damage to the chase structure itself, such as water swelling?

When the actual chase itself shows signs of water damage like swelling, you more than likely need to replace the chase cover to keep water from leaking into the chase and chimney. Wood can be damaged by water penetration just like masonry materials are. Water leaks can make the wood swell and possibly even rot.

Have you noticed missing mortar and cracked bricks from your chimney’s structure?

Water penetration speeds up the deterioration of the bricks and mortar used to build your chimney. Water that has leaked into the masonry materials of your chimney can freeze and then expand during the winter. After the temperatures go back above freezing, that water will thaw, which creates spalling damage to your chimney’s masonry materials. Consisting of loose, cracked bricks and missing pieces of mortar joints, spalling damage can make the structure of your chimney unsound and unsafe. If you have noticed spalling damage, your existing chase cover is most likely letting water leak into the chimney. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can solve this problem by repairing spalling damage and by replacing your chase cover.

Have you noticed any of these signs? If so, get in touch with Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to get us to inspect your chase cover and then protect your chase and chimney from water leak damage by installing a new chase cover on top of your chimney.

By Jim Robinson on June 28th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Top-Mounted Dampers Are Best for Your Chimney

If you have an older chimney, you most likely have a traditional throat damper for your fireplace. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the damper is an important component of your fireplace and chimney system to keep the heat in and the cold air out of your house, which increases your energy efficiency and reduces your heating costs. The damper is also important for safety reasons because it controls the flow of smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion up the chimney to leave your home. However, a throat damper has many flaws and issues. Fortunately, you have another choice for a highly effective damper that will give you a better seal than the traditional throat damper: the top-mounted damper. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service strongly prefers and recommends this type of damper. We would like to tell you more why we feel a top-mounted damper is the best choice for your chimney.

Top Mount Dampers - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

A top-mounted damper takes care of two functions at once.

One of the best features of a top-mounted damper is that it also serves as a chimney cap when the damper is closed. To be completely honest, we feel that this type of damper actually gives you better protection than an ordinary chimney cap. With its silicone rubber gasket to seal in heat and air conditioning as a throat damper does, a top-mounted damper also provides an air-tight seal to keep out water, debris, birds, squirrels, and raccoons — just as a chimney cap would. If our customers need a new chimney cap, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service recommends installing a top-mounted damper instead of a chimney cap. Some models of top-mounted dampers are even equipped with protective meshing, so when the damper is open, your chimney is still protected from animals and debris.

A top-sealing damper saves you both energy and money.

You just cannot get as good of a seal from a throat damper as you would from a top-mounted damper. You will have no worries of cold air, ice, and snow coming into your flue and making a cold core within your chimney. This cold core will attempt to cool your home at the same time that your heating system is trying to warm it up, which wastes both fuel and money. Since a top-mounted damper is at the top of your chimney, cold air does not have the chance to get inside the chimney as your entire flue will be sealed air-tight with the silicone rubber gasket. Believe us when we tell you that you will save money on your energy bills by installing a top-mounted damper.

A top-mounted damper is easy to operate.

Some throat dampers are difficult to use because you have to almost stick your head up the fireplace to open and close them. With a top-mounted damper, opening and closing the damper is simple. A stainless steel cable from the damper comes down the chimney and connects to a handle you can easily access from inside the firebox. Different models will have different opening and closing methods, but we promise you will find all easy to use.

If you would like to know more about top-mounted dampers, get in touch with Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to find out even more advantages to this type of damper.

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

All About Bird Screens

Whenever the weather gets warmer, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service receives phone calls from our customers to tell us they have heard birds chirping, scurrying, and flying around in their chimneys. Concerned with the state of their chimneys as well as the condition of the birds, these customers want to know how we can help. Our answer is simple: we can install a bird screen to your chimney to prevent birds and other animals like raccoons and squirrels from ever entering in the first place. Recommended by humane societies, like the Wisconsin Humane Society, a bird screen can make all of the difference. Stopping wildlife from entering your chimney prevents not only the nuisance caused but also hazardous situations that could arise. We would like to tell you more about these screens and how we can help you keep birds and animals out of your chimney.

Bird Screens Keep Birds Out - Jackson MS

What hazardous situations do bird screens prevent?

The nesting materials left behind by birds can create blockages of the flue of your chimney, which could result in carbon monoxide and other toxic gases leaking into your home through your fireplace. Additionally, these materials are highly flammable and can burn quickly if ignited to cause a devastating chimney fire. Keeping these animals out also ensures you do not run the risk of a creature becoming trapped inside your chimney to possibly die within. Bird screens will also keep leaves and other debris that can also block the flue.

Does the size of the screening make a difference?

You want the mesh screening to be small enough to keep birds and animals out of your chimney but also large enough to allow smoke and the other byproducts of combustion to exit your chimney freely. Most bird screens for chimneys have mesh openings from one-half of an inch to one inch sized openings. If the screens have openings larger than one inch, birds and animals may still be able to enter. If the mesh is smaller than one-half inch, clogging of the screen can become an issue.

How can I be sure my bird screen is not clogged?

If your bird screen becomes clogged, it can restrict airflow out of your chimney. To check to see if your screen is clogged, look at the top of your chimney from the outside during the day. If you can see daylight coming through the screen, it is not clogged. However, if the screen is opaque, your screen is probably clogged with creosote and should be cleaned.

How do I clean my bird screen?

Since it can be difficult to safely reach the top of your chimney to be able to get to your screen to clean it, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service recommends you call us to do this job for you. You may want to go ahead and schedule a chimney cleaning from our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps as a clogged bird screen usually is a pretty good indicator that the chimney itself is also in need of cleaning due to creosote accumulation.

Have questions about bird screens? Contact  Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to learn how this simple installation can keep birds and animals out of your chimney.

By Jim Robinson on April 29th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Chimney Swifts Are Arriving Soon

Chimney Swifts come to Central Mississippi this time of year after spending the colder months in South America. These birds come back to North America to nest and lay eggs. Chimneys are one of their favorite places (hence the name Chimney Swift), and you cannot move them once they have nested. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. To keep them out of your chimney, you need to have a chimney cap installed. Contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for information about chimney caps at 601-854-7563.

Chimney Swifts Are Coming - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend

By Jim Robinson on April 15th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment