Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Types of Masonry Restoration

Notice problems in your chimney masonry? Call us and we'll do the necessary restoration so your chimney will look as good as new and function efficiently.

Notice problems in your chimney masonry? Call us and we’ll do the necessary repairs so your chimney will look and function as good as new.

If you have a masonry chimney, you should know that the Chimney Safety Institute of America claims water is your chimney’s greatest enemy because if it penetrates into your masonry joints, it can cause all sorts of expensive repair work, such as structural damage. Another victim of water damage is your chimney crown. To repair this water damage as well as to prevent water damage from even happening, you will need some sort of type of masonry restoration work from a professional chimney company like Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. We have experienced masons on hand that can perform several types of masonry restoration work, and we would like to tell you more about the types of masonry restoration work we provide.


To provide a better understanding of repointing, the Masonry Magazine, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, states that looking at the differences between the 100-year old definitions of the masonry terms “pointing,” “jointing,” “repointing,” and “tuckpointing” will give you a better idea of what repointing means today.

  • Pointing – The definition of pointing is the placement and careful tooling of a mortar joint between bricks and stones, and contrary to jointing, this process scrapes back the mortar joint several days after the completion of the brickwork.
  • Jointing – Jointing is what bricklayers do today, the process of finishing the joint along with the brickwork being completed.
  • Repointing – Typically the type of restoration work done on older mortar, 100 years ago, repointing meant replacing a failed mortar joint, which happened about once a century.
  • Tuckpointing – The word “tuckpointing” referred to a specialized application of pointing where the bricks were first sanded to a smooth surface and the original mortar joint is masked with a thin strip that matched the brick in color. Then, the joint was meticulously shaved down to match exactly the other joints in the chimney, and a fine, usually white mortar was tucked over the lines and finely manicured to look like no repairs had ever been done.

Today, “repointing” refers to repairing damaged mortar joints by filling in the gaps and holes created by water penetration, and “tuckpointing” refers to replacing deteriorated mortar with new mortar. The experienced and trained masons at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service are able to provide both types of masonry restoration to repair spalling and other damage due to water penetration of your masonry joints.

After explaining the different types of masonry restoration we provide, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service would like to tell you about a water penetration prevention service we offer:

  • Waterproofing – Using specially formulated materials that prevent water from penetrating into your bricks and masonry joints but allow vapors to pass through your chimney, our technicians have been applying the Chimney Saver Water Repellent for the past 20 years successfully to chimneys all over the Central Mississippi area. Your chimney will be protected from water penetration that causes the damage that needs masonry repair work.

If you have loose bricks and chips in the mortar of your chimney, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chimney masons. We would be happy to provide our masonry restoration services to you.

A Stinky Chimney Problem

No more holding your breath at home due to your smelly chimney. Just call us and we'll have your chimney cleaned in no time.

No more holding your breath at home due to your smelly chimney. Just call us and we’ll have your chimney cleaned in no time.

When your friends enter your home, you want them to smell something good. Let’s face it; chimney odors do not fall into this category. This is one reason why it is important to keep your chimney maintenance up to date. If you are experiencing problems like this or have any other chimney related questions, call the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today.

Why does my chimney stink anyway?

The main reason your chimney will stink is because of creosote. When wood is burned in the fire, these byproducts come up and begin to clump together on the inside of your chimney. This will not only cause drafts problems, but if left long enough they will begin to soak into the structure of your chimney and become harder to remove. As weather become warmer and more humid, the smell will become stronger. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you have an extra sweep in addition to your annual sweep and inspection. One should be done after burning season to remove anything that built up over the winter months, but the second should be done after summer to remove anything natural that may have made its way into your chimney.

Mold is another reason that a chimney or any other part of your home will smell. Chimney mold is built when there is a crack in the structure or a piece of the chimney is not in working order. Your Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified professional will be able to spot these things during your inspection. Mold can grow in as little as one to two days, so if you see a leak or something suspicious, call for help. One way to reduce water troubles is by having the technicians put a waterproof sealant on the outside of the chimney. This is especially recommended if you live in a wet area.

How do you properly prepare for a sweep?

Here is a simple checklist to make sure your home is ready for its examination:

  • Do not burn a fire for more than 24 hours before your sweep.
  • Move valuables’ and furniture away from the fireplace.
  • Lock pets away in a spare room for safety

All About Liners

We recommend an annual chimney inspection for many important reasons. One of the most important is so that we can inspect the quality of your chimney’s liner. The liner protects the exterior wall of your chimney.


6 Questions to Ask Your Sweep

If you find yourself in the market for someone to handle all of your chimney maintenance needs, we want you to know that knowledge is power.  Here are some questions you can ask your prospective chimney sweeps to ensure that you’re getting the right people for the job.

We at Santa's Friend Chimney Service can answer all of your questions and provide you with peace of mind.

We at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can answer all of your questions and provide you with peace of mind.

By Jim Robinson on April 28th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Lengthening Your Chimney’s Life

If you take proper care of your chimney, it will last you more years than you expected. Adhere to the guidelines.

If you take proper care of your chimney, it will last you more years than you expected. Adhere to the guidelines.

There is an estimated average life expectancy for chimneys. We’d like to think that once we have ours installed and fully functional, then it would last until we become grandparents. But it doesn’t really work that way. The lifetime of each chimney depends on the various materials used. For instance, the mortar that’s used for the walls of the chimney has an estimated life expectancy of about 25 years while the plasters and paint used for waterproofing only lasts 3 to 5 years.

So, we at Santa’s Friend Chimney have decided to put together a short guideline to help you and every other homeowner out there looking to prolong the lifetime of their chimneys.

Chimney Inspection

First things first, it is important to have your chimney inspected. Having regular scheduled inspections allows you to be well-informed and updated as to the standing and status of your chimney. If it is important for us to have our regular trip to the doctor, then it is equally important for you to have your chimney inspected.

Chimney Sweeping

Next, you need to have your chimney regularly swept. As we all are well aware, the chimney is prone to a lot of external contaminations. These contaminations (such as leaves, animal droppings and rainfall) if left unattended would accumulate and could lead to a lot of damage.


Another thing of utmost importance is for us to waterproof our chimneys. Water is one of the deadliest elements and is one of the biggest threats to your chimney’s life. Once water gets inside of your chimney, it then dampens the area and creates an environment that is highly optimal for mold growth. And we all know what happens once molds start to grow. It means hundreds of dollars’ worth of repairs or replacements. So in order to avoid this huge mess from happening, it is best to waterproof your chimneys. Consider installing a chimney cap.

Chimney Repairs and Restorations

Lastly, it is important not to skip out on necessary repairs and restorations. Every little repair, replacement or restoration that is advised after your inspection is important and should be done as soon as possible. Prolonging repairs could lead to further damage and bigger expenses. And we wouldn’t want that, now would we?

It’s true that our chimneys have their own expiration dates. But if we follow these simple guidelines, then we can rest assured we are doing all we can to extend both performance and functionality of our chimney.

Remember Your Chimney this Spring

As you write down your Spring home maintenance checklist, make your chimney a top priority.

As you write down your Spring home maintenance checklist, make your chimney a top priority.

We’ve had our share of unpredictable spring and summer weather in Mississippi, and that affects our lives in a number of ways, from the way we prepare our homes to the way we prepare ourselves.

As chimney technicians, part of our job at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service is to make sure our clients’ chimney systems are prepared to withstand a rainy spring and stormy summer without developing chimney leaks or other forms of damage. That’s part of why we encourage clients to make chimney maintenance a part of their spring home maintenance checklist.

Getting Your Chimney Ready For The Warmer Months

Chimney maintenance is an ongoing process, and the more consistent you are with your system’s routine needs, by and large, the fewer unexpected and unwanted surprises will pop up. As we close out the heating system and your fireplace or stove is getting ready to rest, here’s what we recommend:

Schedule Your Annual Chimney Inspection and Sweeping in the Spring

Many homeowners choose to wait until the start of the following heating season to take care of their annual chimney maintenance, but scheduling a chimney inspection and chimney sweeping in the spring can make your life easier, and your spring and summer more pleasant.

If you’ve been using your fireplace or stove all fall and winter, your flue has developed creosote and/or other byproduct deposits that should be swept and removed before the next heating season. By having that work done in the spring, you’re not only prepared for next fall ahead of time, but you’ll enjoy a cleaner-smelling home now.

Creosote has a smoky, often unpleasant odor, and the heat and humidity of summer magnifies that. If you’ve noticed a dank smell in your living area in past summers, there’s a good chance that’s the culprit. A swept chimney gets rid of those deposits.

Scheduling your inspection at the end of your system’s season of hard work benefits you too. Any issues that might have cropped up over the winter — from a missing chimney cap to a damaged flue liner  — can be found and repaired before the rains and storms really hit in earnest, leaving your system (and the interior of your home) more protected.

Add Some Extra Protection Against Chimney Leaks

Even the strongest masonry chimney undergoes wear and tear over years of moisture and temperature fluctuations. And the more worn your bricks and mortar joints get, the more likely a leak becomes. Your masonry can begin sucking water in like a sponge, damaging the interior of your chimney and the interior of your home.

We can help protect your masonry, your chimney system and your home’s interior by applying a specially formulated chimney waterproofing sealant. This product stops your masonry from absorbing water, but it’s completely vapor permeable, so the natural expulsion of vapors and small particles — part of your chimney’s proper function — will still occur.

Let Santa’s Friend help you go into the spring and summer with a chimney system that’s strong and prepared. If you have any questions about what your chimney needs — or want to schedule an appointment with our CSIA-certified technicians — give us a call!