Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Fixing Your Leaky Chimney

We all know that your car tires can leak, right? If your umbrella leaks, you’ll know it really quickly by your wet head. Another trouble area is your chimney. Unfortunately, even though this structure is built to last, over time it can develop areas that cause leaks. This may end up as structural damage and big repair bills. It’s time to be proactive: give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call today and you’ll soon have a leak-free chimney!

Just like with a leaky tire or a leaky umbrella, there are signs that your chimney has a leak. Look around your fireplace: if you see peeling and stained wallpaper or a water stained ceiling, it could be that your chimney has a leak. Not only does this look unsightly in your home, but it also signals that there is damage that needs to be repaired. It’s important to catch the cause of the leak and to fix it early. In addition, along with any damage that has occurred, before it leads to bigger problems later on!

Leaks in your chimney cause more than just cosmetic damage to your home. Your chimney can actually have structural damage! Leak damage can include: deteriorating firebox assembly, rotting wood in your home, rotting wall coverings, rusted dampers, and even structural instability of the chimney itself. Of course, the worst of these is structural damage. This is because the chimney is such an important part of your fireplace structure. The chimney is where the byproducts of your fire are directed and released into the atmosphere, instead of into your home. Unfortunately, if there is structural damage, you could have an improper release of fumes. Consequently, this could lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide inside your home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be released when the wood you burn isn’t burned completely. The reason that carbon monoxide is so harmful? It displaces the oxygen in your blood; in fact, your body will reject oxygen and take in the carbon monoxide instead. When this happens, your heart, brain, and other organs are being deprived of the oxygen they need to keep you living!

Stay Safe!

It’s easy to see the damage that could occur if you leave chimney leaks that aren’t repaired. Not only can you have damage that looks bad, but some of the damage could put your family at risk. Let the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service inspect and clean your chimney. They’ll be able to detect and repair any damage that leaks have caused. Not to mention, your chimney will be cleaned as well! Don’t put your family at risk when a solution is just a phone call away!

By Justin Perkins on September 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Firebox Panel Replacement

When you have a prefabricated fireplace, it is important to routinely check the conditions of the metal firebox panels. While prefabricated fireplaces can last for years with proper usage and regular maintenance, these factory-built appliances do not last forever. One of the most common problems with these types of fireplaces is cracked panels in the floor and walls of the firebox. These refractory panels can also wear down over time, which leaves gaps in the firebox. This can be a serious issue with hazards of accidental fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can reduce these hazards and extend the life of your prefab fireplace by replacing the firebox panels. We would like to tell you a bit more about this service and why it is so important.

When do I need to have my firebox panels replaced?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the replacement of the refractory panels of the firebox is required by most prefab fireplace manufacturers when you can insert a nickel into a crack in the panel. You will also need to replace these panels when the surface of the panel has abraded more than a fourth of an inch from the original surface. This is why Santa’s Friend Chimney Service recommends that you routinely check the firebox panels for cracks. Most of the time, we find this type of damage during a chimney inspection.

The Importance of Firebox Panel Replacement Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Service

What are the dangers of cracked firebox panels?

Toxic gases like carbon monoxide can easily leak into your home through the cracks in the firebox panels whenever you burn a fire. Since this poisonous gas is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, you and your family may not even know you are breathing it, unless you have a carbon monoxide detector alarm installed in your home. The more carbon monoxide you breathe, the sicker you can become. Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you. Another danger is the high temperatures produced in a fire transferring through the cracked panels to ignite the combustible parts of your home that surround the fireplace. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service will greatly reduce both of these hazards with our firebox replacement panel services.

What if my prefab fireplace has been discontinued?

When you replace parts in a prefab fireplace, those parts must be made by the same manufacturer as the fireplace and be designed for that specific model for the appliance to work safely and efficiently. If your prefab fireplace has been discontinued, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service will search for the replacement panels for that particular make and model. More often than not, we will find exactly what is needed.

If you have noticed a crack in a firebox panel, contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. We can replace that panel so that you can safely burn fires again without worrying about any hazards.

By Jim Robinson on August 25th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Quiet Threat

When people have a chimney they think of the nice warm nights during the winter and the idea of Santa entering their homes.  It never crosses our mind that a fireplace can affect the air quality throughout the house, causing health problems for the whole family.  Often times this occurs when people fail to get their chimney swept on schedule and creosotes begin to build up in the unit.  Luckily Santa’s Friend Chimney Service has a group of experienced professionals that can inspect and sweep your chimney!

What is Carbon Monoxide and how can it be harmful to me?

If there is anything blocking proper draft in your chimney, you are at risk for harmful gases coming back into your home.

If there is anything blocking proper draft in your chimney, you are at risk for harmful gases coming back into your home.

Carbon Monoxide is a clear gas that cannot be smelled.  Because of this, it can be toxic since large quantities are able to enter the blood stream and compete with the body’s oxygen levels.  CO levels can fill up an area so quickly that they can become fatal before you are aware that they exist.  Small levels are a little less harmful and have mild side effects similar to the flu such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.  Depending on your age and how long you are exposed to the gas, your symptoms may worsen.  If you have any heart problems, you will begin to experience chest pains.

How is Carbon Monoxide poisoning diagnosed?

If you or someone near you begins to feel these symptoms, you should have the area checked immediately.  If you feel like you may have CO poisoning, make your way to a doctor immediately.  If you are experiencing minimal symptoms you may be able to be treated in office, but worse symptoms may require hospitalization and an addition of clean oxygen to your system. If you are unsure, go see your doctor.

How Can Carbon Monoxide poisoning be prevented?

 Since CO can build up during the use of everyday appliances such as generators, vehicles, and chimneys, you should evacuate a room if you begin to feel symptoms of poisoning.  Even if you turn off the unit causing to problem, the room will still need to air out.  Having a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep conduct an annual sweep can help reduce the build-up of creosote.  You can also buy alarms to put throughout your home to let you know that levels are rising.  The alarms can also be connected so that when one sounds, the rest of the house is alerted. It is important to remember that these should not replace smoke detectors.



Why Your Home Could Be Too Airtight

For all their energy efficiency, homes can actually be too airtight. They lack the little leaks and cracks that allow fresh air to enter the house. Without replacement air, exhaust fans are unable to vent stale air. Starved for air, the house can even depressurize, which causes a buildup of carbon monoxide.

Home might be too airtight

It is important, therefore, to learn to recognize signs that your home is not getting enough air. Condensation on windows is a good indicator, as is persistent high humidity. Mold in corners and on pantry shelves is another warning sign, and residual smells from cooking and smoke carry a message to homeowners. Smoke coming into the room from a fireplace should worry you if other possible causes of it have been eliminated, from chimney pots of the wrong size to closed dampers.

Poor ventilation causes serious health problems, including headaches, breathing difficulties, irritated eyes, and dizziness. People who suffer from asthma experience increased and more severe episodes and, as always, the very young and the elderly are at heightened risk. If symptoms appear, open a window on each level of the house about an inch and leave them open for 24 hours. Continue to leave the upper window open, and if symptoms reappear, again open the downstairs window.

You may need to open windows more than an inch. It may even be necessary to have a device installed that will draw in outside air, heat it, and blow it around the house. This will counter the heat loss caused by open windows and will keep heating bills within reason relative to those incurred when the house was suffocating.

Home systems require adequate air to function properly. By way of example, a furnace mixes air with fuel as it combusts. That air comes from somewhere and has to be replaced. If none is available, the furnace will steal it from the flue pipe of the water heater, leaving it with insufficient air. That means the combustible exhaust inside the heater will backdraft into the house, and the by-products will cause a buildup of carbon monoxide. Whether termed too airtight or insufficiently vented, houses need to breathe.

By Jim Robinson on January 28th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment