Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

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

You Might Have a Chimney Blockage

While we all love a fire in the fireplace, no one wants a fire in his or her chimney. Unfortunately, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimney fires are more common than you may think, and sometimes you do not even know they have occurred. Dirty chimneys are the most likely cause of all chimney fires, and usually the same blockages are the culprits in these possibly deadly accidents. The good news is chimney fires are completely preventable with proper maintenance care like regular chimney sweeping and inspections from CSIA-certified professionals like our chimney sweeps at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. We would like to share with you what the common chimney blockages are, which can also help you prevent these things from entering your chimney in the first place.

Chimney Blockage - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney


Stray animals looking for a dry, warm place to call home may come across your chimney to set up house during the cold months of winter. From nesting birds to raccoons to squirrels, these animals not only block your chimney and lead to dangerous fires, but they can become stuck, die, and create horrible, putrid smells that will invade your home. For your own personal safety, we strongly recommend you call a professional animal removal service to remove any animals and nests from of your chimney.


During the course of the year, leaves, trash, tree foliage, and other settlement work their way down into your chimney and accumulate. While this may not sound like too big of a deal, all of this debris adds up and can cause blockages. This puts your chimney at risk for incomplete combustion and negative air pressure to happen, which can force smoke into your house. Settlement buildup will also cause cracks in your flue, and these cracks allow dangerous carbon monoxide to escape into your home.


The most hazardous and common of the chimney blockages, creosote is the by-product of burning wood, and it develops naturally from the residue of smoke, gases, water vapor, hydrocarbon, unburned wood particles, and other assorted minerals as they leave the fireplace and go out the cooler upper chimney. Sticking to the inner walls of the chimney as deposits, creosote is brown or black in appearance and can be flaky, crusty, tar-like, sticky, gummy, shiny, or hardened — even all of the above. Extremely flammable and highly combustible, creosote can quickly build up, and if the internal flue temperature is high enough, you have a chimney fire waiting to happen that could possibly burn down your entire house. Even worse, certain conditions allow creosote to form large deposits more quickly. Conditions that accelerate creosote buildup include restricted air supply from closing the glass doors or not opening the damper wide enough and burning unseasoned wood because the smoke is so much cooler due to the energy being used to burn off the water trapped in the cells of the logs. You can also get a heavier amount of creosote buildup if you overload the firebox in a wood stove in an attempt to get a longer burn. A large fire also increases your risk of the creosote igniting a fire in your chimney.

To ensure your chimney is blockage-free and prevent a chimney fire, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today. A clean chimney is your best prevention against a chimney fire.

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