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

Fix Up Your Chimney Before the Temperature Drops

You love your fireplace! It brings hours of comfort and happiness in the cooler winter weather. So, when you discover that your chimney is leaking, it is a cause for alarm. There are several reasons that leaks can occur. Also, it’s much easier to get these leaks fixed before it gets cold, rather than waiting until you’re wanting to use your fireplace. The first step to take when your chimney is leaking? Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. Their expert staff will inspect your fireplace and determine any problems, before the temperature drops.

Fix Up Your Chimney Before the Temperature Drops - Jackson MS - Santas Friend Chimney ServiceThe Problem Could Be Water

According to Chimney Safety Institute of America, weathering that occurs from exposure to outdoor elements, such as rain or sleet, can cause major problems for your brick or block masonry chimneys. And if you have a stone chimney, you’re not out of the woods! Stone chimneys take a lot of mortar to hold together, and that mortar is affected by precipitation.
Precipitation can eat away at the mortar, but a bigger culprit is the freeze/thaw cycle. During the freeze/thaw cycle, water seeps into the mortar between the bricks or stones, then freezes. Freezing water expands, which causes cracks to occur. This cycle continues throughout the cold, rainy season.

Cracked flashing can also cause leaks to occur. The flashing is the sheet metal that keeps the intersection between the chimney and the roof tight. This intersection is a likely place for leaks to occur. According to the This Old House website, the flashing leaks because it wasn’t properly installed in the first place. But even properly installed flashing wears down over time, and this can cause leaks to occur. The simplest solution to leaks caused by flashing issues? Stop them before they start. Have your chimney inspected on a regular basis by the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service.

The Problems Water Causes

When the mortar between the bricks or stones breaks down, not only can the exterior of your chimney be damaged, but the interior can be damaged as well. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America website, when your chimney leaks, several things can be damaged. This includes a deteriorating central heating system, stained chimney exterior, rusted damper assembly, and stained ceiling and walls. Consequently, these are just a few of the problems that might occur.

A Fix is on the Way

All of these problems are fixable. One way to make sure that those leaks are fixed is by waterproofing your chimney. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers waterproofing products that take care of the leaks, while allowing vapors formed from your fire to escape.

Probably the simplest solution for a leaky chimney? The addition of, or repair, to a chimney cap. This is an important part to the make-up of your chimney, because it can keep precipitation from getting in your chimney. Plus, many homes just flat out don’t have a chimney cap. A simple inspection can determine if a chimney cap is absent or in disrepair, and after that, it’s a quick fix.

Trust the experts at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to take care of your leaky chimney, or any other service your chimney needs! Call 601-854-7563.

By Jim Robinson on November 17th, 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

How a Chimney Cap Keeps Your Chimney Safe

Is your chimney uncapped? Or is your chimney cap cracked or damaged? If you do not have a chimney cap or if your chimney cap is deteriorated, your chimney is at risk for several problems. The purpose of a chimney cap is to protect your chimney’s interior from intruders like water and animals. An important part of your chimney system, your chimney cap serves to keep your chimney safe. At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we understand how essential a good chimney cap is for your chimney. We also know the importance of proper installation of a chimney cap, and our expert technicians will provide you with a perfect, customized chimney cap installation. We would like to share with you five reasons why chimney caps are so important, according to a blog on Angie’s List.

Chimney Cap - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

  1. A chimney cap keeps your chimney safe from water penetration. The main function of a chimney cap is to keep water out of your chimney. One of the best protections from water penetration, a properly fitted cap will keep your chimney dry. Water is the number one enemy of a masonry chimney because of the amount of expensive damage it can do. If water gets into your bricks and mortar, you can end up with spalled bricks and chipped mortar. Water also can eat away at your chimney liner, which puts you at risk for carbon monoxide leaks. Water in your chimney can also cause your damper to rust. Another hazardous possibility is mold growth on your chimney walls.
  2. A chimney cap keeps your chimney safe from animal invasions. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals like to take up residence in chimneys because they mistake them for hollow trees. However, these animals are fire hazards because their nests are highly flammable. Animals can also get stuck inside your chimney and die, which can produce maggots, flies, and an unpleasant odor in your home. A chimney cap with metal mesh sides will serve to keep these animals from getting into your chimney.
  3. A chimney cap can block downdrafts. When the wind blows in a certain direction, it can cause a downdraft in your chimney. Without a chimney cap, a wood-burning fireplace can be negatively affected by a downdraft as it can cause smoke to blow into your home. The reason why chimney caps have flat tops is to help prevent downdrafts caused by the wind.
  4. A chimney cap can prevent sparks and embers from leaving the chimney. Some people refer to chimney caps as “spark arrestors” because they stop lit embers and sparks which travel up the chimney. If these sparks and embers jump out of your chimney, they can possibly catch your roof on fire.
  5. A chimney cap keeps your chimney safe from a buildup of debris. Without a chimney cap, leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris can get into your chimney and accumulate. These accumulations can become large enough to block your flue, which causes toxic gases to enter your home.

As you can see, a chimney cap is essential to keep your chimney safe from several things. If you need a new chimney cap, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule a consultation with our experienced staff.

By Jim Robinson on October 15th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Water and Your Masonry Chimney

There are two important things to think about in connection with water and masonry chimneys: crowns and caps. The first function to keep water out of the chase and away from the chimney. The second are designed to prevent it from entering the flue, but “full coverage” caps protect the entire crown.

Water Damage - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

A Wash?

The crown is the highest masonry component of your chimney. Above it are only the flue liner top (typically clay) and its cap (typically metal). It closes the chase around the flue liner and overhangs the rest of the chimney to direct water away from it. Sometimes called a “chimney wash”, it more than pays for its construction and maintenance with its prevention of much more costly damage.

If a crown fails to do its job and the problem is not corrected, the scale tips increasingly toward expensive repairs. Once water gets into the chimney, it freezes and thaws, constantly expanding little cracks into bigger ones. Moisture reacts with creosote and releases smelly gases, and odorless toxic ones have more chance of slipping through cracked liners to remain indoors.

Water begins its slow and steady destruction of your masonry chimney, rusting metals and rotting woods. Neglected long enough, the whole chimney can collapse if its worst enemy is let in on the roof. A crown in good repair and a strong chimney cap are anything but a wash when it comes to safety measures.

King of the Hill, Top of the Heap

Chimney caps are equally important because they do the same thing for the protruding flue liner. The fact that caps are missing from so many chimneys is baffling, although lightweight ones can be taken by wind and animals. Either lots of homeowners are ignoring the good advice of certified chimney sweeps or there are lots of critters on their really windy roofs! That, of course, also calls for chimney caps.

By Jim Robinson on April 20th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment