Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Getting A Jump-Start On Your Fall Chimney Inspection

Summer is drawing to an end. State fairs are starting and last minute summer vacations are being taken. Kids are asking about buying school supplies and new clothes to start the school year off right. You’re probably starting to think about getting your house cleaned and ready for the winter months. Even if you aren’t, there’s one part of your house that definitely needs to be inspected before fall and winter move in, and that’s your chimney! Now is the time to call to book your annual inspection and cleaning and beat the fall rush.


When a chimney inspector comes to look at your chimney, they are looking for several things. He’ll be looking for obstructions. This includes any type of damage that might have occurred over the past year of use. He will also look for creosote build up. If you’ve had some type of trauma to your home, such as some type of traumatic weather system, your chimney specialist might ask to look at your roof or your attic. This is in order to see if there’s any structural damage that will need to be repaired. If a really catastrophic event such as a chimney fire has occurred, then your inspector will need to take a deeper look into your chimney. It may even turn into a tear down/rebuild job!

Reasons for Inspection and Cleaning

There are several things that can happen to your chimney that cause the need for it to be cleaned. First, it’s pretty obvious that your chimney gets dirty during use. In addition, when you build a lot of fires over the winter months, that build up just gets thicker and thicker. What is building up is creosote! This is a mixture of the gases, water vapors, and other chemicals that are released in smoke.

When the smoke hits the higher, cooler part of the chimney, it condenses onto the sides of the chimney and forms a black, sticky (or possibly brown and shiny) substance that is called creosote. The thing is, this substance is highly flammable. Unfortunately, if it’s left on the there year after year, the likelihood of a chimney fire will continue to increase dramatically! CSIA certified sweeps, like those at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, know what to look for. Also, they have the tools to remove the creosote from your chimney.

Another thing that your chimney professional will be looking for is obstructions. If you have a mild winter and don’t use your chimney much, you might think that you don’t need to worry about creosote build up. Well, there are other things that can cause some chimney trouble. Animals and birds are drawn to your chimney as a great place to build a nest. When the critters leave, the nest remains. That nest is also a fire hazard! This is another thing that Santa’s Friend knows how to remove – nests and other debris that may be obstructing the chimney.

Professional Cleaning

Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today to get ahead of the fall rush. When you do this, you’ll have one less thing to worry about as the busy fall season approaches!

By Justin Perkins on August 8th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Summer Chimney Repair Checklist

Summertime is a time for getting things done. Nothing is quite as satisfying as making out a summer to-do list and then checking things off one by one. Washing windows? Check. Cleaning the attic? Check. Clearing out the basement? Check. Going to the beach to relax? Check! When it comes to taking care of your chimney, there are several things to put on your summer to-do checklist.

Summer Chimney Checklist

Although you could put summer chimney work down as one item on your checklist, it’s much more fun to add all the things to do so that you can have the fun of checking off more items. So here you have it:

  1. Do a thorough visual check of your chimney to see if you can see any visible signs of deterioration or structural damage. This will give you a starting point to discuss with your chimney specialists. Take special note of the flashing, or the metal pieces that cover where the roof meets the chimney. If these are loose or in disrepair, you’ll want to make sure that you point it out to your chimney technicians.
  2. On the interior of your home, check your damper to make sure that it opens and closes easily and that it seals securely.
  3. Check the firebox to make sure there are no loose bricks or mortar or any cracks or stains.
  4. Give your firebox a thorough cleaning. First, remove the andirons and grate and give them a good scrub with a brush. In order to avoid a big mess, do this over old newspaper or outside. Then scoop up the ashes with a fireplace scoop. A good way to control fly-away ashes is to sprinkle used coffee grounds over them before scooping them up. Put the ashes in a bag and take them to the outdoor garbage right away to avoid the possibility of spilling. Reach into the chimney as high as you can from time to time and scrub some of the soot off with a wire brush. Remember to put paper down first to catch the loose soot and dust. Doing this early in the summer allows you to enjoy a fresh, clean fireplace all summer long.
  5. Make sure that you don’t get an infestation of birds or animals. This is done by checking out your chimney cap or chimney crown. Do you notice cracks or holes? If so, you’ll want to get these repaired immediately! This is so that you don’t have some unwelcome visitors take up residence in your chimney.
  6. Probably the most important thing that you can do? Set up your annual chimney inspection and cleaning using a CSIA certified chimney sweep company, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. Call them early so that you can have your chimney work completed early in the year. Your Santa’s Friend Chimney Service technician will also be able to recommend any repair work that is necessary and to get this on their calendar early on. Give them a call sooner rather than later, and you can check chimney inspection, cleaning, and repair off your to-do list!
By Jim Robinson on June 5th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

What to Expect from Your Chimney Appointment

If you own a home with a fireplace and chimney, you should know that national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly recommend to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year. This annual chimney maintenance service is necessary to ensure your chimney and venting system works efficiently and safely. When the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps from Santa’s Friend Chimney Service visit your home to sweep and inspect your chimney, you can trust us to be sure there are no flue blockages that could lead to hazardous situations, including a carbon monoxide leak. We also take great care to remove every bit of creosote from the inner walls of your chimney because this natural compound is so flammable that the CSIA names it as one of the main causes of chimney fires. To help you know what to expect from your chimney sweeping and inspection appointment from our experts, we would like to tell you a bit more about the process.


Your chimney maintenance appointment with Santa’s Friend Chimney Service begins with the chimney sweeping. Our sweeps start this process by covering the floor in front of your hearth to protect it from dust, soot, and other debris. We also set up a high-powered dust collector with a HEPA filter to keep your home clean. The firebox gets cleaned first, and we brush and sweep out the dust and soot from the entire firebox. Then we make our way up to the very top of your chimney by using rods and rotating brushes to clean off all of the soot and creosote deposits. We will also clean and adjust the damper and the assembly.


What to Expect From Your Chimney Appointment - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

After the chimney has been swept, our CSIA-certified sweeps will then perform a visual inspection of both the interior and exterior of your chimney. We will look for damage to the bricks and mortar joints, and we will make repair recommendations with an estimate if we find problems that could cause your chimney to be unsafe. We will provide you with photos and a written evaluation of the inspection. Our chimney maintenance service comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, and this includes the promise to leave your home as clean as it was when we arrived.

The summer is the perfect time to schedule your annual chimney maintenance services. Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to easily schedule an appointment on the date that works the best for you.

By Jim Robinson on June 14th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Fireplace Safety Tips for the Holidays

Your fireplace is your focal point for entertaining and decorating during the holidays, but it is important to keep in mind a few safety suggestions and tips during this busy time. The holidays are about celebrations, loved ones, and joy, and the last thing you would want to experience during this season is a house fire. As reported by HouseLogic, residental fires increase by more than double during the holidays. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) cited over twice the amount of open-flame fires on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The amount of damage from these holiday fires are even more alarming as the number of deaths per 1,000 house fires increases by 70 percent, and the amount of property loss is 34 percent higher than from fires on any other day of the year. As you can tell from our name, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service loves the holidays, and we want everyone to be as safe as possible and enjoy spending time with friends and family by the fireplace. Remembering the following safety tips will help you reduce the risk of a devastating residential fire this holiday season.


Fireplace Safety Tips for the Holidays - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendAfter unwrapping gifts, some people have been known to throw the scraps of wrapping paper into the fireplace or stove to burn. Unfortunately, these people found out that burning holiday paper in this manner is not very safe. The dyes used on wrapping paper can cause the fire to spark and produce flash fires. These types of fires can quickly spread into your home, especially if you have combustible items like decorations around your hearth for the holidays. Additionally, you should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace or stove. This can also become hazardous very quickly. The safest thing to burn in your fireplace and stove is seasoned firewood and nothing else.


Even if you are only burning seasoned wood, hot sparks and embers can jump from the fireplace and easily ignite a residential fire if any combustible items are nearby. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service understands how important the hearth area can be when it comes to holiday decorations, but you should never hang decorations made from combustible or flammable materials around the fireplace. You should also take care to keep your Christmas tree away from the fireplace or stove. Even though the image of the tree right beside the fireplace is a very cozy holiday picture, the majority of holiday fires involve Christmas trees. No matter if your tree is real or artificial, it can be very dangerous to place it too close to your fireplace or stove.


If you are entertaining friends and family with small children during the holidays, you want to ensure that there is always adult supervision in the room with the fireplace or stove. Never leave children alone in the same room as a burning fire. This also goes for pets. Even if you have fireplace doors and a protective screen, you can never be too careful when it comes to fire safety and children and animals. Accidents can happen quickly, so even when you are in the room with kids and animals, keep an eye on them to be sure they are not playing too close to the fire.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service wishes you all a safe and happy holiday season. Contact us at 800-390-9939, if you have any chimney or fireplace needs to be able to safely enjoy your fireplace over the holidays.

By Jim Robinson on December 9th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Proper Ash Removal

When you use a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you must perform a few maintenance tasks to keep your fireplace or stove working efficiently and safely. One of these tasks is removing ashes from the firebox at least once a week during burning season. If you allow ashes to build up, it not only creates a messy situation, but it could also start an accidental fire that could spread into your home. One of our top priorities at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service is fire safety, and we would like to share with you some information from Urban Overalls about safely removing ashes.

Why do I need to remove ashes once a week?

Proper Ash Removal - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendBesides the fact that hot embers could possibly start an accidental fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends removing ashes because the grate may burn out quicker than normal if a layer of ashes is deep enough to come into contact with the grate. Additionally, you will not be able to put as much firewood into your fireplace or stove if you have a very deep layer of ashes in the firebox.

How do I safely remove ashes?

First, you will need the right tools: a metal container with a lid, a metal ash shovel, protective gloves, and a face mask to reduce the risk of breathing in ash residue. Open your fireplace or stove doors and begin scooping out the ashes with the shovel. Place the ashes in your metal container. If you come across any smoldering ashes, leave them in the firebox. Leave a layer of ashes that is around one half to one inch to provide insulation to the firebox. This will make it easier to start your next fire. Once you have scooped out the ashes into the container, place the container outside on a non-combustible surface such as concrete or brick to prevent an accidental fire.

What are some helpful tips for safely removing ashes?


  • Wait at least 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished before you begin removing ashes.


  • Treat all ashes as if they were hot.


  • Always close the container with its lid to keep the ashes contained if it should get knocked over by heavy winds. You also want to keep oxygen from coming into contact with these ashes as it could ignite live embers lurking inside.


  • Pour a little water on top of the ashes in the container after removing them.


  • Wait at least three days before disposing of the ashes. You can dump fully cooled ashes into a garbage bag.
  • You can sprinkle ashes onto your garden beds or work the ashes into your compost pile, if you wish.

Want more fire safety tips? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to find out more information on using your fireplace or stove safely.

By Jim Robinson on November 11th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

How to Eliminate Chimney Odors

At the height of winter or summer, many people may begin to notice unpleasant chimney odors coming from their fireplaces. These odors can be caused by a number of different issues and, in addition to being unpleasant, they can be dangerous. If a horrible smell is lurking from your chimney, steps should be taken immediately to address and fix the problem.

Chimney Odor - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

Many homeowners are inclined to simply light a candle or plug in an air freshener when they notice unpleasant chimney odors. Although this may make things seem better at first, it is a temporary solution to a long term problem. These items may cover up the smell for a time, but they do nothing to actually eliminate it.

The best way to eliminate odors from the chimney is to have it professionally inspected. A trained professional will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the odor. They will then come up with a solution that will eliminate that particular issue for good rather than simply making it go away for the time being.

Preventative measures can be taken to prevent an odor problem altogether. Annual chimney cleaning should be a priority for anyone who has a fireplace in their home. Instead of waiting until there is an issue, have an annual cleaning at the beginning or end of fireplace season to keep the fireplace and chimney in good condition.

Everyone loves the smell of logs burning in the winter, but make sure that the smells coming from your chimney are normal and safe. Make it a point to maintain your chimney on an annual basis. Instead of simply covering up unpleasant smells with candles and sprays, hire a professional who can take care of the problem for good.

By Jim Robinson on May 27th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment