Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Avoiding A Chimney Fire This Winter

Most people try to avoid going to the dentist – even if you don’t have any cavities, it just isn’t that much fun, either. Does anyone try to get in a car accident? Of course not – that’s something to be avoided at all costs. Something else that you want to avoid at all costs? A chimney fire! Of course, this is nothing that anyone wants to happen – and there are definitely things that you can do which will help you avoid this type of devastating occurrence.

Causes of Chimney Fires

The biggest cause of a chimney fire is creosote build up. Creosote is the sticky or shiny, black or brown, nasty substance that builds up on the inside of your chimney – especially near the top. It’s formed when the chemical particles and water vapors that are released as smoke hit the cooler surface of the chimney and condense onto the bricks and mortar. This substance is incredibly flammable, and that means that any spark that flies up could cause a chimney fire.

Another thing that can cause a chimney fire is having something in your chimney that doesn’t belong there – anything from trash and dried leaves and twigs to a dried bird’s nest or animal’s nest. Your chimney is an ideal place for an animal to start a family – dark, warm, out of the way of wind or predators. Unfortunately, dried nests or garbage in your chimney can easily catch a spark or ember and cause a chimney fire.

Both of these problems are easily solved. All it takes is a good inspection and cleaning by a CSIA certified chimney sweep found at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. They know how much creosote is too much, and also how to remove any obstruction that could be a fire starter.

Tips to Prevent Chimney Fire

Although calling in the experts from Santa’s Friend is the first step in preventing chimney fires, there are some things you can do on your own that will help, as well. One big step? Pick the right firewood! Make sure that the firewood you pick is dry. This will make it burn hotter, which helps prevent creosote build up. Another wood tip? Make sure you burn the hardest wood possible, as this also will burn hotter and help keep the creosote levels down. Anything you can do to keep the fires burning hot prevents the build-up of this highly flammable substance.

Prevention is the Best Solution

It is always better to avoid a difficult situation rather than deal with it after it happens. Avoiding a chimney fire is a way better solution than rebuilding your chimney or cleaning up after the fact. The best way to avoid a chimney fire? Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today and schedule your annual inspection and cleaning. They’ll make avoiding a chimney fire an easy thing to do!

By Justin Perkins on September 22nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule Your Spring Chimney Inspection and Cleaning

Once the weather starts to turn warmer, thoughts of summer activities start to fill your mind. This might include swimming at the beach, or picnicking at a park, or planning your vacation. Before this happens, however, many people like to get their spring cleaning done. Things like washing the windows, cleaning cupboards, or repainting the interior walls can make the house look refreshed. But there is another thing that you’ll need to do in order to make sure everything is spic and span. Get your chimney inspected and cleaned. There’s no better time to get this done than right away in the spring; you can get it checked off your to do list and get on with the fun times of summer.

Why It’s Important to Get Your Chimney Cleaned

Using your chimney throughout the winter can cause some serious creosote build-up inside your chimney. What is creosote, you might be asking? The GuideOne Insurance website states, “The chimney is the main escape for fire extracts, such as water vapor, unburned wood particles, tar fog and various minerals. These extracts create what is called creosote, a build-up of residue in the chimney.” Although you could wait until fall to get your chimney cleaned, there are perks to getting it done in the spring.  Spring appointments allow you time to get any repairs fixed that your chimney service finds during its inspection.

Another reason that it’s important to get your chimney cleaned is to make sure that your chimney cap is in good shape. There are several functions that your chimney cap performs:

  • Reduces moisture: moisture from precipitation can cause damage to stainless steel liners, chimney mortar joints and dampers, and it can also cause mold and mildew. A chimney cap helps protect your chimney’s interior from precipitation.
  • Helps stop downdrafts: depending on the direction of the wind, downdrafts can go down your chimney. This can cause outside air to flow down into your house.
  • Keeps animals and debris out: animals and birds like to use chimneys to climb down. In some cases, they’ll build their nests there, and you won’t be able to move them until their young are old enough to be out on their own. In other cases, these critters could get stuck in your chimney, and if they die, they will eventually become odorous. If other debris blows down your chimney, it can also cause obstructions that will need to be cleared out before using your fireplace next winter. A well-fitted chimney cap can keep these things out of your chimney.

Check It Off Your List

You’ll want to make sure that the chimney service you use offers professional service. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers complete chimney cleaning services, as well as any repairs or rebuilds that may be necessary. They are CSIA certified and are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. They have also received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for three years. Call them to set up your spring chimney inspection and cleaning!

By Jim Robinson on March 21st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Waterproofing

The Effect of Water

Fire and water – two elements that don’t mix very well. And that holds true when you’re thinking about your fireplace. There are important rules to follow when caring for your fireplace. Yet, many people fail to realize the damage that can result from precipitation.

How Moisture Damage Occurs

Rain – such a welcome occurrence. It makes the earth green, fills the creeks, lightens the air. But it can wreak havoc on your chimney system. Chimneys are normally made up of stones, bricks, or blocks, held together by mortar. Although stones are pretty water resistant, bricks, blocks, and mortar are not. When rain or sleet occurs, water enters these components of your chimney and can cause major structural damage over time. It’s important to have your chimney inspected on an annual basis by qualified, CSIA certified inspectors like the ones you’ll find at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service.


It’s important to understand that water damage can exist and what are signs of this happening. If spalling occurs,flaking, peeling, or cracking around or on your chimney, it’s a good indication that water damage has occurred according to If mortar is crumbly and soft, it means that water has penetrated this area, also, and that you could be in for major repairs.

These exterior clues are usually easily visible to a homeowner, but unfortunately, damage can also be occurring in less visible places. The chimney interior, which is invisible to your eye, is susceptible to moisture damage. To understand how much damage has occurred, give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call. They can thoroughly inspect your chimney, inside and out, make any necessary repairs, and then waterproof your chimney to help prevent further damage.

The Process

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) explains that waterproofing your chimney is an important means of defense to help stop water damage from occurring. It’s important that the chimney service you pick uses a quality waterproofing agent. The product will keep precipitation from entering your chimney from the outside while allowing water that has penetrated previously to escape. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service uses ChimneySaver Water Repellent. This product is the best in the industry, and Santa’s Friend has been using it for over twenty years with exceptional results.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service technicians know how to apply your product correctly. The product will ensure that your chimney is protected from water damage for many years. They start by thoroughly brushing and cleaning the components that make up your fireplace. Then technicians carefully apply the weatherproofing product, taking care to cover every inch of your chimney.  You will be able to rest assured that your chimney will be protected from the elements for years to come because of Santa’s Friend’s expert application process. Give Santa’s Friend a call today!

By Jim Robinson on January 12th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Never Too Late To Have Your Chimney Swept Before Winter

Before winter hits, precipitation and wind can leave a chill in the air, even here in Central Mississippi. You may have already caught the scent of wood burning from a distant neighbor’s fireplace. All the sudden, the smell reminded you to order some wood. You haven’t had the chimney swept in a while. Is it too late in the season for an appointment? The truth is that it is never too late to have your chimney swept before winter.

All we ask:

Never Too Late To Have Your Chimney Swept Before Winter - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Services

We only ask for 24 hours. However, we don’t need 24 hours to do the work. All we ask that you refrain from using the fireplace for 24 hours to give the whole system time to cool down. You can also help us out a lot as well. For instance, giving us at least 6 feet of clearance around your fireplace so we can place tarps on the floor. This will keep your home clean. We love pets, but oftentimes pets don’t love us, or the noise of our vacuums. So, for their well-being, we ask that you crate your pets or put them in another room while we work.

What we’ll do:

Believe it or not, in this dirty job of chimney sweeping, we will keep your home clean. That’s right! The designation of a CSIA-trained and certified chimney sweep means that we know how to do our work efficiently and without a mess for you to clean after we are gone. Drop cloths are placed in the work area and the powerful vacuum we use contain the grime and debris. So, when we leave, the only reminder of our visit is a gleaming chimney!


We won’t take up your whole day either, unless there have been heating systems changes or there are major problems with the chimney. For example, a chimney that requires a Level 2 or 3 inspection. Otherwise, the job shouldn’t take more than 1 ½ hours with a Level 1 inspection. In that time, your system will be scrubbed from the fire grate to the top of the stack both with special brushes and by hand. We’ll make any needed adjustments to the damper. We check for fire hazards, and also perform a visual exterior check of the masonry. We share with you our findings and leave you with a written evaluation, so you know the condition of your chimney and fireplace.

Now that you know what we need to do the job, you can rest assured that it’s never too late to have your chimney swept before winter. Contact us today at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service for an appointment and look forward to those cozy days and evenings in front of your fireplace.

By Jim Robinson on November 3rd, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why Chimney Flashing is so important

Every movie has its unsung heroes: those, who without them, the show would be incomplete. Yet few know about them. They aren’t glamorous or showy and are often unseen. Your home has these same behind-the-scenes essentials, and chimney flashing is one of them. It doesn’t sport the stature of the majestic chimney or the glamour of a fireplace, but flashing is a key component that keeps both of these stars looking good.

Why Chimney Flashing Is So Important Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Flashing: The unsung hero

The main job of flashing is to provide a waterproofing seal. When leaks occur in your home, the most common concern is that it’s a roof problem, but very often loose or missing flashing is the reason for a leak. Fortunately, it’s a very easy problem to solve. Flashing can become loose for a number of reasons. It could be the natural settling of your home or a breakdown in masonry around the flashing. Perhaps the roofing wasn’t installed well. Animals roosting on the roof may eventually disturb the flashing. It could also be that chimney flashing wasn’t fitted properly or completely. If the flashing is loose or missing and it isn’t addressed in a timely way, water will eventually make its way into your chimney. Frequent moisture infiltration aids in the breakdown of masonry.

A Simple Fix

So you see, the role of flashing is crucial in supporting your chimney. Chimney flashing should be installed in two parts, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors: the base flashing is installed on the roof around the chimney and the cap or counter flashing overlaps the base on the side of the chimney. The joints are caulked. This system seals out rain, snow, and other elements. If you notice water marks on your ceiling near your chimney, if you see or hear a flapping around the chimney, it could very well be you need to have the flashing repaired.

At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we’ll get up on the roof and look around and repair or replace the flashing so you don’t have unwanted moisture causing damage to your home. We will tell you what is really going on. We state in our Standards of Ethics and Business Practices that we won’t “manufacture problems”. Our customers know they can trust us, as shown by our 2011 and 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Awards. Our membership in the Chimney Safety Institute of America, as well as the National Chimney Sweep Guild, demonstrates our commitment to industry integrity and education. Contact us today by the online form or call 601-854-7563.

By Jim Robinson on September 23rd, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why We Recommend Top-Mounting Dampers

If you would like to see a reduction in your heating and cooling bills and an increase in the energy efficiency of your home, you may want to consider updating your damper. A traditional throat damper can become rusted over the years, and this can cause it to not provide an airtight seal to your chimney, which means heated and cooled air from inside your home can easily escape out of the chimney. This makes you have to spend more money to make your home more comfortable. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service recommends installing a different type of damper – a top-mounting damper. There are several advantages to a top-mounting damper over a traditional throat damper, and we would like to tell you more about these benefits.

Why We Recommend Top-Mounting Dampers Image - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Service


One of the reasons Santa’s Friend Chimney Service is in agreement with in recommending a top-mounting damper over a traditional throat damper is that this type of damper is installed at the top of the chimney and also serves as a chimney cap when the damper is closed. When we need to replace a chimney cap, we will recommend the homeowner consider going with this option instead of a new cap. The rubber silicone seal that keeps heated and cooled air from exiting the chimney also prevents water from getting into a chimney. Some models of top-mounting dampers are equipped with mesh metal sides that allow them to work as a chimney cap even when the damper is open.

Energy efficiency

When you have a traditional throat damper, cold air, ice, and snow can get into your chimney during the winter to create a cold core. A cold core in your chimney is a huge waste of money and energy because it is trying to cool down your home at the same time you are trying to heat your home. Since a top-mounting damper is located at the top of the chimney, a cold core does not have a chance to form inside your chimney because cold outside air cannot get past the rubber silicone gasket. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service knows you will save money on your utility bills after we install a top-mounting damper on your chimney.

Ease of use

Opening and closing a traditional throat damper can be challenging, especially when it is old and rusted. It can get stuck in a position and not be able to close completely, which can allow even more heated and cooled air to escape your home. A top-mounting damper has a stainless steel cable that drops down the chimney to a handle on the side of the firebox, which makes it easier for you to open and close the damper. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service will show you how to operate the damper after we install it in your home.

Save money and energy this winter with a top-mounting damper. Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to learn more about our damper sales and installation services.

By Jim Robinson on August 11th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment