Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

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

Did the Winter Weather Damage Your Chimney?

Despite being in the South, our area has experienced some harsh winter weather this year, and we at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service have been very busy repairing a lot of damage caused by the past couple of very cold months. From water leaks to damaged dampers, liners, and chimney caps to masonry problems, the extreme temperatures of winter can be very destructive to a chimney. You may have even noticed some damage done to your chimney. The spring season is a great time to take care of these repairs, and you do not want to delay fixing winter-related chimney damage. We would like to tell you about some common post-winter chimney repairs and how our certified and experienced chimney technicians can fix these problems.

2015 Winter Weather Chimney Damage - Jackson MS

Leaky Chimneys

Causing possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars in chimney damage repair, water leaks are a chimney’s worst enemy. After a cold winter with below-freezing temperatures, we often see leaks caused by spalling. Water leaks from a chimney can be hard to locate, so call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule a professional chimney inspection to determine exactly what is causing them. You can see signs of a leaky chimney, which include:

  • loose or missing bricks and/or mortar
  • cracking and crumbling in the bricks and/or mortar
  • rusty stains
  • brick discoloration
  • water in the fireplace
  • damp odors

Damper and Chimney Cap Damage

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the efficiency of these two parts of your chimney is crucial to saving energy and money. Additionally, these two components serve to keep water from penetrating into your chimney. If your damper is stuck open, it is the same thing as leaving a window in your house open. Cold air escapes, bugs get in, the rain pours into your house, etc. If the damper is stuck closed, you cannot start a fire because your flue is closed-off and unable to filter smoke and gases. Similarly, an undamaged chimney cap fitting correctly on the top of your chimney is essential because not only does it also keep rain out of your chimney, but it prevents stray animals from setting up home there.

Masonry Fireplace Damage

These classic chimneys are a bit more elaborate and require different types of maintenance, but Santa’s Friend Chimney Service specializes in repairing masonry chimneys and is glad to check these jobs off your repair list:

  • crown repair – Your crown is the chimney cap of your masonry chimney and can become cracked during the winter during extremely cold spells.
  • repointing/tuckpointing – When the bricks and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and falling apart due to deteriorating joints from spalling and water damage, we can repair (or rebuild, if necessary) your chimney using these techniques.

If you have noticed any of these or other chimney problems from the past winter, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service as soon as possible. We are ready to repair any damage as well as prevent further damage from occurring.

By Jim Robinson on March 14th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Using A CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep

When you are looking for a professional chimney sweep company, you should always be sure the company is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), as we are at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. This certification is so important because this credential is the industry standard and ensures you receive the highest quality service possible when working with a chimney sweeping company. We would like to tell you more about the CSIA and what their certification means so that you can understand the importance of only working with CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.

CSIA Certification - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

What Is the CSIA?

Founded in 1983, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of the safety of chimney and venting systems. Dedicated to preventing and eliminating the hazards and dangers of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other issues, the CSIA devotes many resources to inform the public, chimney professionals, and fire prevention specialists on how to reduce and correct problems in chimney and venting systems. Providing the only certification program in the chimney and venting system industry, the CSIA is truly the professional standard.

What Is the CSIA-Certification Process?

To receive certification from the CSIA, an employee or an owner must attend a six-day program at its training center at the headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. Combining classroom training at the technology training center with hands-on experience in homes the course provides over 30 hours of experience using the tools of the trade and working with different venting systems. After the completion of this program, most participants will receive the credential of being a CSIA-certified Chimney Sweep after passing certification exams.

What Are the Different Topics Covered in the CSIA-Certification Program?

During the six-day program, students will learn:

  • how to inspect and service chimney systems of all fuel types
  • about the different home heating appliances, including pellet stoves, wood stoves, inserts, factory-built fireplaces, furnaces, and central heaters
  • the standards of the National Fire Prevention Association 211
  • how to navigate the International Residential Codes, chimney performance problems, understanding draft and flow, diagnosing drown drafts, flow reversals, inadequate flow, stack effects, updrafts, pressure effects, and gauges
  • safety and health equipment and methods.

What If I Cannot Travel to Indianapolis to Attend the CSIA-Certification Program?

There is an alternative to taking the in-person program. CSIA also provides an online training session that people can take at home whenever convenient for them.

What Are the Other Steps to Becoming CSIA-Certified?

After completing the in-person or online training session, participants must pass an one-hour exam based on the CSIA textbook Successful Chimney Sweeping 2011 and NFPA 211 2013 and a 90-minute open book exam based on the 2006 International Residential Codes. After passing these exams, candidates must agree to pay the annual certification fee and sign the CSIA Code of Ethics.

You can depend on CSIA-certified chimney sweeps to do the best professional job possible. Contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule your annual chimney cleaning with our CSIA-certified sweeps.

By Jim Robinson on September 13th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Ignore These 3 Chimney Repairs

Neglecting chimney repairs can lead to serious structural damage as well to possible health hazards to you and your family. While you may believe you’re saving money by ignoring chimney repairs, you’re actually going to have to spend more in the long run when these small, but ignored issues develop into larger, impossible-to-ignore problems. We at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service can perform both minor and major chimney repairs in an economical and efficient manner.

3 Chimney Repairs - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

According to the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA), water leaks are the main cause of most chimney repairs; in their words, “water is the biggest enemy of your chimney.” The following water-related repairs are ones you should never ignore, as doing so could cause irreparable damage.

1. Spalling bricks and mortar

If you notice spalling, the breaking and chipping away of masonry materials due to water penetration, on your chimney’s exterior, you should seek immediate help from a certified professional. Water is absorbed into the porous brick and mortar over the years. The greatest cause of spalling is the freeze-thaw cycle; water inside your bricks and mortar freeze in the cold winter months (which causes it to expand) and thaws when temperatures warm (which allows the bricks to contract), which causes them to break apart.

The certified sweeps at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service have the expertise to repair spalling bricks and crumbling mortar. Once we’ve restored your chimney to its original condition, we can apply a 100% vapor permeable waterproofing formula to your chimney, which will let the byproducts of combustion escape yet prevent water from entering.

2. A damaged chimney crown and cap

Sitting on the very top of your chimney, chimney crowns and caps are the best protection from rainwater coming into your chimney; however, if either is cracked, deteriorated, and/or damaged, your chimney is open and more susceptible to water whenever it rains or snows. Because of the critical job they perform, damaged chimney crowns and caps most definitely need to be repaired or replaced sooner than later.

We can take care of your chimney cap and crown needs (be it repair or replacement) and can customize them to precisely fit the top of your chimney.

3. A cracked chimney flue liner

Water penetrating your chimney can also cause damage—chipping away, rusting or breaking—to your flue liner, depending on which type of liner you have. A damaged flue liner can be very hazardous to your health and creates a definite fire hazard as well; your flue liner’s main job is to keep the toxic byproducts of combustion, smoke and carbon monoxide, out of your home. Cracks and/or holes in the liner prevent the chimney from successfully performing its job duties, putting you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service offers relining and replacement options for your damaged flue liner. HeatShield can be used for a flue liner that is not damaged beyond repair, whereas a stainless steel liner can be used to replace a liner that is damaged beyond repair.

No doubt, the best and surest way to know if anything is wrong with your chimney system is to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection. Contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today to schedule an appointment; our CSIA-certified sweeps will evaluate everything to determine what, if any, repairs are necessary.

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

Why Chimney Repair Should NOT Be A DIY Project

Let’s make this easy:

  • It has to happen on a roof.
  • There is a lot to take in at the same time while you’re up there!
  • It calls for a specialist’s knowledge.

Those are probably the top three reasons that chimney repair should NOT be a DIY project, so they are worth a closer look.
Don't DIY the Chimney - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney
Up On The Roof

Any house that has a chimney is likely to have a slanted roof to let snow fall off it. A roof would not present the world’s safest surface to work on if it were sitting on the ground; it basically invites you to twist an ankle. To make matters worse, that uneven surface is probably at least ten feet off the ground. This is not exactly a safe situation, especially considering that heavy materials and tools will also have to be carried up the ladder.

All in all, it is just a bad idea to attempt an already difficult, unfamiliar job in an environment that presents dangers. Attention has to be paid to a great many things, starting with identifying what caused the chimney to need repair. Fixing it without understanding fully what caused it to decay is asking to reconsider this DIY decision further down the line.

A chimney professional will start there, finding the faulty flashing or cracked mortar that started the problem and addressing that as part of his chimney repair. It does not do much good to repair only the chimney if something other than time is to blame for its deterioration. Furthermore, if the chimney is crumbling, the flue liner needs to be checked as well, as it could be dented or warped.

In the final analysis, chimney repair simply involves too much specialized awareness to be taken on by do-it-yourselfers. That awareness starts with the danger of working on a roof and extends to knowledge of waterproofing agents. With a poorly done job resulting in greater expense down the line, DIY chimney repair just is not worth the risks.

By Jim Robinson on March 7th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment