Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Is Your Chimney Up to Code?

An older home can have lots of character, but it can also require more maintenance to be sure all of its systems are up to current building and safety codes. These standards are constantly updated, and making sure everything is working as it should is part of the responsibilities of being a homeowner. If you are considering buying an older house with a fireplace, the chimney should be inspected to ensure it meets codes. At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we have the experience and training that is needed to see if chimneys and fireplaces are up to code, and we can easily make repairs that will bring the chimney and venting system up to current building and safety standards. The most common problem we find with older chimneys is that they are not lined. We would like to tell you more about chimney liners and why they are necessary for an efficient and safe chimney.

Why does my chimney need to be lined?

Is Your Chimney Up to Code - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendAccording to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), most local fire codes mandate that every chimney be lined for safety reasons. Chimney liners serve three very important purposes. They protect your home from the extremely high temperatures that are produced during combustion. Without a liner, the wooden parts of a house could catch fire. They also protect the bricks and mortar of your chimney from the corrosive byproducts of combustion. The toxic combustion gases can eat away at these masonry materials if no liner is present to shield them. Even more importantly, the liner keeps carbon monoxide from being able to leak into your home. The third function of a chimney liner is to provide a properly sized flue for your heating appliance. If you install a new fireplace insert, the chimney will most likely be too large for the insert, and this can cause draft problems. To be sure your heating appliance works efficiently and safely, you need a chimney liner that matches the size of the appliance.

What kinds of chimney liners are there?

At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we can install a new stainless steel chimney liner that will work with any type of heating appliance. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will take precise measurements of your heating appliance to ensure the new liner matches it exactly. If you have a masonry chimney with a wood-burning fireplace, we can also line your chimney with HeatShield, which is similar to the clay tile liners of the past. You can trust us to install a liner that will work with the fuel type of your heating appliance. We will be sure your chimney will function efficiently and safely as well as be up to code.

Unlined chimneys is just one of the issues we find when inspecting older chimneys. Other things such as chimney height and exterior masonry damage can also cause problems with chimneys meeting current building and fire codes. If you are looking at older homes, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service at 601-854-7563 to make an appointment for a chimney inspection.

By Jim Robinson on December 21st, 2015 | 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 Chimney Waterproofing

Is your chimney ready to stand up to winter weather? One of the most common types of chimney damage, spalling occurs when the temperature drops below freezing. Water that has leaked into the bricks and mortar of your chimney will freeze and expand, and when the temperature warms up, the water thaws and causes the masonry materials to crack and break apart. Have you ever noticed how potholes always appear on the roads after an ice storm? That type of damage is also spalling damage, and if you have seen how large some potholes can be, you have an idea of how badly it can deteriorate the exterior of your chimney. At Santa’s Friend Chimney Service, we offer several ways to protect your chimney from water penetration damage. One way we can help to keep your chimney in one piece is waterproofing. We would like to tell you more about how water can damage your chimney as well as how waterproofing can prevent water from leaking into the bricks and mortar of your chimney.

Besides spalling, how else can water penetration damage my chimney?

Proper Chimney Waterproofing - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendThe Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has famously said that water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys because of the amount of damage it can do when it leaks into chimneys. Spalling damage is most likely the most devastating type of water penetration damage because if left unrepaired, your chimney could possibly collapse! However, water leaks can do even more damage. The metal components of your chimney like the damper can deteriorate from rust corrosion and break. Any wood surrounding your chimney can rot. Your ceilings and walls can become stained and distorted from water leaking through the chimney. Preventing water penetration is crucial to protecting your chimney from damage and deterioration.

Are there other benefits to having my chimney waterproofed?

Although keeping your masonry chimney safe from water damage is well worth the cost of waterproofing, you will see other advantages from this service. An environmentally friendly formula that is 100% vapor permeable, the waterproofing agent we use is manufactured by Chimney Saver and comes with a 10-year warranty with our professional application. Waterproofing your chimney will also make it more resistant against mildew and fungus.

What can I expect from a waterproofing treatment from Santa’s Friend Chimney Service?

When our CSIA-certified chimney professionals arrive at your home, they will begin by seeing which type of waterproofing formula will work best for your chimney. After scrubbing and cleaning your bricks and mortar, your chimney will get a coating of the waterproofing formula to create a barrier that will protect your bricks and mortar from becoming deteriorated by spalling and other water penetration damage.

Don’t hesitate to protect your masonry chimney this winter. Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to schedule an appointment for a waterproofing service before the temperature drops below freezing.

By Jim Robinson on November 25th, 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

Common Repairs to Chimney Liners

Common Chimney Flue Liner Repairs

 Although many people have chimneys in their homes, most do not know much about the parts that comprise them. One of the most important parts of a functioning chimney is the flue liner. This is a layer, usually made of clay, metal, or ceramic tile that covers the inside of the chimney. Its function is to protect the inner wall of the chimney as well as to contain combustible materials while sending them out of the home. Keeping the chimney flue liner in good working condition is essential to having a safe chimney.

Prior to the 1940’s, it was not mandatory for homes to have liners in their chimneys. This is why tragic house fires were so common in the middle part of the Twentieth Century. Someone who is living in a home that was built before the 1940’s should have their chimney inspected and make sure that it has a liner to begin with. If it does not, one must be installed before the fireplace can be safely used.

Chimney Liners Prevent Fires - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Chimney Liners Prevent Fires – Jackson MS – Santa’s Friend Chimney Service

In most cases, the flue liner needs to be replaced or repaired because of normal wear and tear from years of use. In this case, the liner will simply start to wear away or, in the case of an older tile liner, it will begin to crack. This is dangerous because the liner will not be able to contain hazardous gasses the way that it is supposed to. These materials may be allowed to ignite, causing a devastating chimney fire.

Combustible gasses themselves will eventually take their toll on the liner, which is another thing a professional inspection should catch. When this happens, the connection between the liner and the wall of the chimney weakens, causing it to become loose. Although the cause is different, this creates more or less the same effect as an eroding liner. It can be extremely unsafe and a chimney in this condition should not be used under any circumstances.

When the time comes to repair or replace the chimney liner, people with metal or tile liners in their homes find that it is best to make a complete change. Today, it is often recommended that these liners be replaced with ones that are made of clay. The reason is that clay is extremely durable and can withstand not only exposure to combustible materials but also to extremely high temperatures. If someone installs a new clay liner in their chimney, they can expect that it will remain in good working condition for about fifty years.

While making the switch, it is important to avoid fire hazards by completely removing all pieces of the old liner. It is also necessary to measure the chimney precisely and account for any irregularities, such as a crooked chimney. In order to function safely, the liner must fit the chimney exactly. These repairs are extremely complicated and it is not recommended that they are done as a do it yourself project. A profession should always be employed to do this precise work and make sure that it is safe before use.

Although many people are not aware of the condition of their chimney liner, it is a very important safety issue. An annual chimney inspection will give insight into whether or not any repairs or a complete replacement is necessary. These days, many homeowners opt for a clay liner because it is durable and will most likely last for the duration of their time in the home.

By Jim Robinson on July 12th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment