Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Book An Appointment Before We’re Booked Up!

We’re getting into the autumn season; the leaves are starting to get some color, it’s getting dark earlier, and the days are starting to cool off. It’s the time of year that we start to think about getting things tucked away for the winter. Things like taking out your fall wardrobe and bringing in all the fall produce are just a couple examples. It’s also a great time of year to start a fire in your fireplace and cozy up after a long day of raking leaves or hiking in the woods. Before you start building a fire, though, there are some things you need to take care of.

Things To Do

Before you start a fire in your fireplace, you’ll want to make sure that you have a good supply of firewood. However, not just any firewood! You’ll want to make sure that the wood that you’re going to burn is well seasoned. The wood that you burn should have been allowed to sit for at least six months, or longer if possible. When you cut wood, it can contain 50% moisture content. Wet wood will not burn easily. Not only that, it will give off a lot of smoke. This makes for an unpleasant atmosphere – that is definitely not relaxing!


What’s even more important than getting your firewood ready? Having your fireplace and chimney system inspected and cleaned. There are many things that a professional chimney sweep will be looking for that you, the homeowner, doesn’t know to look for. First off, your chimney sweep will be inspecting the outside of your chimney. This is to make sure that the bricks and mortar are in good shape and don’t need to be replaced. If they do, your chimney sweep might suggest tuckpointing. This is the process of picking the old, weak mortar out from between the bricks and filling it in with new, strong mortar.

Another thing your inspector will look for is the condition of your chimney cap, or whether you even have a chimney cap! This important piece of equipment keeps animals, dried leaves, and even precipitation out of your chimney. In doing so, it keeps the interior of your chimney in good working condition. Your inspector knows when your chimney cap needs repairs or needs to be replaced.

Creosote Buildup

Of course, the biggest thing that your chimney sweep specialist will be looking for is creosote buildup. As you use your fireplace, the smoke that goes up the chimney carries the water vapor, gases, and chemicals out. This is so you don’t have to worry about them getting your home. The thing is, some of that gunk sticks to the interior of your chimney and forms creosote, a flammable substance that puts you in danger of a chimney fire! A quality chimney sweep will make sure that the creosote buildup is gone so that you can burn a fire safely.

Call Santa’s Friend

Do you live in central Mississippi and want expert workmanship and quality service? If so, give Santa’s Friend Chimney Service a call and schedule your annual chimney inspection now, before they are booked up for the season!

By Justin Perkins on October 20th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Log vs. Sweep

In our lives, we applaud each other for working late, laugh at those who don’t, and measure our self-worth in time stamps.  Meanwhile, those who take the proverbial “easy way out” are ridiculed, criticized and/or passed over for promotions.  An online search returns pages of blogs explaining how to kick the habit of taking it easy.  By all accounts, taking the easy way out seems harmful and counterproductive.  Why, then, do so many of us seem so drawn to the path of least resistance?  If the hard route leads to more profitable outcomes, why aren’t more people willing to go that route?  Why do we tend to look for the easy way out of a situation?

Chimney Sweeping Logs: The Easy Way Out   It’s easier that way, for one.  Physics says that the path of least resistance is generally the one taken.  The decision on the best method for cleaning your chimney should not be one in which you opt for the easy way.  There are all sorts of advertisements for chimney sweeping logs (CSLs) flooding the marketplace today.  These products claim to do the work of a chimney sweep, all for a price of around $15 per log.  Sounds too good to be true, huh?  If you answered yes, you are correct.

Using a log that claims to rid your chimney of creosote may cause more problems than it promises to solve.

Using a log that claims to rid your chimney of creosote may cause more problems than it promises to solve.

What the CSLs Actually Do   It really isn’t the logs that are supposed to do anything; it is the chemicals and minerals they’re impregnated with that do all of the work.  When a CSL is burned, the chemicals and minerals are carried up the flue by the rising exhaust gases.  After entering the flue, they attach themselves to the creosote in your chimney and, over the course of several subsequent fires, break it down, causing it to crumble away from the chimney walls.

What’s in a Name   The name, CSL, is a bit misleading.  One would expect a product called a chimney sweeping log to actually sweep the chimney, or at least perform an equivalent function.  According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the use of CSLs alone is not an adequate substitute for mechanical chimney cleaning and inspection because they do not provide for the same level of protection to your chimney system.  The CSIA mandates that all CSL manufacturers include a CSIA Accepted Product logo, including the following message: “When used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, this product is accepted by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.  For improved safety and home heating efficiency, CSIA recommends that all chimney and vented appliances be inspected every year by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.”

This CSIA recommendation of regular chimney inspection and cleaning should be proof enough that CSLs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  If you want to spend your hard earned money on CSLs, please feel free to do so.  However, keep in mind that nothing can ever replace the services provided by a qualified chimney sweeping professional, including annual inspections and cleaning.

Getting the Gunk Out

Watch Out for Creosote

There’s just something about fireplaces and chimneys during the winter season that draw you in, again and again. The chill in your bones dissolves into the blissful crackle and pop of a roaring fire. But, if you built that fire with green or wet wood, you’d also have a smoky fire and a rapid buildup of creosote. It is a natural by-product of burning, but when the creosote isn’t regularly removed, it becomes a real concern.

Creosote or a substance commonly known as soot is formed through the condensation of gases and incomplete combustion of wood particles. It is found in your chimney flues and areas in the stone masonry and the four walls of your chimney. It is identified as silky black or dark brown dust.  This is formed by the specific element in creosote which is carbon (doubles the flammability level of creosote) and is also composed of ash which is non-combustible.

We are experienced in identifying and removing creosote from your chimney. Have you had your annual inspection?

We are experienced in identifying and removing creosote from your chimney. Have you had your annual inspection?

Thick formation of creosote is otherwise known as glaze. This is ten times more flammable than typical low-level creosote. This can accumulate a great amount of fuel to burn and is more difficult to remove compared to subtle amounts of creosote.

There are a few reasons why this exists; it might be that enough supplemental heat has already been provided and too much smoke is occupying your room rather than going up the chimney flues. When there is too much soot build-up in the chimneys, this might trigger blazing fires to erupt and destroy your homes in a matter of seconds. The formation of carbon monoxide is not far from the picture and can poison the people in your home and cause unfortunate accidents as well.

Sure enough, you wouldn’t want this dangerous chimney deposit to ruin your home. So it’s best to have your chimney and fireplace checked annually.  This is to control and remove the build-up of creosote and to prepare your chimney for heavy duty work during the winter season. The best and only option for the people of Mississippi is Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. After over twenty-four years of service, we are glad to offer you professional service and peace of mind.

By Jim Robinson on November 30th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment