Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

You Might Have a Chimney Blockage

While we all love a fire in the fireplace, no one wants a fire in his or her chimney. Unfortunately, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimney fires are more common than you may think, and sometimes you do not even know they have occurred. Dirty chimneys are the most likely cause of all chimney fires, and usually the same blockages are the culprits in these possibly deadly accidents. The good news is chimney fires are completely preventable with proper maintenance care like regular chimney sweeping and inspections from CSIA-certified professionals like our chimney sweeps at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service. We would like to share with you what the common chimney blockages are, which can also help you prevent these things from entering your chimney in the first place.

Chimney Blockage - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney


Stray animals looking for a dry, warm place to call home may come across your chimney to set up house during the cold months of winter. From nesting birds to raccoons to squirrels, these animals not only block your chimney and lead to dangerous fires, but they can become stuck, die, and create horrible, putrid smells that will invade your home. For your own personal safety, we strongly recommend you call a professional animal removal service to remove any animals and nests from of your chimney.


During the course of the year, leaves, trash, tree foliage, and other settlement work their way down into your chimney and accumulate. While this may not sound like too big of a deal, all of this debris adds up and can cause blockages. This puts your chimney at risk for incomplete combustion and negative air pressure to happen, which can force smoke into your house. Settlement buildup will also cause cracks in your flue, and these cracks allow dangerous carbon monoxide to escape into your home.


The most hazardous and common of the chimney blockages, creosote is the by-product of burning wood, and it develops naturally from the residue of smoke, gases, water vapor, hydrocarbon, unburned wood particles, and other assorted minerals as they leave the fireplace and go out the cooler upper chimney. Sticking to the inner walls of the chimney as deposits, creosote is brown or black in appearance and can be flaky, crusty, tar-like, sticky, gummy, shiny, or hardened — even all of the above. Extremely flammable and highly combustible, creosote can quickly build up, and if the internal flue temperature is high enough, you have a chimney fire waiting to happen that could possibly burn down your entire house. Even worse, certain conditions allow creosote to form large deposits more quickly. Conditions that accelerate creosote buildup include restricted air supply from closing the glass doors or not opening the damper wide enough and burning unseasoned wood because the smoke is so much cooler due to the energy being used to burn off the water trapped in the cells of the logs. You can also get a heavier amount of creosote buildup if you overload the firebox in a wood stove in an attempt to get a longer burn. A large fire also increases your risk of the creosote igniting a fire in your chimney.

To ensure your chimney is blockage-free and prevent a chimney fire, contact Santa’s Friend Chimney Service today. A clean chimney is your best prevention against a chimney fire.

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

Don’t Forget the Vents!

With things like carpools, soccer practices, and other family-related activities with which to contend, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some things, often through no fault of our own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on.  One thing that is commonly overlooked by homeowners is the proper maintenance and cleaning of dryer vents.  People may think that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important.  This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Dryer Lint Buildup is Dangerous!

If your dryer seems to not be working at its peak efficiency, you likely need your vents cleaned. Don't wait, as this can impact both performance and safety.

If your dryer seems to not be working at its peak efficiency, you likely need your vents cleaned. Don’t wait, as this can impact both performance and safety.

There are thousands of fires caused by dryer lint buildup that happen every year.  One of the ways to decrease the chances of fire is to clean your dryer vent after every laundry load you use it for.  In fact, studies prove that effective cleaning maintenance of dryer vents can reduce the chances of fire by 90%.  Not only does vent cleaning help prevent house fires, it also will make sure our clothes are dry and smelling nice after each use.

Dryer Lint Buildup Causes Increased Energy Consumption

Aside from the dangers of fire, buildup of dirt and lint in the dryer vent can also significantly increase your energy consumption.  This is due in large part to the fact that a clogged vent makes your dryer take more time to dry your clothes.  There are numerous warning signs that you can watch for that will indicate that you have a dirty dryer vent.  Possible signs that the vent may be clogged is if the dryer no longer dries the clothes in one cycle, the clothes carry a musty smell after a drying cycle, the dryer seems to run hotter than normal, a visible amount of lint is noticed around the lint filter, and debris is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening.

Dryer Lint Buildup Must be Removed Regularly

To avoid this potentially dangerous buildup in your vents, you need to follow a predetermined maintenance schedule.  As a general rule of thumb, the majority of dryer vents need to be cleaned at least once a year; some dryer ducts need more frequent attention.  Some determining factors include:

  • The number of people who are using the same dryer
  • The age and condition of the dryer
  • The length of your dryer vent

The best way to ensure dryer safety is to clean the lint screen after every use and to have your vent and duct cleaned regularly.

Each time you use your dryer, lint builds up in the vent.  Cleaning the lint screen will help you keep the dryer running and working well, but a little lint will remain within the vent.  It’s very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the built up lint poses a very serious hazard to your house and everyone in it.   If you’re ready to see exactly what’s lurking in your dryer vent, call Santa’s Friend today, and we’ll schedule a convenient time to come out and take care of it for you!