When you talk with your A-1 Chimney Specialist technicians about your regular and preventative chimney care, we’ll probably focus a lot on preventing moisture from getting into and damaging your system and keeping up with your annual chimney inspections and regular chimney sweeping appointments.
But moisture intrusion and creosote-lined flues aren’t the only things you need to be concerned about when it comes to your chimney. If your chimney doesn’t have a cap or a bird screen and you haven’t yet had a problem with nesting animals, you’re among the lucky few — and from our experience (more than a decade of servicing chimneys), that luck is bound to run out sooner rather than later.
When you look at your chimney, you might see a beautiful brick structure that adds to the welcoming aesthetic of your home, or a hard-working system that helps keep dangerous gases and high heat out of your living area while you enjoy a fire. When birds and other animals look at your chimney, they see a protected, warm and cozy place to make a home and warm some little ones. If you don’t have a bird screen, they also see a figurative vacancy sign.
Your chimney was designed to carry the byproducts of combustion up through the flue, via an upward movement of air we call draft. For proper draft to occur, you need — among other things — a properly built and installed flue and a properly installed and sized flue liner, free of cracks and gaps and obstructions that might impede or block the draft. Stuff that flue with errant materials — like, say, bird and animal nests — and your draft is negatively affected. When hot air and gases aren’t expelled properly, heat can build up in the chimney. Since nesting materials tend to be highly combustible things like brush and twigs, it’s easy to see why this situation is worrisome — high heat plus combustible materials, and you might be looking at a chimney fire.
Fire isn’t the only concern with nesting animals in chimneys, though. There are the simple annoyances like sounds and smells, and the health concerns with insects and bacteria. There’s also the possibility that young or sick animals might get into your flue and find themselves unable to get out, which leaves a dead animal in your chimney.
We can help keep those frustrations and others from happening by installing a bird screen.
Bird screens offer effective protection against intruding animals, and the well-made products we install will last through years of enjoying your fireplace or stove, stowaway-free.
If you’d like to learn more about bird screens, or want to make an appointment to have A-1 Chimney Specialist technicians install a cap on your chimney, just give us a call!