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Keep the Birds Out This Spring with Bird Screens

When it comes to keeping birds and wildlife out of your flue and chimney, finding good solutions is a challenge. The masonry walls of your chimney offer a perfect spot to build nests, warmth, and to hide from potential predators. Many wild animals will flock to your chimney as a safe place this spring.

Because of this, homeowners are choosing to invest in bird screens. Learn more about these below, then trust in the A-1 Chimney Specialist crew to install one as soon as possible.

What Are Bird Screens? How Do They Work?

chimney swiftBird screens are mesh screens that are placed over the top of the chimney or chimney cap. They work to keep birds out of your system. They are easy to install, and they provide added protection that your chimney needs- a well worthwhile investment!

What’s The Big Deal With Birds Nesting In My Chimney?

Now, it is common for customers to wonder if it is fine to let birds nest into the chimney, as long as they leave before the start of burning season. After all, what’s the harm? Well, a big issue is the threat that nesting materials and excess debris can pose for your household. These items can clog up the flue. They also increase the likelihood of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide to enter your home. They are also extremely flammable, increase the odds of a chimney fire. These events can all cause serious structural damage, and they leave gaps and openings in your brickwork through which flames, fumes, and smoke can easily escape into your home.

There is also the chance that you light a fire without knowing that the birds are present within your system, which is both inhumane and unsafe. Not to mention, some birds like chimney swift are protected by law, which means harming them could land you with some hefty fines. Another problem? Birds are noisy. If you have baby birds living in your chimney, you will be forced to listen to their high-pitched chirping day after day. If they are protected like chimney swift, you are stuck with them until they decide to leave on their own.

We Can Help You Out Today

There is no time to lose when it comes to keeping birds out of your chimney, so get in touch with us today! While we’re at it, ask about getting an inspection scheduled, so you can have your system swept, repaired, and taken care of well before we the cold strikes again. Come fall, you will be all set and ready to light fires!

Are Those Birds Or Bats In My Chimney?

When critters get stuck in your chimney, it isn’t always easy to tell what kind of animal (or animals) may be present. Depending on what it is, you will have to approach the situation differently! The two animals you’ll most likely discover are bats and birds. Check out some differences between these two creatures below.Are Those Birds or Bats in my Chimney - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

Chimney Swifts Vs. Bats

The most common type of bird you’ll find in your chimney is a chimney swift. When you discover chimney swifts in your system, there are certain rules and regulations that need to be followed. They are protected by law, and you’ll likely have to wait until they leave for the season before their nest can be removed.

When it comes to differentiating between swifts and bats, one difference you’ll notice is that chimney swifts make a lot more noise than bats. Bats won’t typically make a lot of noise unless there is quite a few of them.

Another difference you will notice is that chimney swifts fly into the chimney at night, while bats fly out of it at night. If you notice something coming in during the evening hours, then it’s likely a bird settling down before it gets dark. If you see something fly out, it’s a bat, ready to prowl and look for food.

Importance Of Chimney Caps

Whether it’s a bird or a bat, you certainly don’t want it in your chimney. The best way to prevent these things from entering at all is by having a chimney cap installed. Chimney caps are located on the top of your chimney or flue, so that no animals can enter whatsoever. It’s an easy and affordable way to protect your system from clogs, bad odors, deterioration, and all of the other things caused by nesting materials or decaying animals.

Chimney caps also help in preventing dirt and debris from entering your system, and they have many other benefits, as well.

Chimney benefits are:

  • They keep your chimney free from excess moisture (which can be extremely damaging),
  • They help in preventing downdrafts from entering your home,
  • And they serve as spark arrestors, which helps keep your roof safe from catching fire.

Schedule Your Inspection

Another way to help prevent animal entry is to schedule your annual inspection. A certified sweep can ensure that no animals have entered and, if they have, they can find their sources of entry. If you have a cap installed, then they may have found another crack, hole, or opening to get in through. In this case, your sweep can advise you on the next steps for repairs and get you back to where you need to be.

On top of this, inspections are important for ensuring your entire system is functioning efficiently. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one per year so, if you’re overdue, get yours on the books today!

Count on the staff at A-1 Chimney Specialist today. We are excited to help you out!

All About Chimney Swifts

A chimney swift is a type of bird that lives in various places throughout the eastern half of the United States. They are smaller in size and are known for being more erratic in their movements. They spend the majority of their time in flight, only stopping to rest at nighttime and for nesting.

What Sets Them Apart?Swifts in your chimney - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

As a homeowner, you may be asking yourself why these birds stand out among the others. One quality that makes these birds unique is their inability to perch on branches or railings, as most other bird species do. Rather, they must cling to vertical things, such as walls, caves, trees, or chimneys. Since they tend to set up nests inside of chimneys, these birds are well known by chimney sweeps throughout the United States and are ones that chimney owners should be well aware of, in hopes of preventing issues down the line.

What makes chimney swifts especially tricky to deal with is that they are in decline, due to the lack of chimneys in our modern, electricity-powered society. This means that they are now protected under Federal Law so removing them or their nests is illegal. Once they discover your chimney and make a home for themselves, you cannot bother them until they chose to leave.

How To Avoid Chimney Swifts

A surefire way to prevent a chimney swift from settling in your chimney is to get a bird screen installed. If you already have these birds nesting in your chimney, you can wait until they migrate south, and then get a screen installed to ensure that they cannot return. Not only will this step keep chimney swifts and other birds out, it will also prevent the buildup of twigs, leaves, and other nesting materials that could easily catch fire, causing harm to your home, chimney, and family members.

At A-1 Chimney Specialist, our experts are trained to identify whether or not the birds nesting in your chimney are chimney swifts or not, and what further action should be taken once they are discovered. We can advise as far as what the next appropriate steps would be and will be respectful of whatever plan of action you choose to take.

Doing More

If you would like to avoid birds and various nesting materials accumulating in your chimney, yet feel bad about destroying the homes of these creatures, there are steps you can take to make everyone happy. If you research online you will find various opportunities as far as building new homes for these birds, that do not interfere with your regular chimney use.

At A-1 Chimney Specialist we are ready and able to assist with any of your chimney needs. Stop on by, give us a call, or conveniently schedule an appointment online. We are flexible and willing to work with your schedule and budget. Stop hesitating and let us get your chimney ready for regular use, so that you and your family can safely enjoy it for years to come!

Birds Don’t Belong in Chimneys

Birds Love Chimneys

A common problem homeowners have to face is different types of wildlife coming into their home and causing chaos, and animals in the chimney are no different.  We often worry about burning habits that we forget to check for other things that could go wrong inside of the structure.  However, having a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified company send in a technician to do a chimney sweep will give you an idea of what is in or has been in your chimney.  The people at A-1 Chimney Specialist are ready to save the day when you give the call.

There is one bird in particular that is known for getting into chimneys referred to as a chimney swift.  They are very small birds with slender bodies and long, narrow, curved wings.  They have short tapered tails, a round head, and a wide but nearly invisible bill.  They appear black at a distance but are actually dark gray-brown.

These birds are protected by Federal law, so don't  try and remove them. Let us handle it.

These birds are protected by Federal law, so don’t try and remove them. Let us handle it.

Don’t Smoke Them Out

These birds like to make homes in chimneys and other vertical surfaces that are dim, such as air vents, trees, and wells.  Even though they do have a specific spot for nesting, they are usually very short with time out of air as they are always flying. With their long claws, they are not able to perch like other birds, but can cling to walls.  Chimney Swifts are also able to bathe while they are flying because they just grace the top of the water and rise up as they shake it off.  They also eat airborne insects while flying, such as flies and bees.  The birds have special sticky saliva to secure their nests to the walls of chimneys.

The oldest chimney swift on record was released in Ohio in 1970, but today they are near threatened.  They have been declining over 2 percent per year for many decades.  Part of the problem is that traditional brick chimneys are deteriorating and the modern style is not fit for nesting.  Also, people are putting caps on their unused chimneys where the bird cannot get in.  Depending on when a chimney sweep is administered, it can tear down an existing nest if the birds are in their nesting season.  If you have a chimney swift nest in your chimney, you cannot get rid of it until after the young have left the nest.  Chimney sweeps know not to do a sweep if they know that there are young in the structure as part of the Migratory Bird Act, as they can be fined or penalized.

 

 

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