Now is the time of year you should start thinking about protecting your chimney so that it’s ready to go when fall returns. By taking a few preventative steps, you can protect your chimney system from spring rains, summer humidity, and even nesting wildlife. Of all the things that can affect your chimney system this summer, chimney swifts may be the biggest nuisance of all–one that’s 100 percent preventable.
What is a Chimney Swift?
Chimney swifts used to travel the continental U.S., nesting in hollowed trees. As those trees were cleared away and houses built in their place, these birds began losing their natural habitat. Now they are federally protected and still manage to find homes similar to hollow trees–chimneys. Since they’re federally protected under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove them from your chimney, or harm them while they are there. That means no fires, repairs, sweeps, or inspections while these birds are nesting in your chimney. These birds don’t just come alone either. They bring their rowdy friends, and their entire nesting period can last around 90 days!
Prevent Animal Intrusion With a Cap
It is possible to prevent animal intrusion. Just as you can prevent most chimney issues and damage through routine chimney maintenance and inspections, you can also prevent animal intrusion. Protecting your chimney from the top is the first step. Anything that can get onto your roof by flying or climbing can also get into your chimney if it isn’t capped. A cap will keep small birds like the chimney swift out of the chimney as well as larger mammals that may climb into the flue, leaving claw marks and fur behind. The cap will also keep rain water, debris, and wind from getting in and affecting your chimney system. Finally, the cap keeps the fire in its place with a spark suppressor that sends hot sparks right back down into the fire.
What to Do if You Have Swifts
If you have a chimney swift problem in your chimney system, the first you should do is call a professional. Although we cannot remove the birds, we can properly close off the fireplace portion of the system to prevent them from intruding into your home. When the birds finally exit your system, we can also give it a proper cleaning with a standard chimney sweep. At this appointment we will clean away all nesting materials, feathers, droppings, and carcasses that may be affecting your system. A chimney sweep also means the soot and creosote will be brushed out and vacuumed away and your system will have a level one inspection. That means it will be ready to go in the fall when you’re ready for your first fire.
Whether you need a chimney sweep or inspection because you haven’t had one in a year, because you suspect you have had an animal in your chimney, or because you’re afraid your system isn’t protected from animal intrusion, we have you covered.
Call New Buck Chimney Services so that we can make sure your chimney is bird-proof, weather-proof, and ready for burn season.
Reach us by telephone at 318-671-5007 or schedule online today.