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How to Keep Birds Out of Your Chimney

With spring weather in full swing the likelihood of your chimney being made a habitat for small wildlife is high, especially if they have an open door—or flue.

The Chimney Cap

The Humane Society of the United States recommends a stainless steel chimney cap with wire mesh as the absolute best solution to keep these visitors from entering your chimney. It is not acceptable or humane to use fire, heat, or smoke to drive out wildlife from the chimney, especially birds who have most likely built a nest and may be raising young.

The cap is the first defense against critters that can find their way into a chimney. You might have a chimney cap, but even a minor tear in the screen can allow small birds to slip inside and nest. A chimney cap should be in good condition. A shifted or damaged cap can allow water and animals inside. Not only can animals leave flammable nesting materials in the flue, but they can also suffocate and die, resulting in foul odors and air flow blockage.

The Damper

The cap should keep birds and small critters from entering your flue. But if the cap shifts or becomes damaged, you might notice an animal in the flue before you notice the damaged cap. There is still a chance you can keep the bird out of your house. Keeping your damper closed will definitely deter even the smallest bird from getting into your home. The bird may exit the chimney the way it entered, but whether or not it escapes, you should call a professional.

The Certified Chimney Sweep

Only a professional can remove animals from a closed unit like a chimney flue. Even if the bird escapes, it’s nest and other debris may be left behind becoming a serious fire hazard. If other small animals were in the chimney and escaped, they most likely left behind scratches in the flue liner. This can lead to weaknesses and deteriorations. It’s best to have a certified chimney sweep look over the entire system. They will make sure the animal is gone and there is no trace left that can complicate the chimney system.

Spring is the Time for Chimney Maintenance

The Humane Society of the United States recommends that only professionals remove wildlife from chimneys. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that only professionals perform chimney services. In addition, certain chimney services should be made annual. Regular chimney sweeps make sure your system is clean and efficient. Annual inspections make sure that the system is in top shape. Having your chimney inspected in the spring is the best way to prevent spring damage caused by rainy weather and nesting animals.

Magic Sweep offers these spring services and more. Our chimney experts will make sure your system isn’t just animal proof, but also waterproof! Call magic Sweep today at 757-828-0404.

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