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Keep Birds Out of Your Chimney With a Cap

Keep these guys out of your chimney with a chimney cap!

Keep these guys out of your chimney with a chimney cap!

The crisp autumn weather is starting to settle in. Chilly winds have vividly colored leaves falling to the ground, and most people no longer leave the house without at least a light jacket. Many homeowners are starting to look ahead to heating their homes in the upcoming months. For those who use their fireplace or stove in the fall and winter, now is a popular time to schedule the necessary regular maintenance. Everyone is scrambling to make a chimney sweep appointment to clear out any debris that built up since last winter, but a lot of people forget about a simple yet very important part of the chimney: the chimney cap.

What is a chimney cap?

The chimney cap is a small apparatus that sits atop the chimney. Generally made with stainless steel or copper, it serves a few different purposes, not the least of which is keeping birds out of your chimney. Luckily, right now the birds are heading for warmer climates, but they will return next spring wanting a safe place to live. The interior of your chimney is as good a place for a bird to live as any. However, it can cause some serious health hazards for you.

A blocked chimney is a broken chimney

The function of the chimney is to allow smoke and other toxic gases created by the fire to escape the home. If an animal builds a nest and lives in your chimney, the function of the structure is suddenly lost. With the path of the fumes blocked by the animal and debris, the poisonous gases have no option except to flow back in your home. The debris can also catch fire and can lead to a lethal chimney fire.

Hidden dangers

Smoke produced by fire consists of a wide range of dangerous chemicals, but you may know of the two deadliest. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, scentless gas produced during combustion, or any type of burning including gas. If carbon monoxide cannot escape through the chimney because of a bird and its nest, the gas will build up inside the house. This can result in suffocation in a matter of minutes. Creosote is another harmful chemical that results from burning wood. This tarlike particle floats through the air while hot and clings to nearly everything as it cools. If creosote is forced to infiltrate your home due to a chimney obstruction, you will inadvertently inhale it or consume it, causing health problems like cancers and birth defects.

All things considered, keeping birds out of your chimney is in the best interest of your and your family’s health. Right now, while the birds are heading for warmer areas, is the best time to have a mason out to install a chimney cap that can keep birds out. This low-cost option is a very effective solution for blocking access to your chimney. If you live in upstate South Carolina, contact Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps today to talk to a specialist about your chimney needs.

Done with a Dirty Chimney

Keeping your chimney clean isn’t one of those domestic tasks that screams for attention. However, it is critical to have at least one inspection every year and to have a chimney swept if the inspection shows that it needs to be cleaned.  To schedule an appointment for your annual inspection or to have any other questions answered about what you see (or don’t see) in your chimney, call the professionals at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth. We are here to make it as simple as possible.

Done With a Dirty Chimney Image - Greenville SC - Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps

If you have any questions about what you can see in your chimney, call us…we are here to make it simple.

What makes my chimney dirty?

Creosote is a byproduct that is released from burning firewood. It can clump together and collect on the interior walls of your chimney to block your chimney.  The more firewood you burn, the more creosote will be released.

On uncovered chimneys, animals can leave various types of droppings or nesting materials behind in your chimney when they visit or nest. Droppings can be unhealthy. Nesting materials can create blockages.

Why do I need a sweep?

Chimney sweepings and inspections are one of the most important parts of chimney maintenance.  Deposits inside of your chimney can cause …Buildup that could result in

  • Build up that could result in the chimney fire. Chimney fires can be dangerous and can result in the need for expensive repairs.
  • Blockages that could interfere with proper drafting. Exhaust may not be able to properly flow out of your home and could leave you in danger of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
    • Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on exposure. Slight cases will give you headaches and nausea, where more serious cases can leave you hospitalized or can be fatal.
  • Buildup (whether creosote or animal droppings) can leave you with a foul odor that can enter the home in Summer months.

How do I prepare for the sweep?

It is relieving to know that having a chimney sweep requires little to no work from the homeowner.  It is important to hire someone who is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified to make sure you are getting the most for your investment.

You may be asked …

  • Not to burn a fire for at least 24 hours before the time of the sweep so everything has time to cool down for the technicians.
  • To move furniture and valuables from the immediate are of the fireplace.
  • Lock up your pets for their safety and the safety of the crew.

So, if you’re done with your dirty chimney, give Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth a call. Our CSIA certified chimney sweeps are here for you.