by Mike O'Mara | Jan 31, 2020 | Animals In Your Chimney
Did you know theft increases throughout the winter months? Burglars know that homes are filled with new and expensive items from Christmas, and the shorter, darker days offer more opportunities to break in under the protective cover of darkness. Not to mention, many families leave town for days on end to visit family members who live far away. All of these factors make it a lot easier for criminals to take what they want and get away with it.
Now, if you think you covered it all when it comes to keeping your home locked up and better protected, we urge you to reconsider. One spot many tend to forget about is the chimney, and this can easily offer a simple way for burglars to enter a home. A homeowner in Arizona almost faced an incident just like this but lucked out when the thief got stuck and needed assistance. But not every break-in has an ending like that!
Most of the time, someone looking to slide their way into your home through the chimney will have little issue doing so, which is why you need to ensure it is adequately covered. That’s where a chimney cap comes in.
What Is A Chimney Cap?
A chimney cap is a device that covers the opening of your flue or chimney. Its main purpose is to prevent rain and excess water from entering your structure, but it serves multiple other purposes, as well. Chimney caps should be sturdy and built from materials that will stand the test of time. All in all, there isn’t a single person in the chimney industry who would recommend operating a chimney without a cap, as they are an affordable way to avoid all kinds of expensive damage.
If you have a chimney cap in place, the ability for a burglar to enter your home through your chimney will diminish significantly. They would have to spend a lot of time trying to remove it, which draws attention from neighbors or anyone passing by the house, and anyone who sees a capped chimney will likely cancel out that option pretty quickly.
Caps Keep Out Other Unwanted Guests, Too!
Now, as we said, caps serve multiple purposes, and you can bet that criminals won’t be the only guests they keep out of your home. They also keep out birds, squirrels, and other woodland critters that might want to set up camp in your flue! When animals are ready to nest and have babies, they look for spots that are strong and sturdy, and that will offer good protection from any bad weather or predators.
Unfortunately, your chimney is an ideal spot for this, which is why you need to have a barrier in place to keep these animals out. If they are given the chance to build a home, you won’t be able to light any fires until they and their nesting materials are removed. By doing so, you would put both your home and the creatures at great risk, and you’ll greatly increase your chance of experiencing smoke back-up and chimney fires.
Along with this, some creatures that are prone to enter chimneys, like the chimney swift, are protected by law and removing them is illegal. This means, you’ll be stuck with the critters until they leave on their own, after which you can finally remove the nesting materials and move forward. But it may be quite a long wait!
All in all, a cap is an affordable and effective way to keep animals out for good. If you are missing a cap or if your current model is damaged and needs replacing, then don’t wait any longer to reach out to our team. We’d be happy to set you up right!
Other Functions Of A Chimney Cap
Believe it or not, your chimney cap can serve even more purposes than the ones we’ve already talked about! We mentioned their excellent ability at keeping out thieves, animals, and excess water, but did you know they can prevent things from getting out of your home, too? You see, many times when fires are lit, stray sparks and embers will go flying up the chimney and land of your flammable roofing materials. If these were to ignite, you’d be facing a disastrous situation in no time!
Chimney caps can stop these stray sparks dead in their tracks, putting them out before they are given the chance to land on your home.
Worried about outside debris working its way in and clogging things up? You can bet that your cap will prevent leaves, twigs, and the like from working their way in, and they even are known to stop downdrafts, which are notorious for affecting the draft and airflow of your system significantly.
When it comes right down to it, there is simply no reason not to have a cap installed right away, and our team has the training to get the job done right. Don’t trust in someone inexperienced and lacking the appropriate credentials. Call on the experienced, CSIA certified sweeps at Weststar Chimney today!
by Mike O'Mara | May 29, 2019 | Animals In Your Chimney
Do you hear birds chirping in your chimney? These noisy visitors can be a big annoyance to your household, and they can also leave behind dirt and debris in your system. Both of this situation is harmful to your brickwork and causes clogs in your chimney. When it comes to bird removal, you should address this issue sooner rather than later! Fortunately for those living in the San Diego area, the crew at Weststar Chimney Sweeps is here to help!
Dangers Behind Poor Airflow
When birds and their nesting materials hinder airflow throughout your chimney, you wind up facing serious risks when the burning season comes back around. These materials are flammable, thus increasing your chances of experiencing a home or chimney fire. They also block the pathways for smoke, fumes, and poisonous gases like carbon monoxide, are meant to escape.
Good draft and proper airflow is a must when it comes to operating your system as safely and as efficiently as possible. If birds are setting up camp in your system, the time to remove them is now!
A big reason people hire a professional for bird removal is to ensure they avoid any fees or fines associated with harming an endangered or protected animal. Chimney swifts, for example, cannot be removed from a chimney once they have entered it, as this could harm it or its young. Since these birds are on the decline, taking appropriate steps to protect them is necessary and important.
If we spot a chimney swift in your space, we cannot remove it. Rather, we will wait until the season ends and they have left their nest for good. Then, we will remove the nest and equip you with a chimney cap or top-sealing damper to keep them out for good.
Invest In The Care You Deserve
Birds are messy, noisy, and they can trigger some pretty foul odors, too. If you want to guarantee a stress-free burning season next fall, as well as a peaceful spring and summer, give our sweeps the opportunity to remove nesting materials inside of your chimney now. We can then equip you with the preventative equipment necessary for stopping these issues from occurring again down the line.
You deserve better protection and high-quality services from a team of experts that continuously put you first. If you are ready to work with a crew that you can trust for the long haul, trust Weststar Chimney Sweeps today. Give us a call right now!
by Mike O'Mara | Apr 21, 2017 | Animals In Your Chimney
Chimneys are strong, sturdy, and warm. This is why many animals view them as an ideal spot to rest, store foods, or build nests. Unfortunately, once these critters enter, they are not easy to get rid of. Not to mention, attempting to do so is sometimes against the law! Certain species of birds cannot be removed from your chimney until they are through nesting there. Consequently, this puts your chimney out of use for quite some time!
Learning how to avoid animal entry is important for keeping your chimney in good health. It also protects the well-being of friends and family. In addition, it will ensure all of the woodland creatures around your home stay safe, as well!
Dangers Of Animal Invasion
So, what harm can animals do to your chimney? Let’s take a look.
- Smoke and Toxin Back-Up: One of the most common problems with animals entering a chimney is the formation of clogs. Leaves, mud, twigs, and all types of nesting materials block up your flue, leaving you with some major issues. If the smoke and other toxins created by a fire cannot properly vent, they will simply turn back around enter your home – definitely not ideal! Not to mention, loved ones could easily get sick after inhaling harmful gases.
- Fire Hazards: Another issue is how susceptible these twigs and leaves are to catching fire, putting your entire home at risk. Also, any blockages will cause your entire appliance to run less efficiently, and any malfunctions always increase the risk of something dangerous occurring.
- Bad Odors: All too often, animals find their way into the chimney, but can’t manage to find their way back out. When birds, squirrels, and others like them pass away, they leave behind a pretty foul smell. Your home will stink up fast and you’ll likely find yourself facing pest and maggot infestation, too – yuck!
Install A Chimney Cap Today!
So, how can you stop animals from entering? The easiest solution is to purchase a chimney cap. Chimney caps are placed over-top your flue, so any potential openings are blocked off. On top of this, chimney caps prevent water from entering, serve as spark arrestors, prevent downdrafts, and they stop any flying debris or trash from entering the unit, too!
There’s no reason not to have one installed today. The staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps can set you up right with a cap that is the perfect fit for your chimney. Our sweeps are CSIA trained and certified, so you can count on us to do the job right!
Fear your cap is damaged? Not a problem! We can take a look, then advise you on the best steps to take moving forward. No matter what, we’ve got your back!
And don’t forget to schedule an annual cleaning and inspection! This way, should any creature or excess debris work its way in, a professional can remove it promptly. We can’t wait to help you out – call today!