Our Company Blog

The Birds and the Bees: A Chimney’s Perspective

Who would’ve imagined they’d ever read about the birds and the bees in relation to their chimney. The fact of the matter is, these are just two more reasons homeowners must be forever vigilant where chimney maintenance in concerned. Otherwise your chimney could become inundated with bird nests and beehives in no time at all. Your chimney is a very inviting place for birds and bees; your job is to find a way to make it a little less appealing and/or available to them.

If you have bees or birds living in your chimney, call Weststar Chimney Sweeps! We can safely remove their hives or nests, and prevent them from returning in the future.

If you have bees or birds living in your chimney, call Weststar Chimney Sweeps! We can safely remove their hives or nests, and prevent them from returning in the future.

Birds in your chimney?

Migratory birds don’t sound like much of an issue to a lot of homeowners; the problem only comes to light when those homeowners decide that they no longer welcome these feathered guests. It’s not quite as simple as just rolling up the welcome mat and telling them to find somewhere else to nest during their stay.

Chimney swifts are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits the removal of any migrating bird without a federal permit. In addition to the prohibited removal, these birds always return to the same nesting spots year after year; loosely translated, if you had a nest in your chimney last year, you can expect the same bird family to return this year.

If you decide you no longer want them making themselves at home in your home, preventative measures must be taken soon after the birds make their southerly return flight. The good news is that it is very simple to bird-proof your chimney. This is the purpose of a chimney cap. The key is to have it installed while the birds are living down south, as it is illegal for a chimney sweep to remove the nest, eggs or any migratory birds that have made themselves at home in your chimney.

Bees in your chimney?

Before moving into your chimney, bees will send out scouting parties (approximately ranging in size from 10-100 bees) in search of a new home. Your chimney can be extremely inviting for them. To get rid of bees before they’ve move in, you can simply light a fire.

If the hive in the chimney is established, the last thing you want to do is light a fire. Upon doing so, the bees will simply gather at the top of the chimney for as long as the fire is burning. It is also possible that the heat from the fire will melt honey down the sides of your chimney causing a more permanent honey smell that’ll continue attracting bees for many years to come.

What is the problem with a few birds or bees in your chimney? Those bird nests and beehives can really put your family in danger. They pose real health and fire hazards that need to be addressed. If you are dealing with birds and bees in your chimney, we encourage you to have the CSIA-certified professionals at Weststar Chimney Sweeps conduct a chimney inspection. You can be sure we will keep your chimney, your family and your home safe. Give us a call today!

Prepare, Plan & Practice

Fire Safety and Preparedness at Home

Every year, fires have claimed the lives of over three thousand Americans and have managed to cause injury to around seventeen thousand. A simple flame can turn into a blazing fire, changing a families’ life forever. This can be attributed to many things, including creosote build-up, blockages in your chimney and unsafe burning practices and materials. Always remember, the safest, most efficient burn is one with dry, seasoned firewood. Burning anything else increases risk and creosote buildup.

There are many family fire safety tips that are recommended by numerous fire safety agencies, but here are two of the most important precautionary measures of all – working fire alarms and a plan in case of emergency. Don’t let forgetfulness be the reason your home and family are put in harm’s way.

You put your family and home at risk when you fail to maintain working fire alarms and an escape plan.

You put your family and home at risk when you fail to maintain working fire alarms and an escape plan.

Fire alarms are required on each level of the home and in each bedroom. Of course, no matter how many alarms you have, unless your batteries are working, they will not be able to do their job. Experts recommend that you check your batteries each time you “spring ahead” and “fall behind.”

Second, a fire escape plan is a necessity. The National Fire Protection Association provides a model for how to create this essential document for your home. Their website is also chock full of fantastic resources for the entire family. Just as batteries are key for alarms…practice is key for plans. Make sure all members of your family know what to do in case of a fire. Everyone needs to know to stay low to avoid harmful smoke, stop, drop and roll if clothing catches fire and to check doorknobs before exiting. The family also needs to know where to meet outside while waiting for firefighters.

When you cover these two critical bases, you can rest a bit easier knowing that your family is well-prepared. Call today to have your chimneys and fireplaces inspected and swept by the certified professionals of Weststar Chimney. Having been in business in San Diego for more than a decade, we are ready to take one worry off your plate. Don’t forget — the best way to avoid tragedy is to prepare rigorously.