Our Company Blog

Bees In Your Chimney? Don’t Smoke Them Out!

It’s not uncommon to discover some unwanted visitors in your chimney from time to time. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and, yes, even bees are known for setting up camp in this warm, strong structure and it can lead to a lot of hassle on the part of the homeowner. You’ll be forced to put off your burning season until the problem is resolved and then clean up any messes that the critters left behind. All in all, it’s a big issue and investing in professional help is typically the best route to take to get fast and efficient results.

Many chimney companies will handle the removal of certain creatures, but bees are not usually one of them. Well, we like to set ourselves apart from the rest here at Weststar Chimney, which is why we’ll remove bees and their hive, so you can get back to enjoying your system to the fullest. Learn more below!Bees In Your Chimney - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Why Lighting A Fire Won’t Work

It’s not unheard of for people to consider simply smoking the bees out. For some reason this is a proposed solution that people have passed down for years but is actually a very ineffective method for getting rid of the issue. Most assume the smoke and flames will encourage the bees to leave, after which they can simply remove the hive and get back to their day-to-day routine. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

What will actually happen is the honey will melt and spread down the sides of your chimney, enhancing the smell and attracting more bees down the line. Once the honey melts down the walls of your chimney, getting rid of it is a lot more challenging, and you’ll be facing some strong smells (and likely, more bees) well into the future.

Trust our professionals to safely remove the hive, so you don’t have to stress. All you’ll have to do is make a simple phone call to our team, and we’ll handle the rest. After we’re done, you’ll be free to enjoy the upcoming burning season to the fullest! It’s the right choice to make, so get in touch with us today.

Preventing The Return Of More Bees

So, our experts removed the pests, and now you’re eager to get your fireplace up and running. We don’t blame you! But first, make sure you’re adequately protected from any future invasions by having a chimney cap installed. Chimney caps have a great reputation for keeping out bees and all types of other curious creatures, as well, so you won’t need to worry about bad odors, clogs, or any other similar issues down the line.

Chimney caps also keep out rain, block downdrafts, limit debris build up, and serve as spark arrestors. All in all, they’re a great and highly affordable investment. Well worth it!

We also install top-sealing dampers, so if you’re looking to upgrade your throat damper now is the time to get it done. These units do everything expected from a damper, along with working alongside your chimney cap to keep out bad weather and animals. They seal tight, so you can say hello to a cozier home and goodbye to high energy bills – a great investment all around!

Ready to work with the best? Give us a call now.

Bird Nest & Beehive Removal

Having unwanted visitors in your chimney can be a frustrating ordeal, and getting rid of various animals isn’t always as easy as one might assume. Fortunately, the highly qualified team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps can handle the job! We specialize in bee and bird nest removal, so you can get back to normal again in no time. If you need some professional help, give us a call now!

Dangers Of Nesting Materials

If birds bring their nesting materials into your chimney, you’re going to start noticing all kinds of problems. First of all, birds and their chirping can get bothersome in a hurry, disrupting your lifestyle and making it a challenge to relax. They also bring in all kinds of leaves, twigs, and other materials to build their nests with, all of which clog up your flue and force smoke and other gases into your living space.

As you can imagine, having these fumes back up in your home can be quite hazardous to the health of loved ones. Not only will they stink things up and trigger bad odors, they’ll likely make people sick, as well. And some fumes, like carbon monoxide, are extremely hard to detect, making their presence that much more dangerous.

Along with this, excess debris obstructs airflow, causing creosote to accumulate more rapidly and increasing your chances of chimney fires. Chimney fires cause your liner and brickwork to break down considerably, which leaves open pathways for flames to escape to any adjacent woodwork. Using a fireplace that has damage from a chimney fire is extremely dangerous, and many homeowners don’t even realize a chimney fire has occurred until it is too late.

Play it safe by having us remove the animals and obstructions right away. Then, let us inspect and sweep your chimney! We’ll check for cracks, holes, and any other necessary repairs, so you don’t have to stress when fall comes back around.

Always Trust A Professional

While bird nest removal, beehive removal, and chimney sweepings may seem like something you can do yourself, this is really not the recommended approach. Even the smallest mishap can trigger tons of issues down the line, many of which will wind up costing you a lot more than a professional sweeping would.

On this same note, beehive removal can be a tricky and dangerous process. While many think lighting a fire will quickly scare the bees away, this action will only make matters worse by melting the honey, spreading the odor, and attracting even more bees. Trust in our crew from the very beginning. When you work with Weststar Chimney, you can rest easy knowing you’re in the best possible hands around!

Take Preventative Action Now!

The best way to keep bees, birds, and any other wildlife out of your chimney is by having a chimney cap or top-sealing damper installed right away! With springtime weather upon us, now is the time to get it done. Don’t give up control of your chimney and fireplace. Work with us, so that you stay protected for years to come! Call now!

Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney? We Can Help!

Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney? We Can Help!

Some people love the sounds of birds chirping in the spring; however, when you hear the sounds of birds coming from your chimney, you may feel the opposite emotion to love! Not many people enjoy listening to bird noises inside their homes, but if a family of birds have nested within your chimney, you will have to get used to it for a few months until they leave on their own to fly to their winter home. Since some birds like chimney swifts are protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove nesting birds, according to Chimneys.com. When they do leave, they will leave their nests behind, which can be hazardous. Weststar Chimney Sweeps has 17 years of experience with dealing with birds in chimneys across the San Diego area, and we are proud to offer nest removal services. We can also give you some advice on sharing your home with a family of birds if one has nested in your chimney, and we can prevent these birds from coming back next year to move back into your home.

Why do birds nest in chimneys? What kinds of problems do they cause?Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney We Can Help! - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Birds like to take up residence in chimneys because so many trees have been cut down for development and construction reasons, and chimneys are the next best thing to trees for the shelter needed to build a nest. Not only can birds make loud and obnoxious noises at times, but they carry diseases, like histoplasmosis, which causes blindness. They also may become trapped and even die inside your chimney, which can be an unfortunate and smelly situation. Learning to live in a home with a family of birds for a few months can be difficult, but once your family is used to the birds, it really is not as bad as it seems at first. One of the biggest problems birds cause inside your chimney actually happens after they leave. When they fly away to their winter home, their nests will be left behind, and the nesting materials can lead to a couple of hazardous situations. The straw, leaves, sticks, and other debris used to build the nests are all very flammable and create the risk of a chimney fire. The nesting materials also block the flue, which forces the toxic gases from combustion, including carbon monoxide, back into your home. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can remove every bit of the nests that remain in your chimney once the birds have left and prevent these hazardous situations from occurring.

How can Weststar Chimney Sweeps prevent birds from getting back into my chimney next year?

Many birds will return to where they last nested, so if you have or have had a family of birds living in your chimney, you will definitely want to take action to keep them from coming back to share your home again. We recommend having a good-quality chimney cap professionally installed at the top of your chimney to prevent their return next year. You will need a cap that is equipped with mesh metal sides to keep them from entering the chimney when they come back to try to nest again. We are proud to offer a wide variety of these types of chimney caps and can help you select one for us to install on your chimney. The chimney cap will also keep water from rain from leaking into your chimney — it is an important part of your chimney!

Protect your chimney from birds getting inside to nest. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps if you are dealing with birds in your chimney as we can help.

Choosing the Best Chimney Cap to Prevent Water Leaks

One of your best defenses against water penetration and animal invasions of your chimney, a chimney cap sits on top of your chimney’s opening. With several different types of chimney caps available, how do you know which cap is the right fit for the flue of your chimney? At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we are experienced with fitting all types of chimney caps, even customized caps, and we know the importance of proper installation. We would like to tell you a bit about the different kinds of chimney caps and what you should know about selecting the right kind for your chimney to prevent damaging water leaks.

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The main thing to consider when deciding which chimney cap is right for your chimney is the shape of your flue. Chimney caps come in different shapes to fit each type of flue. These shapes include:

ROUND FLUES

Whether you have a clay, masonry, or metal flue, you can find a round chimney cap that can either attach the the outside of the flue or slip inside the flue. Round chimney caps are made from an assortment of materials including copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. Some round flue liners require chimney caps that must be inserted inside the chimney flue, such as round flexible flue liners and round solid pack flue liners.

SQUARE AND RECTANGULAR FLUES

The most commonly shaped flue, square and rectangular chimney caps can be attached to the flue, or, if you have a chimney crown, there are chimney caps in these sizes that can attach to the crown. Made from the same metals as the round chimney caps, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you choose a chimney cap constructed from a sturdy, durable, and rust- and corrosion-resistant material to ensure a long-lasting cap. For chimney caps that attach to a chimney crown, you will need to choose from top mounted chimney caps.

OVAL FLUES

Unless you have a custom-shaped oval chimney cap made for you by our technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, you will need to look at rectangular shaped chimney caps that will cover the exterior of your flue.. When you look inside this type of cap, you can see how the corner tabs or interior ledges will accommodate oval flues.

There are other considerations other than preventing water leaks to think about when choosing a chimney cap. These include:

MESH SPARK ARRESTOR

To prevent animals from entering your chimney to take up a new residence and to keep sparks from flying out of your chimney and possibly starting a fire, your chimney cap should be equipped with wire mesh sides. Be sure the mesh openings are between ¾ to ½ inches in size to keep animals out, to contain large pieces of hot debris and ashes, and to allow toxic gases to escape.

COMBINATION OF A CHIMNEY CAP AND DAMPER

You can now find top sealing chimney caps that do double duty as a protective cap and as a damper. Perfect for new home constructions and for older chimneys in need of numerous repairs, the damper is located on the cap. When it is sealed closed, the air loss from your home is reduced by 90%. When the damper is opened, the wire mesh on the chimney cap protects your chimney from invading animals and prevents stray sparks from exiting.

Want to know more about the different types of chimney caps? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to talk to our expert staff about your many options.