Our Company Blog

Removing Birds and Bees from Your Chimney

Essential to the safety of your chimney, bird and bee hive removal services can protect your family from the risks of having a chimney fire. Birds like to hibernate in chimneys, as they see them as a warm and safe place to call home during the colder months. When those birds part from a chimney, they leave all the nesting behind, which can cause a chimney blockage or fire. Bees commonly build hives on chimney walls, and the wax combs of a bee hive can be fire hazards as well. The trained technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps provide experienced bird and bee hive removal from chimneys and believe you should understand what this service entails.

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

The Dangers of Birds’ Nests

When birds build a nest in a chimney, they tend to choose the top of the chimney as the location. Not only does this pose a problem as a fire hazard, but the nest can also block the chimney’s flue. According to the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney blockage can cause the dangerous gas, carbon monoxide, to enter your home and possibly lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Multiple nests can be inside a chimney and can cause major chimney blockage. Another risk of having birds in your chimney is the spread of histoplasmosis, a disease carried by birds that causes blindness in humans.

The Legalities of Removing Nesting Birds

Certain species of birds cannot be removed from a chimney while they are roosting inside because they are protected by federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Chimney swifts, the most common type of protected bird, always nested in hollow trees in the past, but since many of these old trees have been cut down over the years, chimney swifts began building their nests inside chimneys. You should never trust a chimney sweep company that offers to remove nesting chimney swifts. Anyone who knowingly destroys these birds or their nests containing eggs or baby birds can be fined and penalized. You will have to wait until all chimney swifts leave before their nests can be removed.

A Solution to Prevent Birds from Nesting in Your Chimney

To keep birds out of your chimney, a chimney cap with wire meshing or a top-sealing damper needs to be installed properly on top of your chimney. Preventing birds from entering your chimney means you will not have to worry about the hazards birds and their nests can create.

BEES

The Problem with Honeycomb

Some people think they can smoke bees out of a chimney by lighting a fire; however, this can pose a problem. Not only are the wax combs a fire hazard, but when the fire heats up the hive, honey begins to melt down chimney walls. The smell of the honey can attract even more bees to invade your chimney.

The Answer to Stopping a Bee Invasion

Just as with birds, a properly-installed chimney cap or top-sealing damper works to keep bees from entering your chimney. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we will remove any bee hives from your chimney as well as customize a cap or damper on the top of your chimney to prevent more bees from building hives on your chimney walls.

Experiencing an invasion of your chimney by birds or bees? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to schedule an appointment for our CSIA-certified technicians to take care of this problem for you.

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!

That’s a Funny-looking Bird!

“I don’t need a chimney cap.  Why should I have a cap”.  Well…recently, I got a call about birds in the chimney. The canine friend of the family would not quit barking at the fireplace.  Not birds but a raccoon instead. Oh my.
A chimney cap that is properly-sized and installed can prevent a face like this one sticking out of your chimney.

A chimney cap that is properly-sized and installed can prevent a face like this one sticking out of your chimney.

Keeping Water Out of Your Chimney

Water Leaks In the Chimney Are Never Good!

When most people think about problems that could occur with their chimney, they imagine animals moving in or leaves preventing proper ventilation. What they do not consider is what might happen if excessive amounts of water accumulate within the chimney. In fact, water leaks in the chimney can present some of the most dangerous situations in a chimney. Every homeowner should be aware of the risks and make sure that their chimney is safe and dry. And if there is water making its way in, we can repair it.

A properly installed chimney cap and fitted flashing goes a long way toward waterproofing your chimney.

A properly installed chimney cap and fitted flashing goes a long way toward waterproofing your chimney.

When the chimney becomes wet, it will quickly weaken and begin to crumble. Homeowners should keep in mind that this is true not only of a masonry fireplace but also of a prefabricated model. Once it starts to crumble, it is only a matter of time before the fireplace starts to collapse. This damage can quickly spread and cause structural damage to the home that will go much father than the fireplace.

Another thing to keep in mind when water enters the chimney is that it will freeze and melt along with the weather. This means that the material in the chimney will expand and contract each time. The result will be cracks in the chimney, which not only compromise the stability of the structure but can cause a great deal of other dangers. This is often the condition that starts a domino effect of dangerous chimney issues.

Once there are cracks in the chimney, the heat barrier is not as effective as it should be. This means that the structure of the home is getting much hotter than it should. In addition, it means that combustible gasses travel into the home instead of leaving the way that they should. The result is a dangerous combination of circumstances that can very quickly turn into a devastating house fire.

In many cases, moisture gets into the chimney becomes there are problems with the flue liner. Older homes may not have liners at all and, if this is the case, one needs to be installed before the fireplace is used again. Metal liners tend to hold up better than clay or tile models but even they are not foolproof if they are not installed properly. It is imperative that there are no spaces at all between the flue liner and the actual wall of the chimney. Even the smallest space could allow water in, starting a whole host of problems.

The problem is that the average homeowner has no way of knowing when there is water inside of their chimney. Installing a chimney cap is a great way to avoid many of these issues because it keeps rain and snow out of the chimney. However, it is still important to have a certified chimney sweep inspect the chimney each year. They will be able to tell easily if there is a problem with the liner or if water is entering the chimney in any other way. This should be done every year, either at the beginning or end of the fireplace season.

There are many issues that can arise with a chimney, which is why proper chimney maintenance is so important. Water in the chimney may not seem like a big deal but it can actually be the start of many problems. The result may be significant structural damage to the home or even a house fire. To avoid these issues, install a chimney cap and have the chimney professionally inspected each year.