Our Company Blog

Keep Animals Out Of 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!

5 Common Chimney Replacements

Replacing parts of your chimney that are not properly functioning or are outdated can increase its performance and ensure safety.

Replacing parts of your chimney that are not properly functioning or are outdated can increase its performance and ensure safety.

Serving all of San Diego, California, West Star Chimney Sweeps offers an array of services to our customers. From chimney sweeping to dryer vent cleaning, we do everything we can to keep our customers secure, healthy, and confident in the safety and efficiency of their appliances. One of the things most frequently required of us are chimney part replacements. We often swap.

Why Your Chimney Needs to Be in Good Condition

Before we tell you about the chimney parts we replace most often, we want to tell you why it’s important to keep your chimney and all of its components in great working order. Simply put, a chimney that’s worn out may:

  • Become a fire hazard
  • Begin to leak and cause water damage
  • Become clogged and unable to vent properly
  • Vent toxic gases into your home
  • Deteriorate beyond repair and require total replacement

West Star Chimney can make sure that your chimney and heating appliance are in great condition so that you don’t have to worry about any of these things happening.

Chimney and Fireplace Parts West Star Chimney Replaces Most Often

Among other replacements, we are often required to replace the following five parts on fireplaces and chimneys around San Diego:

  1. Chimney Caps: A brick and mortar chimney without a cap is like a house without a roof. Chimney caps play lots of important roles, including keeping water out, keeping birds and bees out, keeping sparks in, and eliminating downdrafts. By keeping the wrong stuff out and the right stuff in, you’ll protect your chimney from accumulating fire hazards (think leaves and limbs, nests, trash, and other debris) and reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fire. You’ll also be protecting your chimney, assuring its longer life, and safeguarding your home from expensive water damage.
  2. Chase Covers: If yours is a prefabricated, factory-made, or metal chimney, you will need to cover the top of it with what’s known as a chase cover. Chase covers serve the same purposes as chimney caps, as outlined above. The standard steel chase cover that comes with a prefabricated chimney is prone to rust and corrosion, which can lead to waterlogged ceilings and walls as well as mold problems. Luckily, there are lots of beautiful and durable replacement chase covers to choose from, in a variety of finishes.
  3. Dampers: Chimney dampers are perhaps our favorite chimney part to tell homeowners about. This is because we get to tell them how we’re about to save them money by installing a top-sealing damper atop their chimney. After all, having a chimney without a damper is not unlike leaving a window open year round; just imagine how much you’d spend on extra energy costs if you left a window open all the time. A damper will keep water and debris out of your chimney, but it’s most notable for the fact that the homeowner can open and close it, creating an airtight seal when the heating appliance is not in use.
  4. Prefab Panels: Prefabricated refractory panels are what comprise the firebox in your factory-made or prefabricated fireplace. If your panels are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, it’s likely that they need to be replaced with properly sized panels installed by a pro. If your panels have cracks that are the thickness of a nickel or if the panels have been reduced by a quarter inch or more in thickness, then it’s time to have them replaced. We’re happy to do that for you at West Star Chimney.
  5. Hearth Screens: Whether or not you already have a hearth screen, West Star Chimney is happy to equip your fireplace with one. These screens offer lots of advantages, including peace of mind that if an errant spark flies out of your fireplace it will stay in your fireplace. It will also help keep pets and small children away from your fire and can update the look of your fireplace.

Have questions about caps, chase covers, dampers, prefab panels, hearth screens, or any other chimney component? Call us at 619-338-8116 or schedule an appointment with us today using our online form.