Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

All About Bird Screens

Whenever the weather gets warmer, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service receives phone calls from our customers to tell us they have heard birds chirping, scurrying, and flying around in their chimneys. Concerned with the state of their chimneys as well as the condition of the birds, these customers want to know how we can help. Our answer is simple: we can install a bird screen to your chimney to prevent birds and other animals like raccoons and squirrels from ever entering in the first place. Recommended by humane societies, like the Wisconsin Humane Society, a bird screen can make all of the difference. Stopping wildlife from entering your chimney prevents not only the nuisance caused but also hazardous situations that could arise. We would like to tell you more about these screens and how we can help you keep birds and animals out of your chimney.

Bird Screens Keep Birds Out - Jackson MS

What hazardous situations do bird screens prevent?

The nesting materials left behind by birds can create blockages of the flue of your chimney, which could result in carbon monoxide and other toxic gases leaking into your home through your fireplace. Additionally, these materials are highly flammable and can burn quickly if ignited to cause a devastating chimney fire. Keeping these animals out also ensures you do not run the risk of a creature becoming trapped inside your chimney to possibly die within. Bird screens will also keep leaves and other debris that can also block the flue.

Does the size of the screening make a difference?

You want the mesh screening to be small enough to keep birds and animals out of your chimney but also large enough to allow smoke and the other byproducts of combustion to exit your chimney freely. Most bird screens for chimneys have mesh openings from one-half of an inch to one inch sized openings. If the screens have openings larger than one inch, birds and animals may still be able to enter. If the mesh is smaller than one-half inch, clogging of the screen can become an issue.

How can I be sure my bird screen is not clogged?

If your bird screen becomes clogged, it can restrict airflow out of your chimney. To check to see if your screen is clogged, look at the top of your chimney from the outside during the day. If you can see daylight coming through the screen, it is not clogged. However, if the screen is opaque, your screen is probably clogged with creosote and should be cleaned.

How do I clean my bird screen?

Since it can be difficult to safely reach the top of your chimney to be able to get to your screen to clean it, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service recommends you call us to do this job for you. You may want to go ahead and schedule a chimney cleaning from our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps as a clogged bird screen usually is a pretty good indicator that the chimney itself is also in need of cleaning due to creosote accumulation.

Have questions about bird screens? Contact  Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to learn how this simple installation can keep birds and animals out of your chimney.

By Jim Robinson on April 29th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Swifts in Your Chimney

Chimney swifts in chimneys are a common problem because the migratory path of the birds is so far ranging. It extends from Canada across the entire eastern half of the United States at points, changing as they fly north and south every spring and fall. They LOVE chimneys, which is how they got their name and why they are such a common problem.

Chimney Swift - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

Unfriendly Skies

That leads to what you can do about it if you live along their chimney-hopping routes. The first thing is to be concerned about their migratory path regardless of the frequency with which you see them fly in your skies. They are difficult to distinguish from other ‘long narrow cylindrical bodies’ up there, and we never see everything that happens above our heads.

If you are not sure whether or not their migration involves your neighborhood, it is important to find out. You can contact either fire safety professionals or certified chimney sweeps in your area…both will know. If you know you are in their line of fire, so to speak, it is equally important not to discount their presence just because you have never seen one.

Restrictions for Frequent Flyers

To repeat, chimney swifts LOVE chimneys.  If yours is unprotected, there is a 50-50 chance they will check it out, at some point during their migration. If your home is within their migratory path, you need a chimney cap or a bird screen, and it needs to be strong. If not, you risk the swifts choosing your home as their next vacation spot.

If they are already in your chimney, their removal is restricted by law and must be performed by someone with a Federal permit to do so. The legal protections for chimney swifts cover their nests as well, so even if the bird is gone, you cannot simply remove the nest and debris it left behind. Again, certified chimney sweeps in your area will have those permits and are also both trained and experienced in their removal.

By Jim Robinson on May 11th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment