Summer is here with barbecues, trips to the beach, kids running around, and lots of heat. Before you melt away in the hot summer sun, I want to make sure you don’t get driven mad by our friend the chimney swift.
What is a Chimney Swift?
No, these are not really fast chimney sweepers, they are birds. Small, brownish-grey, cigar-shaped birds that can be found throughout Connecticut during the spring and summer. People often mistake them for bats because they fly in an erratic pattern.
They are kind of weird because they build their nests vertically in dark, enclosed spaces, places exactly like your chimney or air shafts.
Any animal in your chimney is problematic, they make noise, they smell and there’s an animal in your chimney.
These birds have their own unique challenges because they are a protected species, meaning you can’t touch them.
According to the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, those who knowingly destroy nests containing eggs or young swifts can be penalized or fined under the law.
What To Do?
Just like your doctor and the apple, prevention is the best medicine here. A properly fitting chimney cap in good repair will keep the elements and the elements out of your home. If you’re unsure call us at 1-866-244-6489 and we’ll come check it out to make sure your cap is working.
If you notice the birds flying around or hear them in your chimney there’s a good chance they’ve got a nest in there with eggs waiting to hatch. Unfortunately, once a chimney swift takes up residence in a chimney structure, they often cannot be removed for several weeks until their eggs hatch and babies mature. This takes around 6 weeks.
That’s right folks six weeks of living with birds chirping in your chimney, ready to get that cap checked?
All is not lost though, while you’re waiting for these little ones to grow up and fly the coop make sure your damper is closed. This will help the sound and keep them from flying or falling into your house. This is another good reason to make sure your damper is working properly, we can help. You can also temporarily pack the bottom of the flue with insulating materials to muffle the noise. Be sure to remove the material after the birds leave and before you use your fireplace.
Never attempt to start a fire as a way to scare trapped animals out. The heat, smoke, and fumes will usually injure or kill the animal before they can escape and you now have a dead or injured animal to deal with.
Once the babies have grown up we can come out and clean out the nest for you and get your cap squared away, with a properly fitting cap to keep this from happening to you again. These little guys are creatures of habit if you’ve had them once they will likely be back if you don’t change the situation.
While we certainly love birds and it’s great that they are being protected, it’s dangerous for animals to be trapped in chimneys, keep them and you safe with a properly fitting chimney cap.
Clean and Inspect Your Chimney
As always, please make sure you are having your chimney cleaned and inspected every year. We care about your home and the chimney is the exhaust system for your whole house. Make sure your system is working properly and there are no weak areas that will allow water into your home.
We are still offering our FREE membership with the cost of your annual chimney cleaning & inspection.
What does that mean?
Annual Membership Includes:
• Annual chimney cleaning
• Annual full safety inspection
• 10% off any repairs, including liners, dampers, caps, etc.
• 10% off masonry work
• 10% off annual gutter cleaning
• 10% off annual dryer vent cleaning
• Automatic scheduling and reminder of annual cleaning
• Monthly Newsletter with homecare tips
What’s the catch? There is no catch. Membership is included in your annual cleaning and is renewed annually at the time of cleaning. No contract, no monthly fees, no cancellation process just a thank you to our best people.
As an even bigger thank you, we are offering $25 off cleanings by mentioning this article. So you get your membership for even less than the cost of a cleaning.