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How Often Should I Have My Chimney Inspected?

When owning a home with a chimney and fireplace system, it is the responsibility of the homeowners to have it professionally swept and inspected at least once a year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national non-profit fire safety organizations recommend having you chimney professionally swept and inspected annually. This is one of the most important home maintenance as it is related to the safety of your family. For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has provided quality professional chimney maintenance, which includes repairs and installation services to residents across the Austin area. You can trust our CSIA-certified chimney technicians to ensure your chimney is in top working condition and will remain safe and efficient throughout the year. Chimney inspection is vital, and we would like to tell you more about what you’ll expect from our professionals.

Why do I need to have my chimney professionally inspected?

The national chimney experts recommend every homeowner to schedule this particular professional maintenance service at least once a year to ensure there are no flue blockages or any other type of damages, which could lead to dangerous fire hazards or other problems. With Atlas Chimney, we include a basic Level 1 inspection with your annual chimney sweeping appointment. However, if you are buying or selling a home or if you have made any changes to your fireplace since your previous chimney inspection, then you will need a Level 2 inspection. Our Level 2 inspection includes the attic, basement, and crawl spaces around the chimney. This will also be the inspection required after an earthquake, tornado, lightning strike, chimney fire or other events that may have damaged the chimney. If you suspect any problems that need more extensive investigation, a Level 3 inspection would be recommended. This level requires the removal of components such as a wall of the chimney – in order to determine the source of the problem that could lead to a devastating house fire – if neglected.

What can I expect from a chimney inspection from Atlas Chimney?

When sweeping your chimney, our CSIA-certified professionals will be doing a courtesy check to ensure nothing is blocking the inner flue. We will also keep an eye out for any damages to the liner. Both of these issues could lead to a potential carbon monoxide leak into your home. After sweeping your chimney, we will inspect the condition of the bricks and mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney. If we do find any damaged or missing masonry, we will provide photographs of the damages in our inspection report along with an honest estimate of the repairs that will be needed to get your chimney back to working safely.

Take advantage of our less busy off-season right now! Contact us today to schedule your professional chimney inspection.

March Means Chimney Swifts

One of the first signs of spring is hearing birds chirping in the morning. Although you usually hear this sound from outside your home, you could also hear it inside your chimney, especially if you do not have a chimney cap professionally installed on its top. Now that March has arrived, it is time for the return of chimney swifts: a species of a migratory bird that is so notorious for nesting inside chimneys that it is named after them. If you think you may be sharing your home with chimney swifts, unfortunately, you will have to wait until October for them to migrate back to their winter home in South America. These birds are protected by federal law under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, which means that the chimney sweeps at Atlas Chimney cannot remove these birds from your flue. However, we can keep them from coming back to nest in your chimney next spring. We would like to tell you more about chimney swifts and how we can help prevent them from getting into your chimney.

Why do chimney swifts like to nest inside chimneys?

Years ago, chimney swifts typically nested inside tall, hollow trees, but as more and more of them are cut down for farmland and real estate development, these birds begin using chimneys as their preferred nesting spots. Not only can it be annoying to hear baby birds chirping frequently inside your home, it can also be hazardous, especially if you have a metal flue inside your chimney, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Chimney swifts have a difficult time gripping to metal, and they can easily become stuck and even slip and fall to their deaths inside your chimney. Therefore, it is important to prevent these birds from ever getting inside the flue.

How can Atlas Chimney help me keep chimney swifts out of my chimney

The best way to make sure a family of these birds does not spend spring and summer inside your home is to have a chimney cap professionally installed on top of the chimney. Atlas Chimney can show you a wide variety of caps that are equipped with mesh metal sides that do not allow birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals to get inside the chimney. Once you have selected the right cap for your chimney, our certified and experienced chimney technicians will make sure it is properly installed to best protect your home from invasions of critters.

Not only does a chimney cap keep chimney swifts and other wild animals out, it also prevents water from getting into your chimney. Contact us at Atlas Chimney today to schedule an appointment for our professional installation services.

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