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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.

The Importance of Hiring a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep

It is important to make sure hired technicians are experienced and trained. In addition, they should also be licensed, bonded, insured, and certified within the industry. For chimney sweeps, this certification comes from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and this non-profit organization also provides certifications for dryer vent exhaust technicians. At Atlas Chimney, we are proud to have both types of CSIA-certified technicians on our staff, and we would like to take this chance to tell you more about why it is so important to consider these certifications when making professional home maintenance hiring decisions.

How does a technician become certified by the CSIA?

The Importance of Hiring a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep - Austin TX - Atlas ChimneyIn order to receive certification, technicians much pass two exams. They are based on Successful Chimney Sweeping, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances, and the International Residential Code. Applicants have several options from which to choose to prepare for these exams. They can do an in-person one-day review session at various locations across the country. In addition, there is a one-week seminar at the National Chimney Sweep Training School at CSIA headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana. There is also an online review course available. Once they have passed the two exams, technicians must pay dues and sign the CSIA Code of Ethics to receive certification.

Why is it so important to hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep?

As part of the Code of Ethics, technicians pledge to keep up with updates and changes to building codes that are applicable to chimneys and fireplaces. In addition, there are new technologies in maintaining, repairing, and installing chimney and fireplace systems to follow. Another important part is trusting the integrity of our services when we come to your home. Technicians must also pledge to conduct themselves honestly and fairly on the job, which means you will not have to worry about getting an unfair or dishonest estimate from any CSIA-certified chimney sweep.

Have your chimney swept and inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep! Contact us at Atlas Chimney today to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney maintenance services!

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