Chimneys are an especially appealing option for animals looking to escape from the outside world. Chimney swifts are one animal that commonly seeks shelter in chimneys, but their presence can be more difficult to deal with than other animals. Fortunately for homeowners in the Tulsa area, C&C Chimney is here to help. Read below to learn more about chimney swifts, then give us a call at (918) 396-8296 to schedule an appointment today!
What are Chimney Swifts?
Chimney swifts are found throughout the continental United States, mostly on the east coast and midwest. They are fairly common throughout Tulsa and the surrounding Oklahoma areas. They are fairly distinguishable from other birds, as they are small, grey, and have a tube or cigar-shaped body with long wings. Swifts often fly in packs and enjoy hiding in chimneys because they are dark, dry, and the shelter keeps them safe from the elements and potential predators. These birds also cannot “perch” and sit upright on branches or other objects, so they must cling to the walls of chimneys or hollowed objects such as trees. In fact, chimney swifts spend virtually all of their lives airborne for this exact reason.
A chimney swift infestation can be quite a nuisance for homeowners. Because they travel in packs, you are more likely to have a high number of swifts in your chimney rather than one or two. Chimney swifts are also protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This Act “prohibits the take (including killing, capturing, selling, trading, and transport) of protected migratory bird species without prior authorization by the Department of Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” With this protection, chimney swifts cannot be forcefully removed from your chimney by homeowners or trained chimney professionals. You must wait for them to exit on their own accord.
How to Handle a Chimney Swift Infestation
There are several ways to detect a swift infestation in your chimney. You may hear chirping, fluttering, or other bird sounds coming from your chimney. You may also notice feathers, droppings, nesting materials, or any other abnormal materials on the floor of your fireplace. It is also possible that you had a chimney swift infestation unknowingly. A chimney inspection or sweeping completed by a professional technician from C&C can also alert you. Chimney inspections are recommended annually for all homeowners to ensure that their chimney and fireplace can be safely used. During an inspection, one of our technicians will examine your entire system to determine its condition. If we notice a chimney swift infestation, we, unfortunately, can do very little about it and you cannot operate your fireplace and chimney until the birds leave on their own. After they exit, we will return and perform any necessary cleaning or maintenance. If you had a swift infestation but they have already exited your chimney, we can remove any evidence of their presence because certain remains such as nesting materials may pose a fire hazard.
An uncapped or “open” chimney is very inviting to a flock of swifts looking for somewhere to seek asylum. A cap sits at the top of your chimney system and closes off the flue. Chimney caps prevent unwanted animals from entering your chimney and home while also keeping debris such as sticks and branches out. Additionally, chimney caps keep water out, which significantly decreases your chance of a chimney leak and resulting water damage.
A chimney cap goes a long way towards keeping not just your chimney, but the entire home safe and functional. Chimney caps are constantly exposed to the elements such as precipitation and wind, meaning that they can deteriorate or rust over time. Fortunately, a professional chimney technician from C&C can perform any necessary chimney cap maintenance and installation! Our stainless steel and copper chimney caps are designed to withstand this constant exposure and will keep your home safe for years! With a cap on your chimney, you’ll never have to deal with a chimney swift infestation!
While we cannot remove swifts from your chimney, we offer other animal removal services. We can safely and humanely remove animals such as raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, or other birds from your chimney.
Schedule an Appointment With C&C Chimney Today!
If you think you have a swift infestation or need any other chimney maintenance, we’re here to help! C&C Chimney has been proudly providing the Tulsa area with high-quality chimney, fireplace, and masonry services since 2006! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to prioritize our customers’ safety but can still perform necessary chimney maintenance tasks. Give us a call at (918) 396-8296 or schedule an appointment online today!