How to remove birds nests from your chimney

It’s Spring which means bird nesting season is in full swing. All home and business owners with chimneys should be aware of the annual potential invasion from birds’ looking to take residence. Nests with or without birds living in them can cause various chimney structure problems and are a fire hazard.

 

Why do birds nest in chimneys?

 

Jackdaws in a chimneyBirds seek out chimneys to roost in as in their opinion they are an attractive, safe, dry home; essentially a perfect place to raise their young!

 

Jackdaws and barn swallows are the most common birds to nest in chimneys. Swallows in particular hatch in 15 days and the young continue to use the nest for up to three weeks. Meaning it is important to hire a chimney sweep as soon as you suspect nesting is occurring.

 

How do you know if a bird is nesting in your chimney?

 

The first sign that you have a bird in the chimney flue is the presence of a few twigs, or other non-chimney materials dropping down into your fire place. This is the stage in which you should give a chimney sweep a call.

 

Alternatively, you may notice birds flying back and forth around your chimney pot, or you may hear an excessive amount of tweeting or cooing whilst inside or outside your residence.

 

How do birds build chimney nests?

 

Birds will find twigs that are just the right width to lodge in the chimney flue. They will gradually build the twig layers upwards similar to a scaffold until they are around six feet from the top of the

Chimney diagram showing where a cowl should be fitted

chimney; at which point they build the nest. As the nest nears completion it will reach the top of the flue. The bird will then add materials such as horse manure, moss, grass, hair and fur where it plans on laying the eggs. This upper layer often forms a solid dung mass which is hard to break and remove.

You must never try and light a fire whilst there’s a nest in the chimney. This is because you run the risk of smoke entering the room and the twigs igniting – potentially causing a chimney fire. If you have a gas fire, this can be deadly as carbon monoxide could leak into your room and you’ll be none the wiser unless you have a carbon monoxide detector alarm.

 

What should you do if a bird is actively nesting in your chimney?

 

Nesting birds are protected by law, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means removing, destroying or tampering with an active nest would be illegal. The act protects eggs, live young, and mothering birds. Consequently, it is key to not let the situation escalate if you suspect a bird may have its eye on your chimney!

If you realise that a bird is nesting late on in their building process chimney sweeps can still be of service as a point of call for advice. They will remove any nests blockages but may have to wait until the end of the breeding season (July onwards.)

 

What does the nest removal process entail?

Birds nest removed from chimney

Believe it or not nest removal is an extremely physical and time-consuming job. Removing the nest produces a surprising amount of debris which needs to be bagged up and removed. To remove a birds’ nest a small brush is used to puncture the nest, this loosens the nests materials. Next, larger brushes are used to sweep out the remainder of the debris. Lastly, a fire test is conducted by the chimney sweep to ensure that the sweep has been effective.

 

How can birds be prevented from nesting in chimneys?

 

Chimney sweeps can fit a bird guarding cap, cage or cowl over your chimney. In the future this will provide ongoing protection from any birds, insects or animals entering your chimney. It is vital to get the chimney cap fitted immediately after the nest removal process. If you leave it 24 hours, the birds may begin to rebuild the nest. Within a very short period a frantic bird may have layered up enough twigs to block the chimney for a second time.

Plus, birds that nest in your chimney are very likely to return again the next year to nest in the same place. Although, it’s worth noting that bird guards need to be chosen with care. They must be made of stainless steel if they are to have any decent lifespan. These can be painted or covered in powder coating to make them look aesthetically pleasing.

Here at ES Sweeps we have over thirty years of chimney sweeping experience and are able to remove any nests left by our feathered friends promptly and professionally. If you have any queries get in touch now on 07545 976 100

Read more of our blogs here.

 

 

Get your Chimney Sweep booked in ready for the big day

Have you booked in for a Chimney Sweep?

There is nothing more picturesque than having the family sit around the fire embracing the Christmas spirit. However, what many people forget to do during the build up to Christmas is to get their chimney sweep. Not only is it essential to have your chimney swept ready for the big man to slide down with all your presents, but it is also a safety requirement.

There are many individuals out there that believe they can clean their own chimney. However, this is not recommended by ES Sweeps nor most Fire Safety Institutes. An experienced chimney sweeper will ensure all debris and build up is thoroughly cleaned. They will also check for and remove birds’ nests, as this is a common problem with open fire chimneys.

Our dedicated team will not only clean your chimney, removing the soot and debris, but we will also inspect the infrastructure of your chimney for any hidden damage. A highly beneficial service for those who have had a chimney for several years. Not only does a regular chimney sweep help prevent house fires, it can also save you money in the long run. This is because most chimneys will have some sort of flue liner installed. A flue liner is the first line of defence against house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. However, moisture can get trapped if the flue liner has a large build-up of soot and debris, corroding the liner. By having regular sweeps, you will increase the lifespan of your flue and ensure everyone in your house is safe from house fires and Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a team to come out and inspect and clean your chimney contact us. We work within the Essex and Suffolk area.

Chimney Sweeping this Christmas

Chimney sweeping at christmas

Sweep your chimney this winter

 

It’s that time of year again! When the days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder. You’ve stayed on top of your winter tasks, i.e. start Christmas shopping, bring down the extra blankets and bulk buy de-icer for the car. But aren’t you forgetting something? Many homeowners get caught up in the festive period that they forget a crucial and, in some cases, lifesaving activity. Have your chimney swept by a professional.

The winter months is when fireplaces get their most use. This is also a time in which emergency services see an increase in chimney and house fires. One of the biggest causes of chimney fires is having irregular cleaning and improper inspections. Irregular cleaning is often because the individuals have forgotten to get their chimney cleaned. Whilst the improper inspections are due to people going for cheaper alternatives or by doing it themselves. Both of which result in a build- up of twigs, rubbish and soot from over the months. This overall results is a fire waiting to happen.

Essex and Suffolk Sweeps

We are a well-established Chimney sweeping business based in the London and Essex’s area. We pride ourselves on not contracting out any work we do, all of which is carried out by a fully certified and insured member of our team. We’re able to provide a wide range of services, as well as giving you support and advice on maintenance.

 

For more information on how we can help you contact us.

Modern Standard Coffee – Flue Sweeping

Lovely day spent in a coffee roasting house today Sweeping their flue.  Makes a change to smell lovely coffee rather than soot.

Chimneys should be swept regularly to remove the build up of soot, creosote and other debris which are deposited from the fuel you are burning on your stove or in your fires. It is this build up which could potentially cause a chimney fire. How often your chimney should be swept is dependent on what fuel you are burning.

The majority of insurance companies require chimneys and flues to be swept as part of the insurance terms and conditions. Many insurance companies will also not pay for a claim where intervals between sweeps have been observed and documented by certification.  Be assured that once your chimney or flue has been swept you should be issued with a Chimney Safety Certificate which is recognised by all leading insurance companies.  As a Guild member sweep you will receive this certificate from Essex & Suffolk Sweeps on completion of works along with a smoke draw test which we perform on all chimneys at no additional charge.

Services Include:

Chimney & flue blockages cleared

Chimney and flues, sweep and vacuumed

Bird nest removal

Chimney Pots, Bird guards and cowls fitted

CCTV camera inspection

Certificate, recognised by all leading insurance companies, always issued

Damaged chimney pot/stack replacement

Flue smoke tests

Wood and multi-fuel stove cleaning & repairs

Solid fuel cookers repairs

Burner installation (Hetas Certified)

We do not contract any work out and all works undertaken will be carried out by certified and insured, Member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.  By choosing Essex & Suffolk Sweeps to service your chimney, you can be sure that you will receive a professional, dependable, and friendly service.

 

Contact us

 

A Sweeps finds all sorts in a chimney

https://www.facebook.com/bob.modero/videos/1189601007725337/
Chimney findings

A chimney can be home to some strange findings. From newspapers, to money to ducks. A Chimney sweeper with a few years under their belt will have seen it all. Here we’ve compiled some of the most unusual findings we’ve heard about (and some we’ve experienced ourselves).

  • A letter to Santa from 1912

A man from Dublin Ireland came across a letter to Santa from 1912 whilst he was cleaning out his fireplace. The note was believed to be from Hannah and Alfred Howard. Remarkably, the note to Santa has had very little burn damage despite the fireplace is used on a regular basis. The note included a list of desired toys and a couple of cute illustrations.

  • Newspapers from 1940’s

An experienced Chimney sweeper was cleaning out a lovely customers chimney when he came across some old newspapers. At first glance, he didn’t take much notice, until he noticed the dates. Alike to the letter to Santa, the newspaper over the years had stayed in relatively good condition.

  • Dead cats or shoes

Chimney Sweepers in Australia are never surprised if they come across either a dead cat or a shoe in the chimney they are sweeping. This is because traditionally Australia settlers were superstitious and would often hide one or the other in their Chimneys. This practice is said to have come from Britain from an Ancient Roman practice to ward off evil spirits.

Essex and Suffolk Sweeps

Chimneys should be swept regularly to remove the build-up of soot, creosote and any other unusual items that can be lurking up there.

Smokeless coals: At least once a year

Wood: Once a season when in use

Bitumous coal: Twice a year

Oil: Once a year

Gas: Once a year

BBC Radio 

https://www.facebook.com/bbcshropshire/videos/10153171542880670/

The risk of cleaning your chimney with a vacuum cleaner

If you burn wood you will have to clean the ash up periodically. However, many people do not realise the dangers and the unnecessary fire risk that is caused when cleaning your stove or chimney with a household vacuum cleaner. Please be aware, an ash vacuum is the only type of vacuum which can be used to safely get rid of the ash built up in your chimney or stove. There are many reasons as to why you shouldn’t use a regular vacuum to remove your ash, the main one being that normal household vacuums are not designed to any heat. If a regular vacuum is used the ash cleaned up could cause the vacuum to set alight as depicted in the video.

Chimney Sweeping should be carried out regularly to remove the build up of soot, creosote and other debris which are deposited from the fuel you are burning on your stove or in your fires. It is this build-up which could potentially cause a chimney fire. How often your chimney should be swept is dependent on what fuel you are burning.

We provide a wide range of services:

Chimney & flue blockages cleared

Chimney and flues, sweep and vacuumed

Bird nest removal

Chimney Pots, Bird guards and cowls fitted

CCTV camera inspection

Certificate, recognised by all leading insurance companies, always issued

Damaged chimney pot/stack replacement

Flue smoke tests

Wood and multi-fuel stove cleaning & repairs

Solid fuel cookers repairs

Burner installation (Hetas Certified)

 

For more information contact us: 07545976100 email: info@essweeps.co.uk

To watch the full video click here

 

 

Chelmsford Essex – Checking an unsafe stove

Another Red Card, so many issues with this stove!

1) Found a rust hole in the twin wall flue system in the loft space

2) No safety barrier around the twin wall flue system in the loft space

3) Twin wall flue system has been fitted to close to the wooden structure in the loft space

4) No fire stop in between ceilings

5) No visual access to joints in the chimney breast

6) Halve was too small for the size of the stove fitted

7) No carbon monoxide alarm in the property

Chimney Cleaning Chimney out of use ES Sweeps - Chimney CleaningChimney Sweeping servicesFlue Cleaning

 

Here at Essex and Suffolk Sweeps, we pride ourselves on our great quality service ensuring you can use your Stove or wood burner safely.

We recommend Chimney / Flue Sweeping should be carried out regularly. This is to help eliminate the build up of soot, creosote and other debris. But to also ensure issues such as the ones highlighted above are dealt with quickly and safely.

Our services include the following:

Chimney & flue blockages cleared

Chimney and flues, sweep and vacuumed

Bird nest removal

Chimney Pots, Bird guards and cowls fitted

CCTV camera inspection

Certificate, recognised by all leading insurance companies, always issued

Damaged chimney pot/stack replacement

Flue smoke tests

Wood and multi-fuel stove cleaning & repairs

Solid fuel cookers repairs

Burner installation (Hetas Certified)

About us:

We are based in the South Essex area, but we do cover all surrounding areas from Woodbridge in Suffolk right through to Kent areas.  We do not contract any work out and all works undertaken will be carried out by a certified and fully insured member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.  By choosing Essex & Suffolk Sweeps to service your chimney, or for any of the additional Gardening and DIY services we are able to offer, you can be sure that you will receive a professional, dependable and friendly service.

Contact us for more information.

Southminster Essex – Chimney sweep

Another annual sweep and installation of new rope on the stove doors, coals were still red hot so this fire get lots of use at Southminster Essex.

Southminster Essex - Chimney sweepSouthminster Essex - Chimney sweepSouthminster Essex - Chimney sweepSouthminster Essex - Chimney sweep

Essex & Suffolk Sweeps are based in the South Essex area but cover all surrounding areas from Woodbridge in Suffolk right through to Kent areas.  We do not contract any work out. All work undertaken will be carried out by a certified and fully insured member.  By choosing Essex & Suffolk Sweeps to service your chimney, or for any of the additional Gardening and DIY services we are able to offer, you can be sure that you will receive a professional, dependable and friendly service.

 

Most people are unaware each year in England, approximately 40-50 deaths occur from carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally,  many more people are admitted to hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poising.  In addition to this, the Fire Rescue Services attended around 7,000 chimney fires each year. Many of these fires & deaths could potentially be avoided by having your chimneys and flues swept regularly by a qualified chimney sweep.

Chimneys should be swept regularly to remove the build up of soot, creosote and other debris. This can be deposited from the fuel you are burning on your stove or in your fires. It is this build up which could potentially cause a chimney fire.

How often your chimney should be swept is dependent on what fuel you are burning.

  • Smokeless coals: At least once a year
  • Wood: Once a season when in use
  • Bitumous coal: Twice a year
  • Oil: Once a year
  • Gas: Once a year

 

North Ockendon – Chimney Sweep & Repairs