Do you hear the unmistakable sounds of chirping birds in your chimney? Are
you finding bird droppings on the walls or floor of your fireplace? Each year too many homes unwillingly and unnecessarily become bird houses.
One of the birds most likely to find your chimney an attractive home is the
barn swallow. Originally barn swallows made their homes in caves and cliff overhangs. Then people conveniently built barns for them, or so the swallow
must have thought. As barns have become scarcer, chimneys have become a favorite (for swallows, not homeowners!) protected nesting place. Built of mud and grasses, their cone
-shaped nests can be plastered to the inside walls of your unprotected chimney.
How to Prevent Bird Nests in a Chimney
A simple way to keep other animals and birds out of a chimney is a top-sealing damper. When you are not using your
fireplace, you can securely close a top-sealing damper with a pull on a chain located inside your fireplace. Not
only can birds and other animals not get in, but also cold air doesn't enter your home during the winter and air conditioned air doesn't escape during the summer.
As the name implies, a top-sealing chimney damper
such as a Lyemance damper attaches to the top of your chimney flue (as opposed to the old-fashion throat dampers inside the flue.) When it is time for
a fire in the fireplace, simply use the chain to open the top-sealing damper.
This sure-fire way to keep birds out of the chimney is a cost-effective and
energy-saving investment in your home, not to mention never again having to worry about a bird lose in your home or unwelcome bird nests in the chimney.
If, however, it is too late to keep out birds or prevent birds from nesting in
your chimney this season, and you need to get rid of existing birds or bird nests, see How to Remove Birds and Bird Nests from a Chimney.