Chimney Care Company's Blog

What’s that sound coming from my chimney? Probably chimney swifts.

Are you suddenly hearing a lot of loud noises coming from your chimney? Does the sound of rustling movement and constant chirping have you worried about what’s lurking within? Your chimney likely is playing host to chimney swifts!

What are chimney swifts?

Chimney swifts are birds that are native to North America’s woodlands. Once, they nested on the vertical interiors of dead, hollow trees. As American cities took hold and their natural habitats were largely demolished, chimney swifts adapted by finding shelter inside chimney flues.

How do I know if it’s really chimney swifts?

Of course, chimney swifts aren’t the only animal or bird that can make a home in your chimney. They are, however, extremely common during summer months. To determine if the noise in your chimney is, in fact, caused by swifts, first listen hard. Swifts moving around are often described as causing a rattlesnake-like sound. They are very vocal birds. Meaning you will hear a lot of chirping, especially when adult birds are feeding baby birds inside the chimney. Finally, watch your chimney in the late evening, close to nightfall. That’s when you’re most likely to see a chimney swift. It has a cigar-shaped body and curved wings, and it loves diving into your chimney to take refuge for the evening!

What do I do if it is a chimney swift?

If you are hosting a family of chimney swifts in your chimney, there is nothing you can do. Due to their diminishing numbers, chimney swifts are federally protected birds. Therefore, it is illegal to remove nesting chimney swifts. Fortunately, chimney swifts are migratory birds that will vacate your chimney and move along, once the hatch-lings are old enough. Are you hearing the young chimney swifts chirping in the chimney? If so, you’ll likely only have to wait a few weeks until the swifts move on. In the meantime, you can focus on the positive: Chimney swifts eat up to one-third of their body weight in insects a day. This means your resident chimney swifts will help lower the insect count in your yard this summer!

What do I do once the swifts have moved on?

Once you are sure that the chimney swifts have vacated your chimney, you will need to have your chimney swept and inspected. Their departure likely will coincide with your fall chimney maintenance. Chimney swifts generally don’t damage chimneys in any way. However, you will want to make sure that all remnants of their nests, and any droppings they have left behind, have been safely removed from your chimney. The inspection that follows the sweeping will ensure that your flue hasn’t sustained damage from chimney sweeps!

If your chimney has been occupied by chimney swifts this summer, call the Chimney Care Co. once the swifts have vacated your flue! Our sweeps will be sure to clear away any signs that the swifts were there, and they’ll make sure that your chimney remains in safe, working condition.


Top 10 Reasons Not to Clean Your Chimney

There are certain dangers in operating your fireplace without having it cleaned and inspected annually.


Keep this information in mind when thinking about your chimney.

Spring Is Here – Get Your Chimney Cleaned and Inspected Now

Spring Cleaning Your Fireplace - Cincinnati, OH - Chimney Care Company


Most homeowners with a fireplace have been told about the importance of having their chimney system cleaned annually (or more often depending on how heavily they rely on it during heating season), and a large portion now acknowledge this importance and make an annual inspection and cleaning part of their yearly to-do list. Yet somehow chimney maintenance is de-prioritized until the colder weather begins setting in. Homeowners can then be seen scrambling to make their appointments so they can start using their fireplaces to keep warm at night. What many of these homeowners complain about, however, is the wait time involved between scheduling the appointment and actually having the work completed.


They’re not overly excited about waiting a few days or weeks for their respective chimney service companies to be able to fit them into their schedule. Some homeowners, due to their impatience, will settle for a non-certified chimney company; in doing so, they may be saving a few dollars in upfront costs, but they could very well be spending a lot more down the road, as these fly-by-night sweeps could overlook a small issue that could have disastrous consequences for you and your family.


Chimney professionals are no doubt the busiest during the fall season. As the temperature drops, the fireplace begs to be used, but only when it is clean and ready. It might be a few weeks before a crew can get to your home, and if they find your chimney needs repairs, there can be more delays keeping you from using your fireplace. The spring and summer are the best times to get your chimney cleaned and inspected and allows plenty of time to address any repairs. Scheduling is usually easier as well as its kind of like getting your air conditioning serviced in winter.


Rather than settling for an untrained alternative simply because they can come service your chimney system a day or two sooner in October, why not call a reputable company during the warmer spring months to take care of all of your chimney system needs. Your chimney might be one of the farthest things from your mind when it’s no longer cold outside, but it can save you in the long run from lots of hassle and frustration.

A little planning and forethought can help to ensure that you receive your annual service from a reputable, certified company in a timely manner. Enjoy your fires this year with peace of mind. To make an appointment today, call us at 513-248-9600 or click here to schedule an appointment online.

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

All About Carbon Monoxide

More and more each day we hear reports in the news about people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. Of course these tragedies occur less frequently during the summer months but are all too common during the winter, especially when people first fire up their stoves or fireplaces in the fall. This is why Chimney Care Co. recommends performing any needed chimney maintenance in the summer before your chimney sweep’s schedule gets jam-packed.

Your home is an investment, and those of us at Chimney Care Company want to help you protect that investment. Do your part to protect your home and family from the devastation of fire and structural compromise by keeping up with your annual maintenance services.

Your home is an investment, and those of us at Chimney Care Company want to help you protect that investment. Do your part to protect your home and family from the devastation of fire and structural compromise by keeping up with your annual maintenance services.

If you’re not familiar with carbon monoxide beyond the rudimentary schooling you got when you learned about the periodic table in high school, you’ve come to the right place. In fact if you have a chimney, fireplace, and/or stove that you use even periodically, it’s even more important that you fully understand what carbon monoxide is and how to prevent it from venting into your living space. Awareness is the first step toward preventing what could be tremendous and irreversible tragedy.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of how easily their deaths could have been prevented,” says the relative of a family of four who died from carbon monoxide poisoning as the result of a blocked chimney flue.

About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is called the “silent killer” because it is odorless, tasteless, and colorless; breathing it can kill you or cause the sudden onset of flu-like illness. Its familiar symptoms make it difficult to diagnose, and in fact people sometimes die in their sleep from CO2 poisoning without any forewarning.

CO2 poisoning happens rapidly because the human body mistakenly will begin to replace the oxygen in the body with the CO in the air, effectively blocking additional oxygen from getting in. Those who don’t die from CO2 exposure may suffer permanent brain or tissue damage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning each year, more than 20,000 visit the ER, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. Americans 65 and older are most likely to die from CO2 poisoning; infants are also more susceptible.

CO2 is created by combustion, which means that owners of fireplaces and stoves—both gas- and wood-burning—should be especially careful to ensure that their heating appliance is connected properly and venting correctly and that their chimney flu is not blocked by nests, debris, or the buildup of creosote.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A chimney inspection conducted by a certified sweep should reveal any areas of concern. We also strongly recommend installation of a carbon monoxide detector. And, finally, awareness itself can be incredibly powerful.

If you live in southwestern Ohio or northern Kentucky and want to put your mind to rest about how safe your chimney or heating appliance is, contact Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today.

Spring Checklist for Your Chimney

As days grew shorter and the weather got colder, many of us retreated indoors to the warmth of our homes and hearths. For those homeowners who made used their fireplace(s) during the colder months, spring is a great time to schedule a chimney inspection to make sure your chimney system is in good working order. If your assessment uncovers any issues that give you pause, call in a chimney professional to diagnose the problem before it gets big, expensive, and potentially dangerous. Deterioration of mortar joints, broken or spalled bricks, and water penetration are all signs that your chimney may need repair.

Homeowners who used their fireplace during the colder months should view spring as the perfect time to schedule an inspection to ensure their chimney system is in peak operating condition.

Homeowners who used their fireplace during the colder months should view spring as the perfect time to schedule an inspection to ensure their chimney system is in peak operating condition.

My Mortar is Crumbling

Open mortar joints and cracks in the mortar also cause water to penetrate your brickwork. A good repointing job, using proper materials, will enhance your chimney’s lifespan and will enhance its appearance, too. Repointing is far more than simply forcing some new mortar into your chimney’s cracks. The process requires different skills than traditional masonry, and even brick masons with years of masonry experience might not even have significant experience repointing chimneys.

My Bricks are Cracking and Breaking

Brick is known for its durability, but time and the elements can cause bricks to crumble or flake, a condition commonly referred to as spalling. Spalling is caused when the masonry absorbs too much moisture from rain/snow and is subjected to freeze/thaw cycles. Spalling bricks have cracks and breaks in the surface and often large, crater-shaped chips. The best way to avoid brick spalling is to eliminate the moisture. If the area around your chimney crown is cracked or the cap itself is defective, this allows water to seep into the brickwork below.

Water Penetration is Destroying my Chimney

Chimneys are notorious for leaking; the flashing is a common culprit of these leaks, as it lies at the point where the chimney rises above the roof. It keeps water out of the chimney, protecting both the flue and roof. Flashings are made from a variety of materials—aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, and/or tin. You’ll want to have new chimney flashing installed if yours is missing, rusted through, falling out, or completely covered with roofing tar (a common short-term fix that could be hiding a bigger problem).

An annual inspection of your chimney by a qualified chimney professional should include a thorough examination of the external structure to look for signs of deterioration or weakness, as well as a visual inspection of the flue inside your chimney to ensure that it’s in proper working order, too. The chimney professionals at The Chimney Care Company are fully prepared to meet all of your chimney inspection and repair needs. Give us a call or stop by our showroom today!

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140