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Identifying that you have pigeons in the chimney is usually straightforward, as you will see some of the key signs occurring quite quickly. From being able to hear the familiar cooing sounds coming down the chimney itself to actually seeing nesting materials that are dropping into the fireplace, pigeons are not particularly subtle. However, it is important to deal with them quickly once they are present. If they are left to their own devices, their nesting practices can cause significant damage to the chimney liner itself.
When Are You Most Likely To Have Pigeons In The Chimney?
Pigeons usually start out creating fairly fragile nests, but over time they will make it more stable, so in the majority of cases you will find an infestation of pigeons in the chimney if it has been out of use for some time. A chimney does take some time to cool down after a fire, so if you have a had a fire in the days before the arrival of the pigeons, they will often move on to another area.
Do Not Light A Fire
One of the most important pieces of advice is that you shouldn't light a fire when you are dealing with pigeons in the chimney, as this won't necessarily lead to them leaving the nest, but rather they can become confused and unable to fly, and actually fall down the chimney. Having a pigeon in the fireplace trying to get out into the room is certainly not what you are looking to achieve when dealing with the problem.
Exclusion Of The Pigeons
In order to exclude the birds the chimney will need to be examined to see how they are getting in, and in most cases the pigeons will gain access through the space at the top of the chimney pot. The exclusion work will be putting a funnel or flap over the access hole that will allow the birds to get out but then stop them from getting back in.
Preventing The Problem From Arising Again
Once you have excluded the birds, if they were getting in through the chimney stack then the masonry and chimney liner will then need to be repaired to stop them from getting back in. On the other hand, if they were getting in through an unprotected chimney pot, then installing a hood or cap that will still allow the smoke out, but prevent the birds from getting in will be a very good idea.
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