Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte chimney service’

Are There Snakes In Your Chimney?

July 10th, 2012

To remove a snake already in your chimney, you must first find it.

 Your local chimney sweeps daily task, it seams, is to remove both dead and alive critters from chimneys. Sometimes all we find are the parts left behind, like a snake skin or a birds head.

Venomous snakes and snakes that are just really, really big. Venom, however, is transmitted by the direct action on the part of the predator. There are only about 20 types of venomous snakes in the US., out of over 110 species. Venom’s of the pit viper contain peptides and proteins. The venom leads to damage of vascular cells and red blood cells.

Viper bites can be deadly and normally are very painful. Elapid bites are extremely lethal and antivenin treatment is a must if bitten. Vipers, rattlesnakes, and other members of the family of snakes known as the ‘pit vipers’ have special pits located between their eyes and nostrils. The pits are used to sense minute temperature changes as infrared rays, as an aid in location warm blooded prey such as rodents.

 Snakes are actually responsible for keeping crop yields at an acceptable level and preventing spreading of diseases by killing rats. Snakes such as the non-venomous rat snakes are excellent at doing this. Snakes are found in a huge range of colors, form bright to dull. Brightly colored snakes are usually venomous, their coloration serving as a warning to predators, while dull colored snakes use their coloration for camouflage. Snakes are generally solitary creatures and have little to no interest in humans. In fact, most of the truly venomous snakes do not even make their homes in the United States.

Snakes are beneficial in that they eat pest insects and rodents, helping to control the populations of animals that can be nuisances to humans. Only about one-tenth of all snakes are venomous, and not all of the venomous snakes are dangerous, or even deadly to humans. Snakes are ectotherm, which means they regulate their body temperature by taking heat from their environment or by giving off heat. Because their body temperature is affected by environmental temperatures and varies with surrounding conditions, snakes are inactive during hot seasons (aestivation) and cold season (hibernation). Snakes are an integral part of the food web in any environment. As a predator, they are important in maintaining the fitness of the animals they prey on.

Your best defense from wild animals in your chimney is a quality chimney cap. Call your certified chimney sweep for details.

 

 

Suit Up! Let’s Go Sweeping…

June 10th, 2012

Our first stop is a Level II Chimney Inspection.

We get to the house about thirty minutes early, which is great! Because it gives me a chance to chat with the current homeowner (seller) and find out how the fireplace has performed in the past. And with their permission we can set up the ladders and camera equipment.

Ok now Jane the realtor has arrived and we’re ready to get started.

First things first, let’s take our shoes off at the front door and lay out a tarp in front of the fireplace opening. Now let’s check the clearances at the fireplace surround and look for proper hearth dimensions. Next we remove the damper and check the angle of the sides in the smoke chamber. And  always, always looking for cracked bricks and missing mortar joints.

 

 

Now let’s go up on the roof.

We need to check the flashing, brick chase, crown and to make sure the chimney has a proper fitting flue cap.  This is a good time to send the spider camera down the flue to check the condition of the liner and to make sure the flue joints are properly mortared.

Down to the crawl space and up into the attic.

We need to check the clearances and look for obvious problems.

 It’s time to render a report.

The back of my van is a mobile office, there’s a computer, two printers and a binding machine. First we’ll imput the images and write the comments along side. When the report is complete we’ll go over it with the realtor and answer her question. This evening she’ll get a copy in PDF form with an accompanying flash movie of me going over the deatails and recommendations. That’s It!

Ok let’s go on to the next stop.

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