Preventing animal intrusion to your chimney

Your chimney provides a welcoming environment for birds and animals looking for a warm, dry, sheltered space to take a nap or build a nest. Once inside, birds and animals can cause damage, create a fire hazard or even gain entry into your home. That is why it is important to prevent animal intrusion into your chimney.

The problem with animals in your chimneyPreventing animal intrusion to your chimney - Indianapolis IN - Your Chimney Sweep

Some animals, like squirrels and birds, have been known to build large nests to make their homes inside chimneys. Raccoons have no problem entering and exiting chimneys, and will use chimneys as a warm, sheltered place to sleep. Other animals get into chimneys and can’t get out. Both animal nests and the bodies of trapped animals can form dangerous blocks in your chimney. A blocked chimney can ignite, causing a fire hazard in your home. When a chimney is blocked, it also prevents your fireplace gases, including deadly carbon monoxide from exiting your home.

Birds and animals that gain entry to your chimney can cause other problems. They can introduce fleas to your home. They can damage liners and chimney dampers. They leave behind smelly droppings. A trapped animal that dies in your chimney can fill your home with a horrible, decaying smell, especially when temperatures rise during the summer.

Keeping animals out of your chimney

Chimney caps are your chimney’s best defense against animal intrusions. A quality chimney cap should be fixed to your chimney with a wire cage that prevents birds, animals and larger bats from gaining entry to your chimney. It is important that you or your chimney sweep inspects your chimney cap annual to make sure it remains securely in place.

A top-sealing chimney damper also can close your chimney off from animals and birds. The dampers open to let out smoke when you light a fire. In between fires, the dampers seal off the top of your chimney flue entirely to water, wind, animals and birds.

What to do if when an animal enters your chimneyPreventing animal intrusion to your chimney - Indianapolis Indiana - Your Chimney Sweep

If animal smells are making their way into your home from your chimney, or if you hear rustling within your chimney that seems to indicate animal intrusion, it is important that you call a chimney professional. Often, nesting birds will need to be left in place, but a chimney professional can help you coordinate the removal of other animals. It also is important to keep up with your annual chimney inspection, as the inspection will indicate whether an animal intrusion has occurred and is blocking your chimney.

If you are worried that an animal could access your chimney, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule a consultation. We can examine your chimney cap and flue and provide a recommendation for securing your chimney from an animal intrusion. It’s better to keep animals out than to deal with the problems that can come from a trapped or nesting animal!

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