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Removing Animals From Your Chimney

The heat and smoke of your fireplace, combined with its dark confines, may make your chimney seem inhospitable. Many animals and birds have the opposite view, however. The warmth that flows up from you home can seem cozy and inviting. In addition, the walls of your chimney can offer protection from predators and the elements. That’s why a variety of animals will try to make a home in your chimney, if given the opportunity.

The dangers of animals in your chimney.

Do you hear scratching and movement from your chimney walls? Have you noticed an animal lurking on your rooftop near your flue? If so, it can be tempting to ignore, but ignoring an animal intruder in your chimney is a big mistake! Animals can damage your flue liner. Their bodies and their nests can create dangerous obstructions that can force smoke and carbon monoxide back into your home, or that can ignite and cause a chimney fire. Animals that find their way into your chimney and get stuck can die inside the chimney. Consequently, they can fill your home with a putrid smell as they rot. In a worst case scenario? Animals can bypass your chimney damper and gain entry to your home. This is where they can be aggressive, cause damage to your furniture, floors and décor, or spread dangerous diseases.

What to do about animals in your chimney.

Do you hear the telltale rustle of animals or birds in your chimney or see animals or birds entering and exiting your flue? If so, it’s time to call in chimney professionals. Never try to deal with an animal on your own! Threatened animals can become aggressive and bite or scratch. If you accidentally kill or trap the animal in your chimney, you will be stuck with a rotting corpse in your chimney. Additionally, some bird species cannot legally be removed from your chimney; you must wait until the animals migrate away and then have the nest remains swept away.

Chimney technicians trained in animal removal will know how to remove an animal or bird safely from your chimney. A trained chimney technician also can sweep the chimney to make sure that any remaining nest, food or debris within the chimney has been cleared away. In addition, he or she will inspect the chimney for any damage that could have been caused by the nesting animal.

How to keep animals out of your chimney.

Of course, it’s ideal to prevent animals from invading your chimney in the first place. Your chimney should be outfitted with a chimney cap, or a top-sealing damper, that is surrounded by a metal cage. These cages are specifically designed to keep your chimney – and your home – safe from animal intrusions.

If you need an expert to remove an animal from your chimney, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule an appointment today! We can remove the animal and make sure that your chimney is once again safe for use. If your chimney is unprotected from animal intrusions, we can outfit your flue with a chimney cap or top-sealing damper that will keep pests out of your chimney.

By Joe Sauter on May 24th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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!