Nature Wants to Move In.
Keep It Out!
When left unprotected, animals will hunker down in your chimney, creating a blockage in your chimney and a fire and safety hazard for your home.
If you don’t have a cap installed, you’re basically invited critters to set up their home inside your chimney. This poses a problem though since animals and their nests can create dangerous blockages that lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Birds usually find their way into the chimney on accident. To avoid predators and get warm at the same time, they’ll often sit at the top of the chimney during the colder months. But as they breathe in the poisonous gases rising from the chimney, they’ll become disoriented and may fall in, either dying on impact or becoming stranded in your chimney.
Originally building their homes in hollowed out trees and tree trunks, these birds have found that chimneys make a great alternative. Unlike most birds, chimney swifts are able to fly in and out of the chimney very easily. They will typically build their nest on the wall of the chimney flue, but can also make it as far down as the smoke chamber. Their eggs have a 19-day incubation period, and once hatched, the chicks make a lot of noise. It’s not as cute as you may imagine – sounds more like someone scratching a chalkboard.
Additionally, if you have these birds nesting in your chimney, you’re at their mercy. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, meaning you’re not allowed to disturb any kind of active chimney swift nest. You’ll have to wait until the babies grow up and fly away, which can be quite inconvenient.
Squirrels and raccoons like to hunker down in chimneys as well. Raccoons especially see it as a suitable home to hide their cubs. They are able to move up and down the chimney by pressing their backs against one wall and their legs on the other. Since there’s no indoor plumbing system in your chimney, once the critters are gone you’ll need to remove all the animal waste that’s built up.
Squirrels can have a difficult time getting in and out of the chimney, and will often find themselves stranded. However, once their nest is assembled, they can get in and out easily. Squirrel nests are actually very dangerous. Built with bundles of sticks and leaves, squirrel nests will pack a flue solid, causing smoke and carbon monoxide to blow back into the house.
Here’s how we help with animal remediation.
If you suspect that you have an animal problem in your chimney, you can call and schedule and inspection. We will examine your chimney and look for the animal and anything that may be causing an obstruction.
If you do indeed have a live animal inside your chimney, there are ways to coax it out (as long as it’s not a chimney swift, which are protected). The important thing is to get a chimney cap installed immediately, once the animal has left the chimney.
The chimney cap will not only keep animals out, but will also prevent rain and debris from falling in. We recommend that every single chimney flue be covered with a stainless steel or copper chimney cap, and ours have a lifetime warranty so that you don’t have to worry about these same problems again.