Your chimney system has a specific purpose. It is to safely and efficiently vent your home’s fire heat. How well your chimney system works depends a lot on how well it’s properly maintained. Your chimney, when constructed, should be equipped with a properly-fitting chimney cap or chase cover. This is the first defense against animals in your chimney. The chimney cap includes a mesh cover of metal. This keeps birds and critters out of the chimney, while allowing smoke and vapors out.
Common Chimney Visitors
If a chimney flue opening is left open, it will allow weather and animals inside. Indiana falls into the wet, hot summer and cold winter weather categorized as continental climate. This climate is welcoming to a vast array of small animals and bird that like to nest in chimneys.
Animals commonly found in Indiana chimneys include:
- Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and raccoons can easily access a cap-less chimney.
An ill-fitted or damaged cap still allows access to squirrels, chipmunks, and mice. These animals look for warm, dry areas to escape freezing temperatures in winter, and look for cool places to nest in the spring. Your chimney is the perfect home for these critters, so it’s important to keep them out!
- Birds are a common chimney nuisance.
Small birds can gain access through a tiny hole or a missing cap. Birds may even nest against the cap, or directly inside it. Chimney swifts, however, are a common bird in North America. They nest inside the chimney column. These birds historically inhabit hallow trees. When forests were cut and houses built, they adapted and began to nest in chimneys. The only way to prevent a chimney swift nest in your chimney? Using a stainless steel liner and a secure cap on the chimney top.
Swift Friendly Chimneys
According to the Audubon Society, the chimney swift population has dropped 65 percent since 1966. This is because of the loss of trees in North America. Some homeowners allow the birds to nest in their chimneys, choosing a swift-friendly cap and cleaning the flue before the next burn season. Some homeowners build towers for swifts that allow chimney swifts to nest, avoiding the chimney altogether, and allowing the population to thrive in the area.
If You Have Animals in Your Chimney
If you hear chirping or scratching in your chimney, you should contact a professional right away. Certain animals can scratch and damage your liner with their claws. Others leave debris that can become a fire hazard when burn season arrives! Animals can also leave droppings in the system as well as suffocate and die, resulting in foul odors and gases affecting your home and air.
We commonly get calls about animals in chimneys, and we can remove them and clean and assess your chimney system thoroughly. When you call a chimney professional first, you get the service your chimney needs. Animal control will not assess your chimney, but with The Mad Hatter, you can rest assured that your chimney will be ready for its next fire.
Call us at 317.596.0200 and talk to a professional about your chimney today!