Unfortunately, many people do not realize that you can end up with animals in your chimney until they find something living in theirs. In fact, having animals set up their homes inside of the chimney is a rather common problem. Although it occurs quite easily, it is also a fairly easy problem to avoid. There are just a few things that every homeowner should keep in mind.
Before taking any precautions to prevent animals in your chimney, make sure that there are none there to begin with. It may seem as though it would be obvious that there was something living up there but animals can be tricky. Taking any precautions to keep them out when they are already there will actually just trap the animals inside, causing an even more serious problem.
One of the easiest ways to make sure that animals do not set up their nests in the chimney is to have a chimney cap installed. This simple structure will seal off entry points that may allow an animal to crawl inside the chimney and create a home. Although they are not complicated, placing them properly can be a challenge and should be done by a qualified chimney sweep.
It is also a good idea to check around the roof and gutters to make sure that there are no unexpected entry points for animals to get in. These points of entry may give animals access not only to the chimney and fireplace but to the attic as well. Be sure to check thoroughly and immediately seal off any open area, even if it does not appear to be large enough for an animal to crawl through.
If an animal is allowed to set up shop in the chimney, there is a chance that they will make their way into the fireplace and then into the home. To avoid this problem, consider having a chimney sweep come and install a cap on the chimney. It is also wise to inspect the entire roof for open areas that could allow an animal entrance to the home. Before sealing off any of these areas, make sure that the space is already free of animals.