It is important to keep animals out of your chimney for many reasons, but we find that most of our customers don’t truly understand this until they have an animal that lives—or one that has died—inside their chimney. Not only are animals a nuisance in terms of the unpleasant sounds and smells that they cause to spill into your living space, but of your course your heart may go out to whatever animal is trapped there, and the animal’s safe removal can be a hassle and a big expense.
We strongly recommend that you prevent animals from entering your chimney, as opposed to dealing with the aftermath once they’ve already decided that your warm and cozy chimney is their home sweet home. Of course those of us at The Mad Hatter are happy to help make your chimney safe, efficient, and animal-free if it’s too late and birds or other critters have already nested in your chimney, but we prefer that our customers not have to face this particular annoyance.
Cap That Chimney
In short, the best way to keep animals out of your chimney is to have a chimney cap professionally installed. The good news is that you probably need a chimney cap anyway, as it does much more than just keep animals out. Chimney caps also help keep rainwater out of your chimney, where it can wreak havoc, and they may help improve draft—and thus efficiency—in addition to adding to the life of your chase cover or chimney crown.
Serving many of the same purposes as a cap but with the added benefit of saving you energy dollars as well, most top-sealing dampers also do a great job of letting animals know they’re not welcome inside your chimney flue.
Types of Animals That Live Inside Chimneys
Some of the animals we’ve found inside our customers’ chimneys in and around the Indianapolis area include:
- Birds, including one species known as the Chimney Swift
Animals in Your Chimney = Fire Hazard
Did you know that if you allow birds to nest in your chimney, their nests may become fire hazards and could potentially catch your chimney on fire? It’s true, and of course the longer birds are allowed to nest, the bigger and more elaborate their nests will become over time. This will not only impede the way your fireplace or stove drafts, making it less efficient, and perhaps causing smoke to backdraft into your living space, but it’s also not uncommon for sparks and embers to catch fire to these nests. Your chimney flue is designed to be a safe, smooth passage through which fire, smoke, and toxic gases can travel, exiting efficiently into the environment outside your home. For this reason, we do not recommend using a chimney that is obstructed by animals and their nests.
Do you think you have animals inside your chimney? Call The Mad Hatter today.