Chimneys are inviting places for many animals to nest, breed, and reside – namely birds, squirrels, and raccoons. The darkness and warmth of chimneys make them quite appealing and cozy, and it’s ideal for keeping their young protected from predators too.
Unfortunately, this set-up is less ideal for you – and your chimney. And once the critters are in, it can be difficult to chase them out or remove them, especially if they already have a nest set up. The most viable solution? Have them professionally removed, then prevent them from entering your flue again down the line.
How Are Animals Harmful to My Flue & Home?
Animals can be extremely damaging to your chimney. Their nesting materials can invite in water, trigger decay, and create some serious clogs and fire hazards in your flue. And the more nesting materials in your flue, the higher your risk is of experiencing a gas leak or chimney fire.
Along with this, birds and animals invite bad odors and pests, both of which have a negative impact on the overall aesthetic of your living space. And sometimes they can get stuck in the flue and die, which brings a whole slue of other issues. Your family members could even be more at risk for getting an illness or disease.
On top of all this, once the animals are in your chimney, there’s an even higher possibility that they’ll enter your home. This gives them free access to everything you own – especially food.
Finally, some species, like the chimney swift, are protected and cannot be taken out of a chimney that they’ve entered. This means homeowners are forced to wait until the creatures leave to migrate to a warmer climate. If you kill or harm them, you’ll be violating the law and facing fines. Basically, once they’re in, you’ll have to refrain from using your chimney until they’re out.
How To Keep Animals Away From Your Flue
Since removing animals from your flue can be a huge hassle (and sometimes illegal), the best option is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Below are some of the most effective ways to keep animals out of your chimney flue:
- Install a Chimney Cap: Chimney caps sit at the top of your flue, protecting your chimney’s opening from bad weather and animal intrusions. Chimney caps also block twigs and leaves from entering your home, and prevent moisture from snow, ice, hail, or rain from entering. In the end, having one installed is one of the best ways to keep animals out for good – and to keep your system healthier.
- Schedule a Chimney Inspection: A chimney inspection – along with chimney sweeping – is one of the most effective strategies to prevent animals from entering your flue. Your sweep will be able to recommend the best chimney cap for your home, while checking for any potential damage or blockages that the critters could have caused while they’re at it.
- Install a Top-Sealing Damper: A top-sealing damper is a device installed at the top of the chimney that you can close when your system isn’t in use, then open up when it is. Top-sealing dampers are designed to keep debris, animals, and bad weather from entering your chimney and causing damage. They are widely used among homeowners, along with chimney caps.
- Clean Up Your Yard: This isn’t really something we can help with, but it’s a good suggestion nonetheless. Animals are more drawn to yards that have great hiding spots and reliable sources for food and water. The cleaner and more minimal your yardspace is, the less wildlife you’re bound to have creeping around.
- Trim Your Tree Branches: One way squirrels and other critters gain easy access to your roof is through overhanging tree branches. Keeping these regularly trimmed down will help keep curious animals well away – and it will keep pesky leaves and branches off your roof (and out of your chimney) too.
Call The Chimney Guys VA
If you’re looking for a reliable and reputable company to perform a chimney inspection or to sweep out any clogs or buildup in your flue, contact The Chimney Guys now. We offer unfailing services and unmatched professionalism to homeowners throughout Charlottesville, and we’d be happy to help you out with it all.
Once your appointment is booked, all that’s left to do is sit back and relax as we look for ways to keep your chimney cleaner and safer. Request a time slot now, and get the peace of mind you deserve! Call 434-443-5332 or book online today.