Whether you have an animal problem, or you are looking to prevent one, the odds are that something serious has you searching “animals in the chimney.” Animals in your chimney IS serious. It can lead to damage and can hinder your winter fire more than you may know.
Why It’s a Problem
It may seem obvious that animals shouldn’t be allowed into your chimney, but some homeowners allow certain animals to nest in their chimney. The chimney swift, for example, is an endangered bird species that nests in hollow trees. With the development of more forested areas and loss of their habitat, these little birds now nest in chimneys. Many homeowners choose to leave their chimneys open during the spring to allow the birds to nest, or even install a special cap that allows them to enter while keeping water out. This type of environmental consciousness is at your discretion, but we urge you to take the necessary steps to keep your family safe as well.
Cleaning Up After Animals
When you have an animal in your chimney, whether bird, squirrel, raccoon or any other small critter, they will leave debris behind. Birds leave nesting materials, feathers, and droppings. Mammals leave behind fur, droppings, and remnants of food sources like nut shells. None of these materials belong in your chimney. They are flammable, create an obstruction for proper airflow, and can lead to a malfunction or flue fire. Even if the critter crawls out of the chimney, its claws most likely left behind scratches and other damage to your flue. These scratches become a weakness in the flue liner that will lead to deterioration and danger to your family and property. If the critter doesn’t get out, it will most likely become stuck and die, or suffocate from smoke inhalation and become an obstruction in the flue. Like most animal habitats, the flue is difficult to access, and most homeowners don’t know how to remove a live animal humanely, and may not notice an animal carcass until it begins decomposing. The foul odors of decomposition can saturate your home if the animal isn’t dealt with swiftly.
Prevention is Key
Like every other aspect of your home and chimney system, preventing damage is cheaper and safer than making repairs later. You can prevent animal intrusion by installing a properly-fitted chimney cap that prevents water damage as well as animal intrusion. Any animal that can climb onto your roof can climb into your chimney if it doesn’t have a cap installed. You can even choose a top-mount damper that closes your chimney flue with a tight seal when the fireplace isn’t in use. This protects your chimney from the top down, and there is no chance of animal intrusion.
We Can Remove Animals From Your Chimney
West Texas Chimney and Venting Solutions removes animals safely and humanely. Our chimney sweeps are trained and experienced removing animals from chimneys, and then sweeping the chimney system clean of debris, soot, and creosote for further protection against fire. We also perform CSIA inspections year-round that will identify any deficiencies in your system that allow such circumstances as an animal intrusion.
Schedule your animal removal or preventative services now by calling West Texas Chimney and Venting Solutions at (806) 358-0817.