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Can Animals Get Stuck in My Chimney?

cat-fireplace-hearthWorried about the cute critters that live in your neighborhood? The local wildlife may be majestic, but birds, squirrels, and other critters can be curious creatures. These animals have been known to find themselves in sticky situations in the human world, including getting stuck inside chimneys and wreaking havoc (or remaining undetected for too long).

Of course, you may be worried for the safety and wellbeing of the animals, but you’re also worried for your home. In the worst case scenario, an animal could pass away in your chimney and give off a bad odor, or even create a major fire hazard that you don’t know about. And it could happen to you, but asking yourself these questions might help you take the right steps to avoid it.

Do You Have a Chimney Cap?

If your chimney is not sealed up from the top, you’re just inviting animals like squirrels and raccoons into your home. Your chimney makes an excellent temporary shelter, a source of warmth, and a way to avoid predators. Some particularly crafty animals can find ways through a chimney damper (especially if you leave yours open) and into the living space of your home. Yikes!

If you don’t have a chimney cap, now is the time to get one and avoid intrusions from uninvited guests. It’s a simple installation that covers the chimney from atop a wire netting that blocks animals from moving into your home. The cap also prevents water damage and other problems commonly occurring with many chimneys.

An opened chimney top also makes an excellent area for building a nest, especially for breeds like the chimney swift. The right chimney cap makes the top of your chimney uninhabitable, so check with your installer to see that the model of chimney cap you get is truly effective in staving off birds.

Do You Schedule Regular Chimney Inspections?

If you do not already schedule regular chimney inspections, now is the time to start. Each year, you should have somebody check your chimney for the presence of dangerous substances like creosote (and clean it out to reduce your fire risk).

During this process, most technicians will also help you improve your chimney, making recommendations on which upgrades will keep things like animals in the flue from affecting you. They will also check for the presence of animals and the things they leave behind and clean this out as well!

Other Things to Know About Animals in the Chimney

Chimney technicians specializing in animal removal can often help take care of problems, since they have the right tools and experience to escort animals away. Something you should realize is that there are certain animal species that cannot be immediately removed from your chimney.

This includes the chimney swift, a Threatened species it is illegal to move from its nesting place, or even to remove the nest. This bird will usually nest for about 14-18 days, and once the bird and their young have gone, you can remove the remainder of the nesting place.

For chimney animal removal in Minneapolis, MN, contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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