Animals frequently climb into chimneys to seek shelter from storms or to create nests, and while they typically find their way out, the times when they fail to do so can cause negative repercussions for your home. These issues can be as minor as animal droppings in your fireplace or as severe as chimney damage. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with animals stuck in your chimney without causing structural damage or injuring the creature.
Read on to learn what you should do if an animal has entered your chimney, including:
Several critters could infiltrate your chimney, including raccoons, squirrels, bats, birds, mice, skunks, and opossums. If you’re unsure whether there’s a wild animal in your chimney, there are a few clear indications to help you make the determination, such as the following:
- Loud noises such as clawing, scratching, rustling, or chirping
- Nesting materials at the base of your chimney or roof, such as a collection of twigs, grass, and leaves
- Animal tracks on the top of your roof or near your chimney
- Animal droppings near the base of your chimney or on your roof
- Damage to your chimney or roof, such as chewed wood, scratched shingles, or ripped insulation
While most animals that stumble into your chimney may not seem like a threat, they can cause severe issues and pose genuine threats. Many wild animals carry diseases such as rabies, which is fatal to humans, and cause other ailments to humans like allergies, skin irritations, and respiratory problems.
Animals can also cause significant structural damage to your chimney and roof, such as tearing your shingles and scratching the inside of your chimney, which chips away at the brick. Critters can also cause damage to the tuckpointing on the outside of your chimney as they crawl in or contaminate your living space with the odor of urine, feces, or decaying.
Wild animals can cause structural damage to your chimney and negatively impact your home. Luckily, brick and chimney repair services like Approved Home Improvements can restore your fireplace and keep your home safe.
Lighting a fire while an animal is inside your chimney also creates an obvious fire hazard, not to mention it is inhumane. Even after an animal has been removed, it may have chewed through electrical wires or constructed nests that could also result in a chimney fire.
Removing an animal from your chimney depends on several factors, including the type of animal, whether it is alive or deceased, and the layout of your chimney. However, you should never attempt to remove an animal yourself, even if you’re positive it is dead. Wild animals—alive and deceased—carry diseases that pose health and safety risks to humans. The wildlife removal process should be left to professional chimney sweeps, such as Approved Home Improvements, or wildlife control experts that are trained and equipped to handle such matters safely.
You can take a few measures before animal control experts arrive to make the wildlife removal process more efficient. Start by sealing up your fireplace with a mesh or solid covering to keep the animal from entering your home and blocking off all exits in the room in case it gets past your barricade. And never, under any circumstances, should you light a fire in an attempt to flush an animal from your chimney.
Now all that’s left is to wait for the professionals to arrive.
After hiring a professional to safely remove the animal from your chimney, you should take precautions to ensure other animals cannot do the same. Begin by installing a chimney cap or top-sealing damper over your flue to prevent animals from getting back in. If you haven’t already, contact a professional chimney sweep to remove animal droppings, clean debris, and make necessary repairs. It’s also a good rule of thumb to schedule an annual fireplace and chimney inspection to keep your home safe.
Whether you need an animal removed from your chimney or seek repairs, Approved Home Improvements has you covered. We can restore your chimney to its former glory with detailed repairs like flue realignment, firebox repairs, smoke shelf repairs, damper replacements, tuckpoint repairs, and more. Your safety and comfort are our top priority, so we’ll do everything we can to make that possible.
Want to make sure your fireplace is animal-free and ready to use when winter comes? Give us a call, and we’ll help you set up an inspection.