Woodland creatures — like squirrels, raccoons, opossums, owls, etc. — are on a constant hunt for a warm, snug spot to build a nest and call home. To these animals, an open chimney fits the bill just right. Once a critter sets up shop inside your chimney, it can wreck all sorts of havoc, but luckily, there’s a specific device to prevent your home from gaining these unwanted tenants: a chimney cap.
Without a cap,
a chimney sits open and unprotected, creating a prime opportunity for animals
to make their way inside. By themselves, an animal in a chimney will
potentially block the flue, or even find its way completely inside, dropping
unannounced into a family or living room through a faulty damper. However, critters
are rarely alone, bringing with them mites and bugs in their fur, as well as
sticks, twigs, dried leaves, and other nest-building debris that can clog a
chimney, with the possibility of preventing smoke from properly venting through
the Humane Society of the United States, chimney caps are an excellent way to
keep animals (in this specific case, squirrels, but the advice applies
universally) out of your chimney, and back in nature, where they can thrive
without harming your home. When looking for the right cap for your chimney,
make sure it has grating small enough to keep out smaller animals, but large
enough that it still allows for the open passage of air and smoke from your
fireplace. Additionally, make sure that the cap is made from a rust-proof
material, such as galvanized steel, as it will be in contact with the outside
elements. For added precaution, if there are multiple flues in your home, it
could be worthwhile installing a cap on each flue.
If you find
yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a woodland roommate in your
chimney, make sure to contact the local animal control. Dealing with a wild
creature yourself carries several risks, and a professional can safely remove
and relocate the animal more efficiently.
To best avoid
finding unwanted furry “friends” in your chimney, and to make sure the right
chimney cap is correctly installed on your chimney the first time around, reach
out to Lindemann Chimney & Fireplace at (847)739-4199or schedule from the
comfort of your computer online.
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