When it's frigid cold outside, your home is nice and toasty. This makes it very comfortable for you and your family, and makes all the little critters in your neighborhood pretty jealous. They'd love a spot to get out of the cold. If your chimney doesn't have the necessary parts to seal up tight, they can!

How do Animals get in?

Racoons, rats, mice, birds, and pests would love nothing more than to make a new home in your chimney. They can climb into your chimney easily if your chimney cap is missing or damaged. 

The chimney cap sits at the top of the flue, covering and protecting the flue from both animals and the elements. The solid metal top of the chimney cap prevents water from getting in, during rain and snow. There are also mesh or wire sides that serve two purposes, letting smoke out and preventing animals from getting in.

If your chimney cap is damaged in any way, or you don't have one at all, it will be easy for animals to get in. Small holes, dents, damaged mesh, or missing screws may seem minor to you, but that's all the invitation they need to come in. Birds, pests, and small mammals often only need a few inches of space to wiggle through. Rats and raccoons have been known to claw or bite weak areas of chimney caps to create larger holes. Once in, they're a major nuisance to get out!

How do Animals Damage Your Home?

Animals rarely come into your chimney empty handed. She may think your chimney is the perfect spot to create a nest and raise her babies. Dry nesting materials in the chimney can ignite if the fireplace is used, putting you at risk for chimney fire. As well, many wild animals also carry bacteria, bugs, and other diseases. You probably don't need to be told why it's a bad thing to have rats and mice get into your home!

It's more than that, though. Animals can create or worsen damage to the chimney cap. This can leave your chimney susceptible to water and debris getting in. Plus, sharp claws and talons can scratch and chip the delicate flue liner. Areas of damage in the liner can expose the surrounding building materials to heat or gasses from the chimney. This damage may require your chimney to be relined, which probably won't be cheap.

What can I do About it?

The best way to keep animals out of your chimney is by having a quality, well-fitted and correctly installed chimney cap. This chimney cap will protect the area of your chimney that is most susceptible to animal entry, plus keep water and other debris from entering your home too.

The good news is that it is easy to keep animals out! Order a new chimney cap through Fireside Chimney Supplies and keep animals outside, where they belong.