Animals love chimneys, as they tend to be dark, enclosed spaces. It’s also a warm and protected place to build nests or raise young for them. While it may seem like a simple inconvenience, animal entry can cause significant damage to your chimney.  They also create safety issues and expose your family to diseases. Luckily, there are a number of solutions we offer that can keep animals out of your chimney.

How animals get in

squirrel in the wild When animals get into a chimney, it is usually due to a damaged – or missing – chimney cap. The chimney cap is made of a solid metal top and mesh or wire sides. It sits at the top of the chimney, and it is designed to cover and protect the flue from water, debris, and animal entry.

Even seemingly insignificant damage to your chimney cap can be enough to let animals enter your chimney. A gap of as little as a few inches is enough space for birds or small mammals to squeeze through. Raccoons, especially, are known to bite and claw through chimney cap components to get inside your chimney.

The dangers of animal entry

From birds to raccoons, any animal can cause damage to your fireplace and chimney. The following are just a few of the safety concerns that occur when an animal enters your chimney.

  • Chimney blockages – Nesting materials, animal waste, or food can all create chimney blockages, even after the animals are gone. In addition to causing drafting issues, chimney blockages can increase the risk of chimney fires. Dried, brittle nesting materials are extremely flammable, and it can easily be ignited by stray sparks or embers to cause a fire.
  • Exposure to disease – Many wild animals carry diseases, bacteria, and insects. An animal in the chimney can also exposure your family to disease or other airborne pathogens.
  • Future animal entry – If an animal gets inside your chimney once, they will likely get in it again. This is particularly true of migratory birds such as the chimney swift, as they tend to return to the same nesting spot year after year.

Keeping animals out

The best way to keep animals out of your chimney is with a high quality, well fitted, and properly installed chimney cap. In addition to keeping animals out, a quality chimney cap also prevent water and debris from entering your chimney. At Coopertown Services, our technicians are animal removal experts. After removing the animals, our technicians will look over your chimney inch by inch to find holes or gaps and cover them using impenetrable steel screws and mesh.

Keeping animals out of your chimney keeps your fireplace safe to use – as well as keeping your family healthy. For more information about animal removal or to schedule an appointment with the animal removal experts today!