Animals In Chimney
If you have a chimney without either a damper or a cap, it’s almost a sure thing that at some point in your chimney’s life an animal will find it’s way into your chimney. The most common animals to make a home out of your chimney are raccoons, squirrels, bats, birds, snakes, opossums, and of course chimney swifts.
It is however a misconception that animals only enter into chimneys by falling. While this of course does happen, typically there’s a reason that an animal will burrow your chimney.
4 Common Reasons:
- Chimney Swifts will often build their nests inside of your chimney.
Chimney Swifts are federally protected birds, and the only birds with the ability to fly straight up. Because of this they are able to exit the chimney without assistance, but after they have children they will stay inside of your chimney for months, only leaving to get food, until their young are able to fly.
- Mother raccoons will also use the chimney to give birth to their young.
- The burnt smell on the inside of your chimney smells similar to the environment of a burned out tree, which is natural habitat for raccoons.
- Snakes will enter your chimney, but only in search of a quick meal. They enter and search for eggs, baby birds, and even small squirrels.
What Your Options Are:
- The animal is rescued by a professional, unharmed. This is the ideal situation, causing no harm to the animal, and potentially saving the home owner hundreds on repairs that would come from ignoring the issue.
- If the chimney’s damper (this separates your fireplace from the rest of your chimney), the animal will make it’s way int your home. This isn’t an ideal situation, the animal can cause property damage and potentially spread diseases to your family.
- If ignored, the animal will likely remain trapped and eventually die from either starvation or suffocation. We don’t even consider this to be a legitimate option. Not only is it inhumane, but it will also leave the home owner with a more serious problem following the death. Not only will the odor begin to spread throughout your home, but the animal’s carcass will begin to attract large numbers of insects, often leading to a serious infestation inside of your chimney.
While it’s true all wild animals have a chance of carrying rabies, raccoons lead the pack in terms of percentage carrying. It’s estimated by numerous professional studies that up to 50% of raccoons in north america are currently carrying rabies.
When larger animals are in your chimney, they also can cause significant damage to your liner, as well as the masonry, flue tiles, smoke shelf, damper, and mortar joints. The damage could be severe smoke chamber has been affected.
When it comes to your fireplace and chimney, ARC Chimney Sweeps of Fort Walton Beach, FL is the best option. Give us a call today at (850) 344-1731 and set up your appointment.