What to Do About Animals or Birds in Your Chimney
For homeowners, chimneys are structures that channel smoke and gases up and away from a fireplace. For many small animals, chimneys are places to explore, give birth to their young and, unfortunately, die from time to time.
Since 1987, Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, has helped our Southland customers resolve the various chimney problems that can occur when a chimney becomes a home – or resting place – for small animals.
Reasons Why Animals Are Attracted to Chimneys
Not every type of small animal enjoys getting into chimneys. The ones that do – commonly birds, bats, squirrels, raccoons and rodents – can cause a lot of trouble.
Animals seeking shelter from the weather may consider a chimney the ideal solution. It’s warm, cozy and safe from most predators. For certain species, chimneys provide the perfect nesting ground. They build nests, have their babies and then move on. Problem is, they don’t take their nesting material with them (see below).
Issues Caused by Animals in a Chimney
Here are some of the common issues that small animals can cause inside your chimney.
Nest materials serve to narrow the flue passage and impede the smooth drafting of smoke from the fireplace. This can cause smoke and deadly carbon monoxide to back up into your home.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas that’s known to pose severe health risks to humans and animals. Carbon monoxide, when inhaled in sufficient amounts, can kill.
If animals die inside your chimney (see below), you’re going to experience some pretty bad odors. When dampened by flue condensation, nesting material will also begin to smell and fill your home with the odor.
Animals sometimes get trapped inside chimneys and end up dying. The dead bodies not only create an offensive odor, they can also attract predator animals and insects looking for a free meal.
Moving into your house:
Any living thing that gets into your chimney can usually get out down below through an open fireplace damper. Nobody wants a squirrel, rat or snake running (or slithering) around inside their house.
Install a Chimney Cap
The most important piece of advice we give to our customers who call about animal problems in their chimneys is this: Have a protective chimney cap installed at the top of the chimney.
This will prevent animal intrusion in the future and go a long way toward keeping your chimney clean and safe year after year.
Solving the problem
If debris or animal carcasses are in your chimney, you need to have our crew sweep the flue. This will take care of obstructions and odors.
If you have problems with small animals in your chimney, contact the chimney inspection professionals at Oliver Twist. Reach us at (714) 843-9944 or get in touch with our handy contact form.
We provide complete chimney services as well as fireplace and stove installations throughout Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Lake Forest CA, Mission Viejo CA, San Juan Capistrano CA, Costa Mesa CA, and many more SoCal communities.