Here at Chimney Sweeps of America, we want to encourage you to check for animals before lighting a fire this fall and winter. Now that our Denver weather has turned colder, animals will start to seek warm shelter and some, unfortunately, end up trying to make a home in an uncapped chimney. Animals in your chimney can be a fire hazard for you and deadly for critters.
Your chimney can become a home to squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rats, skunks, birds and rodents. Keeping your chimney capped and in good condition is the best way to keep animals out. If one gets in, you should contact a professional service to remove it.
Most Important Rule
It used to be common practice to try and smoke animals out. The reason it is not so common anymore is that trying to smoke an animal out may not work and it can cause a damaging house fire. So, absolutely check for animals before lighting a fire in your fireplace.
No wants to burn down their Denver home because they tried this method of getting an animal out of their chimney. Additionally, the final result is often a burned and dead animal in your chimney. The smell can be horrific. Instead, contact Chimney Sweeps of America to get that squirrel removed and avoid any problems. No one wants an accidental fire.
Is the Animal Building a Nest or Stuck?
Listen carefully when you hear the animal in your chimney. You can hear clues as to whether you have a trapped animal or a nesting one. If you hear frantic activity or scratching on the damper, you likely have a trapped animal on your hands. Nesting animals will only make occasional sounds. You might hear minor movements or the small noises of babies. Such sounds will generally occur at the same time every day as well.
Many times birds will make their nest on the damper. Sometimes there are even multiple nests in a chimney. They are a fire hazard and the nests can block the flue. Birds can also spread histoplasmosis, which causes blindness. Removing nesting birds can be illegal depending on your area and the birds involved. You may need to wait till the birds leave the nest to have your chimney cleaned and remove the nesting debris.
Prevention is Important
Keeping animals and birds out of your chimney in the first place is important. A stainless steel chimney cap with mesh sides is the best way to keep animals and birds out of your chimney. You also need to check the one you have to be sure that it hasn’t been damaged.
In any case, check for animals before lighting a fire to avoid having a house fire on your hands. If you think you have an animal in your chimney or home that needs to be removed, contact us here at Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver. We can be sure that the animal is removed legally and safely and be certain that it is relocated effectively.