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Keeping Animals and Birds Out of Your Chimney

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Have you ever heard scurrying sounds or bird tweets coming from your chimney? Chances are very likely you have animals (squirrels or raccoons, most commonly) or birds taking up residence in your home. Keeping these animals and birds out of your chimney is actually a simple task with the proper equipment. Not only do these animals bring mites, fleas, and other parasites into your home, but they also cause some hazardous problems with your fireplace. Magic Sweep knows the best way of preventing animals and birds from entering your chimney, and our certified technicians are experienced with protecting your home from becoming a vacation spot for these birds and animals. We’d like to answer a few commonly asked questions we have gotten over the years about keeping these pests out of your chimney.

Critters In The Chimney - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep

What is the Best Way of Keeping Animals and Birds Out of My Chimney?

Recommended by The Humane Society of the United States, a stainless steel chimney cap with wire mesh is the absolute best solution to keep these visitors from entering your chimney. You will want to want to be sure the mesh is small enough to keep birds, bats, and squirrels from getting stuck in the mesh, yet large enough to allow the by-products of combustion to escape from your chimney. Another plus to a chimney cap is its ability to prevent water penetration as well. Available in different styles and metals, a chimney cap will give you peace of mind and protection. At Magic Sweep, we offer professional installation of chimney caps, and our experienced technicians take care to ensure the cap fits exactly on top of your chimney.

What If An Animal Is Trapped Inside My Chimney? Can It Enter My Home?

If your damper is properly working and is closed, it should keep any animal or bird from coming in through the fireplace. However, if you have a damaged damper, Magic Sweep can install a top damper. Placed at the top of your flue, you can open and close this damper with an easy-to-reach handle at the side of the firebox. With a top damper, you must be vigilant about checking to see if it is open before starting a fire because when closed, it seals your chimney shut as a chimney cap would do. However, there is no venting as with a traditional cap, so starting a fire with the top damper closed can trap toxic smoke and gases in your home.

What Is Another Method of Keeping Animals Out?

Although a chimney cap is your main defense against birds entering your chimney, you can find ultrasonic devices in hardware stores and online that will scare away the birds; however, these devices are not a substitute for chimney caps.

What Do I Do If a Bird or Animal Is Stuck In My Chimney?

Never attempt to trap and retrieve the animal yourself; nor should you try to smoke the animal out. The Humane Society of the United States strongly suggests you contact a professional animal removal service to evict the animal safely. Also, certain species of birds, like chimney swifts, are protected by laws, so they cannot be removed from their nest. Animals often die when stuck in a chimney, which causes a horrible odor. Again, the professionals should be called in as they will know how to extract the dead animal as well as how to dispose of it.

If you have more questions on how to keep animals and birds out of your chimney, contact Magic Sweep on our contact page: https://www.magic-sweep.com/contact-us. Our experienced staff is ready to tell you more about this concern.

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