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Critters, Wildlife, Chimney Information

Aug 09, 2017

Keeping Critters Out Of Your Chimney

Having your chimney cleaned is an excellent way to ensure its longevity and peak performance. However, even if you have your chimney cleaned regularly, there are still some outside factors that are hard to control. One of the most common sources of headaches for Long Island, New York, and Westchester homeowners is keeping local wildlife from getting stuck or even nesting inside of their chimney's flue.

Most Long Island and Westchester neighborhood critters such as squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and even birds and bats can find ways to make your chimney their new homes. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to help prevent them from taking over your chimney.

Fill All Openings

One precaution to take when keeping animals out is to look out for any openings, holes or cracks inside your house. These exposed areas let moisture enter and can damage any wood and walls in your house, as well as the mortar joints on your chimney. They also let warmer air escape, especially on Long Island, resulting in higher energy bills. Most of all, these openings easily allow animals to enter your living space and take residence in your chimney.

The next time you perform your spring and fall cleaning tasks like weatherizing, gutter cleaning, and limb trimming, keep in mind how animals could take advantage of these areas and enter your home.

Make Sure All Wildlife Are Out

Despite your efforts to keep animals out of your chimney, some may have been sneaky enough to get in already. For this reason, it is important to make sure all animals are out before you place a chimney cap on top of it.  

First use a flashlight to inspect the flue from ground level for any animal traces such as droppings, fur or hair. Look closely for these traces especially on your chimney's smoke shelf and damper.

Next, from your rooftop, look down your chimney with a flashlight for the same traces.  Frequently, birds make their nests near the top of chimneys. Check the chimney flue from the roof (or have a chimney sweep do it) to make sure no animals are present.

Cap Your Chimney

Finally, perform one more general inspection. After confirming your clear chimney, install your animal-proof chimney cap.

Need a professional? Call Always Affordable Chimney for any chimney cap installation!