As the weather begins to get colder, animals are searching for the perfect warm place to nest for the winter. Unfortunately, some animals like birds, raccoons, and squirrels may choose your chimney as their home for the cold months. Many animals see chimneys as big, hollow trees that make a perfect spot for nesting. If your chimney is open, raccoons and squirrels can easily climb down your chimney flue and make a nest for a birthing spot. Similarly, birds can fly right inside your chimney to nest as well. At Bart Fireside, we know the best way to keep animals from invading your chimney — installing a chimney cap. Recommended by many wildlife organizations, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, chimney caps are the best protection you have against animals from entering your chimney. We would like to tell you more about chimney caps and how they can keep the birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals out of your chimney and home.
What Is a Chimney Cap?
Made from stainless steel, copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel in a variety of styles, a chimney cap sits at the top of your chimney. Stainless steel is the recommended material for its durability. Long recognized as an essential part of your chimney to prevent hazards and damages, chimney caps are so important that Underwriters Laboratories requires them to be part of any chimney lining system in order to be listed to their test standard.
What Style of Chimney Cap Best Prevents Animal Invasions?
To best keep out birds, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals, the chimney cap should feature mesh screening on its sides. The holes in the mesh should be small enough to keep out animals. Most models of chimney caps are equipped with mesh screening.
What Kind of Damage to My Chimney Can Animals Do?
Sometimes animals can become confused and feel trapped within your chimney. When this happens, the animals can try to escape from the bottom of the chimney rather than the top. This can cause damage to your damper as well as to furniture, flooring, curtains, and other household items if they get through to the inside of your home. Animals also present fire hazards as their nesting is highly flammable. These nests can also block your chimney’s flue and trap smoke and gases inside your home. Furthermore, these animals can bring diseases like rabies and parasites such as lice and fleas into your house.
What Are Other Benefits to Chimney Caps?
One of the best ways to prevent water penetration of your chimney, a chimney cap keeps the water from rain and snow out of the flue of your chimney, which will protect you from suffering expensive water leak damage. Chimney caps also serve as spark arrestors, which prevents sparks from flying out of the chimney and possibly starting fires.
If you would like to know more about chimney caps, contact Bart Fireside today. We are happy to tell you how best to keep animals and water out of your chimney.