Animals often discover that a chimney provides warmth, protection from the elements and a great place to build a home. For the animal, a chimney can be paradise, but animals living in a chimney brings a great deal of distress to a homeowner in several ways.
Birds, raccoons, bats and squirrels are the most common chimney dwellers. Birds and bats are probably the least offensive, but birds and their nests need to be removed. Bird droppings cling to the inside of a chimney, and these often contain parasites and disease-bearing microorganisms. A bird’s nest is also a fire hazard. And every so often, a bird or a bat will swoop down the chimney and into the house. Removing a frenzied bird or potentially rabid bat from your living room can be an unwanted adventure.
Rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels that enter a home through the chimney can cause extensive amounts of damage to the inside of the chimney and to the home. Both rats and squirrels are notorious for chewing, and have also been known to destroy electrical wiring, woodwork and carpeting.
Of all the animal invaders, raccoons are the most destructive and dangerous. Their size, weight and dexterity make it simple for them to damage or destroy the chimney cap to allow better access to the chimney. The claws of a raccoon can scratch and chip the tiles inside of the flue. This exposes the surrounding materials to heat and can create a fire hazard. Once inside, a raccoon can make its way to the living quarters or into the attic. Pregnant raccoons love to make nests out of insulating materials, and she will happily shred and rearrange attic insulation for her kits. Moreover, raccoons are notorious for carrying rabies; a raccoon that has access to the food-rich environment of a home is very dangerous to the occupants.
The homeowner who suspects that an animal is using the chimney as an entryway or nesting area should first call an animal removal specialist, then get in touch with our team of professionals at Fiddler on the Roof Chimney Service. Once the animals are removed, a chimney inspection will spot any remnants of the infestation that is left behind as well as any damage to the inside of the chimney. Lastly, sweeping will clean out the debris and repairs to the cap or lining that are needed will keep the flue in top working order.