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Unwanted Pests Living In Your Chimney
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Unwanted Pests Living In Your Chimney

Yes it's almost that time of the year again when unwanted pests start to nest in the chimney. A chimney without a chimney cap is a perfect place for mother raccoon, squirrel, and chimney swift (bird) to enter the chimney and give birth to her young. There is a shelf behind the damper that is a prime location for them to nest comfortably out of the elements. Homeowners rarely hear the mother until she has given birth. The pups or nestlings often start making noises in their second week of life. Chimney swifts are protected by federal law and cannot be disturbed once the eggs are laid.

Problems that occur when a chimney has been invaded by a nuisance wildlife critter:

- Open dampers can lead to the animal entering the family dwelling. Some animals such as raccoons can be dangerous when trapped in a residence. As the animal tries to exit the family dwelling many damages can occur.

- Fleas are commonly spread throughout the residence infecting the family pets.

- Dead animal in the chimney, dead smelly odor, and even maggots and flies.

- Mother dies after birth in the chimney.

- The runt of the litter dies because of being malnourished (very common)

- Mother does not return and the entire litter dies in the chimney.

- Another raccoon enters and kills the mother and her litter because of territorial purposes. When this occurs it is very loud and scary for the homeowner, for they probably didn't even know something was living in the chimney.

Raccoons in chimney, squirrels in the chimney, birds in the chimney, and a dead animal in the chimney can be prevented. Chimney caps! Home builders for some reason do not put chimney caps on masonry chimney flue chimneys. If they happen to install a chimney cap on the chimney it is a cheap cap that often doesn't even fit the flue at the top of the chimney. Ask your builder to put on a full coverage chimney cap that covers the entire top of the chimney. If you already purchased an exsisting home contact your local chimney sweep to install a full cover chimney cap.

The difference in flue caps and full coverage chimney caps can save money. Why? Flue caps only cover the flue. Flue caps allow too much moisture entering the chimney when it rains. Moisture damage occurs on all the chimney and fireplace components. This causes crack seperation which is a serious fire hazard. Rusting dampers allow cold air in the summer out and hot air in the winter to escape for higher energy bills. Full coverage chimney caps minimize the rain from entering the flue and drastically reducing the moisture damage from creating expensive repair costs.

Full coverage chimney caps are made by sheet metal shops so they can be custom made to fit your chimney properly. Local chimney sweeps sell and install both flue caps and full coverage chimney caps.


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