Spring has sprung. While it is finally official by our calendars, the animals have been acting as if it’s been spring for some time. You might already be seeing birds in fields, on power lines, and on rooftops, as well as critters scurrying about. These animals are looking to nest for spring, and your chimney (with its shelter, warmth, and proximity) may be the best place they can find. Prevent animal intrusion by making sure your chimney is capped.

Animals and Your Chimney

The chimney cap is designed to keep animals out. Without this necessary barrier, any critter that can reach your roof can theoretically get into your chimney. Birds, big and small, can bring nesting materials and leave feathers and droppings behind. Small mammals, such as squirrels and chipmunks, as well as larger ones like raccoons, can bring food and flammable bedding into the chimney, while also leaving behind fur and droppings that can lead to bacteria and foul odors. Even if these animals somehow manage to escape the chimney unscathed, they can leave behind scratches in the liner that can lead to deterioration. This is why it is important to prevent animal intrusion completely.

If you find you have a critter in your chimney system, we will do everything in our power to remove it safely and humanely if it is possible. If your chimney has become home to a certain type of bird, however, not even a professional can remove them. The chimney swift is federally protected, and if allowed into your chimney, it cannot be removed or harmed until they leave on their own. This can take up to 90 days! These birds have lost their natural habitat of hollow trees due to land development and have found homes in the next best thing – chimneys. Avoid the hassle and noise of having a family of swifts in your chimney this spring by installing a cap.

Chimney Caps are a Must

Chimney caps are necessary year round to protect the chimney from the top-down. The chimney cap is installed at the top of the flue, creating a roof for the flue opening that directs precipitation away from the flue. This prevents water damage, as well as keeps animals out.

The cap also acts as a barrier to winds that may affect your fire. Downdrafts can push smoke into your home, cause a dangerous burst of flames, and even make it difficult or impossible to light a fire and keep it burning.

The very thing that keeps animals out of your chimney flue also keeps dangerous sparks inside the chimney. During a particularly hot or unruly fire, you may find that sparks are rising out of the flue. These sparks can ignite debris on your roof, or even shrubs and grasses in your yard. Install a chimney cap to prevent the risk of fire.

Do you need a new or improved chimney cap? Call Robinson Maintenance Repair today at 847-290-1883.