As the cozy winter season sets in, there’s nothing like the warmth and comfort of a crackling fire in the hearth. Unfortunately, sometimes unexpected guests like animals can decide to make your chimney their home. It’s easy to panic when you realize that there is wildlife living in your chimney, but there are a few things you can do to get rid of the problem without hurting yourself or the animals.
Why Are Animals Attracted to Chimneys?
Most animals who end up in chimneys are there because they want a safe place to stay. This is particularly common during the winter, as the weather can be cold and harsh outside. If your chimney still has some residual warmth from a fire, they may also be attracted to that. Birds can also build nests in chimneys in the same way that they might make nests in vents or signs—they are simply an elevated place to build a nest.
What Are the Signs of Animals in Your Chimney?
There are a variety of signs that you might have an animal in your chimney, including:
- There are sounds coming from the inside of your chimney, including tapping or scratching
- There are strange smells in the room with your fireplace, especially smells that are foul
- There is physical evidence around the fireplace or chimney of animal activity, like fur clumps or animal droppings
If you are unsure of whether or not there is an animal in your chimney, it is always better to be overly cautious and get help rather than lighting a fire.
How Can You Get the Animal Out?
- Identify what type of animal is inside of your chimney. In most cases, you can at least narrow down whether it is a bird or mammal.
- Determine if the animal is nesting in the chimney or has fallen into the chimney by accident. If you can hear the animal trying to escape, there’s a good chance that it accidentally fell down and is trying its hardest to get out.
- Open the damper. If a bird is in your chimney, this is often enough to let them fly out. Never light a fire in the chimney to try to scare an animal out.
- If you have a mammal in the chimney, call an animal control or removal service. They will be able to safely and quickly remove the animal and get it to safety. Remember that this animal likely saw your chimney as a tree where it would be safe, and it wants to be out of it as much as you want it gone!
Get Your Chimney Cleaned Today!
Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing, and duct cleaning services designed to keep all your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you are a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of chimney inspection or repairs, we are here to help.