Chimneys are Common Entry Points for Wildlife

The tail end of the winter is still bombarding the Chicago area with snow and freezing temperatures and as a result, certain species of wildlife are finding their way indoors through the chimney.  Homeowners should routinely check their chimney stacks and fireplaces to make sure that there are no animals trying to enter their homes and if their chimneys are vulnerable to animal intrusions, they must take the proper actions to keep them secure.

Wildlife are Attracted to Chimneys

The most common home invaders this time of year are birds and squirrels that are attracted to the warm exhaust released by the chimney.  These animals bask in the heat from the chimney but also inhale the carbon monoxide fumes in the exhaust which knocks them unconscious and causes them to fall down the chimney.  When they hit the bottom of the chimney, the fresh air revives them and they look for a way out of the chimney either through the ash clean-out door or by climbing up the venting tube.  Once they leave the chimney, they are loose in the house.

Fireplace chimneys are also quite vulnerable to animal invasions as small animals are attracted to the warm air from the fireplace dampers and often fall into the chimney.  Birds and squirrels cannot climb back up the chimney flue after falling in and end up in the fireplace or inside the house.  Raccoons however can climb up chimney flues rather easily and female raccoons have even been known to have litters on the smoke shelf above the dampers in fireplace chimneys.  The chirping of the baby raccoons within a chimney is often mistaken as that of birds by homeowners.

Preventing Wildlife in Chimneys

If the chimney of your home is vulnerable to animal invasions, installing a chimney cap can fix the problem.  Measure the chimney flue from the outside to get the right size and purchase a cap made from galvanized or stainless steel.  New chimney caps can be easily installed with just a screwdriver but the installation can be more complicated if you have an oddly sized flue or if you are not comfortable working on your roof.  The professionals at Attic Solutions can install chimney caps and inspect the rest of your home to locate and seal any other potential entry points.  Keep an eye on your chimney for the remainder of the winter and make sure to contact Attic Solutions immediately if you discover an invasive animal in your home.

As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.