For many animals — including birds, squirrels, mice, rats, opossums, and raccoons — chimneys are an ideal place to seek shelter. This may seem harmless, but they can damage your chimney system, increase the risk of fire, and expose your family to disease. As such, it’s important to schedule regular chimney inspections and be able to recognize when wildlife are present. Here are a few telltale signs to help you identify a problem.
How to Know If Animals Have Gotten Into Your Chimney
1. Strange Noises
Hearing odd noises is one of the first clues an animal is in the chimney. This may be the sound of scratching, banging, scurrying, screeching, or wings flapping. Often, the animal becomes frantic and makes noise because they’ve gotten trapped or disoriented after entering the chimney flue. If you hear such noises, schedule a chimney inspection.
2. Unpleasant Odors
Another clue is the odor wildlife can produce. As they come in from outside, they will bring with them the smells of anything they’ve been in contact with. Once animals have been living in the chimney for some time, you’re also likely to start smelling waste. Unfortunately, if there’s an especially foul odor coming from the fireplace, this could mean a critter has died inside the chimney.
3. Visual Evidence
Eventually, animals will also leave visual evidence of being in your chimney. For this reason, you should periodically check your fireplace for animal droppings, fur, feather, and remnants of a nest. In this case, there’s a good chance they’ve been there a while, and you’ll need a chimney inspection to find a solution that will get them out as quickly as possible, and prevent them from returning.
If you discover any animal has taken up residence in your chimney, have the issue addressed by a professional. You can rely on The Chimney Sweep to protect your home and safely remove wildlife without causing further damage. They can also help determine how the critters got in and make repairs to prevent future infestations. Based in Kernersville, NC, they’ve been serving homeowners throughout the Triad Area for nearly 40 years, providing the quality workmanship it takes to keep a chimney in top shape. Call (336) 993-8999 to schedule a chimney inspection, or visit them online for more information on all the services they offer.