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Have you ever heard scurrying noises or birds chirping from your fireplace? When the weather begins to get colder, animals are searching for the perfect warm place to nest for the winter, and, unfortunately, some animals like birds, raccoons, and squirrels may decide to call your chimney their home for the cold months. Many birds and animals look at chimneys as big, hollow trees that make a perfect spot for nesting. If your chimney is open, raccoons and squirrels can easily climb down your chimney flue and make a nest for a birthing spot. In addition, birds can fly right inside your chimney to nest as well. When the weather gets warmer and these birds and animals depart your chimney, they typically leave behind nesting materials and other debris that can block your chimney and become fire hazards. At Ashbusters, we know the best way to keep animals from invading your chimney: installing a chimney cap. Recommended by many wildlife organizations, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, chimney caps are the best protection available against animals from entering your chimney. We would like to tell you more about chimney caps and how they can keep the birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals out of your chimney and home.

Animals Cannot Get Past Chimney Caps Image - Charleston SC - Ashbusters

What exactly is a chimney cap?

Constructed from stainless steel, copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel in a variety of different styles, a chimney cap sits at the very top of your chimney to cover its opening. Stainless steel is the recommended material for its durability. Known as an essential part of your chimney to prevent hazards and damages, chimney caps are so important that Underwriters Laboratories requires them to be part of any chimney lining system in order to be listed to their test standard.

What type of chimney cap can best prevent the invasion of animals and birds?

To best keep the different types of animals from entering your chimney to make a new home, the chimney cap should feature mesh screening on its sides. The mesh holes should be small so that animals cannot get through them. Most models of chimney caps are equipped with mesh screening. Ashbusters also sells and installs top-mounted dampers that serve as excellent protection against animal invasions.

What sort of damage can animals and birds do to my chimney?

When birds and animals feel as if they are trapped inside your chimney, they can become disoriented and try to escape from the bottom of the chimney instead of the top. If this should ever happen, it will cause damage to your damper. Additionally, if the birds or animals manage to get inside your home, you could see damage to furniture, curtains, flooring, and other household items. Since the nests of birds and animals is extremely flammable, these situations can also create fire hazards as well as blockages of the flue of your chimney, which trap smoke and gases inside your home.

What are other functions of a chimney cap?

Along with waterproofing, flashing and other methods of water leak protection for your chimney, a chimney cap prevents the water from rain and snow from entering the flue of your chimney. This keeps you from having to spend a lot of money on water leak damages. Another function of a chimney cap is stopping sparks from flying out of the chimney to possibly ignite fires. If you decide to go with a top-mounted damper as a chimney cap, you will also have an excellent air-tight sealed damper for your chimney.

Want to know more about chimney caps? Click here to contact Ashbusters to find out the best models to keep animals and birds out of your chimney.