Is Your Chimney Welcoming Unwanted Visitors?
Your chimney is a part of your home that attracts creatures to come inside. It is not unusual for homeowners to hear movement or scratching sounds coming from their chimney. If this happens to you, do not open your damper to find out! A variety of animals are known to crawl into chimneys; and some birds like to build nests there, as well.
It is fine to love and respect animals, but the fact is that wild creatures in nature frequently carry disease. You could put yourself at risk if you try to deal with an animal in your chimney on your own. You could even break the law if you remove a certain type of bird; those found guilty of the offense face jail time as well as a fine of up to $15,000. Read on to learn more.
Bats, Squirrels, Snakes, and Racoons in Chimneys
The sounds a homeowner hears coming from their chimney could be any number of creatures. There are many occasions when raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and bats have been found in chimneys. They should all be removed with the help of a chimney professional trained in animal removal, and the following are among the problems the creatures can cause:
Animals leave behind their waste, including animal droppings. This is a very unhealthy situation in any home.
If you have an open damper or one that does not seal properly, an animal in your chimney could go into your home. The amount of damage that could be done to the interior of your home could be extensive. For example, your woodwork and other house materials could be gnawed through. If the creature inside your home happens to be a poisonous snake, the danger is very real.
Raccoons are great climbers, and they are attracted to safe, dry chimneys. Raccoon infestations are not unusual. Females apparently like to give birth and raise their litter in the cocoon of a chimney. While that may seem charming, it is actually very risky. Raccoons carry numerous diseases that can spread to people, including rabies, roundworm, and leptospirosis. The latter is the lesser-known of the diseases, and it is passed on through urine. Some people don’t experience symptoms from leptospirosis but others become severely ill. Symptoms can be flu-like, resulting in a high fever, severe headache, and muscle aches. The disease can also cause humans to experience serious kidney and liver problems.
Squirrels sometimes build nests inside chimneys. Nests block ventilation and create an increased risk of a dangerous chimney fire. Inside your home, squirrels can wreak all kinds of havoc. Bats are notorious chimney invaders. They are attracted to the warmth and the protection from predators that a chimney provides. Of course, bats are also known for carrying rabies. It is important to keep bats out.
Other animals that get into your chimney are your business, and you can get rid of them quickly with the help of chimney professionals. If, however, the creature in your chimney happens to be a migratory bird protected by federal law, removal is sometimes not an option. Chimney swifts, in particular, are very attracted to chimneys. In previous times, chimney swifts made their nests in hollow trees. These days, there are far more chimneys than hollow trees. If these are your home invaders, you will be required to simply let them stay until migration continues, with extremely rare exception. What makes the situation most difficult is putting up with the noisiness of the baby birds that hatch in the chimney. You also cannot make use of your fireplace until the birds have moved on. Any animal remover who knows their job will refuse to remove chimney swifts. The aforementioned federal punishment and fines involved with chimney swifts are steep!
Contact Chimney Solutions and Keep Animals Out!
Our chimney experts at Chimney Solutions can help by removing animals from your chimney and cleaning up the waste and other messes they left behind. We can also install a chimney cap to ensure that creatures are unable to return. We are Atlanta GA’s preferred chimney sweep service. Call us today at 770-691-6707 for animal removal as well as chimney cleaning, chimney inspections, chimney maintenance, masonry repair, and all of your solid-fuel appliance needs.