Your chimney works constantly to vent harmful byproducts from your home, and it’s efficiency can be greatly affected by outside factors. The chimney cap is the remedy. The cap is designed to keep outside factors from getting in! It literally caps the top of the chimney, fitting over the flue, preventing weather and wildlife from getting in, and some models even prevent wind from affecting the flue as well.
Keep Wildlife Out of the Chimney
Without a chimney cap, your flue is the perfect home to a variety of small animals. Any critter that can climb to or land on your roof can also climb into the chimney opening. Critters love the chimney because it’s dry, warm, and seemingly safe. What we know as humans, though, is that it’s not safe. It’s unsafe for the animals as well as for the humans.
- Animals leave debris behind.
Debris is left behind in the chimney even after the animals leave. Birds leave their nests and feathers behind, and chipmunks and squirrels leave their bedding and food crumbs. Nests, leaves, feathers, and other debris can and will ignite, causing a flue fire that is very preventable.
- Animals leave droppings behind.
Droppings left inside the chimney flue can release toxins into the air that your family breathes. It can also result in foul smells that disrupt your life, especially during the summer when the chimney isn’t being used.
- Animals scratch the lining of the chimney.
When small animals climb out of the chimney, they often scratch the liner with their claws. This can be a serious problem because the scratch is a weakness in the liner that may go unnoticed, allowing heat and hazardous gasses to escape the flue and transfer to the home. The scratch can also collect excess soot and creosote, causing more deterioration in an already weak spot.
- Animals can get stuck.
When an animal cannot get out of the chimney, it will get stuck and die, resulting in a blockage and a nasty odor. There is no mistaking the smell of decomposition, and if this occurs in your home, it will overpower everything else.
- Some animals cannot be removed.
A species of migratory birds called chimney swifts nest in chimneys throughout North America during the spring months. Since this bird is federally protected, not even a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) can legally remove them. While some homeowners opt to allow the birds access to their chimneys, it is best to prevent their entrance in the first place. Hundreds of birds can inhabit the same chimney, and they are a loud and raucous little group. They will stay in the chimney until their eggs are hatched and young-lings can fly, which can be months.
You can still enjoy wildlife, while not allowing them to enjoy your chimney!
To avoid housing the forest’s friends, you should schedule a chimney sweep as early as possible after burning season is over, and then close out the system for the season. Be sure to have your chimney sweep check that the cap is intact. At Hudson Chimney, we install a variety of custom and standard caps, and all of them can keep animals out of your flue.
Call Hudson today at 904-282-4159 to discuss what a new chimney cap can do for you!