Uninvited guests are sometimes rude. Sometimes they are beyond rude. They can be downright irritating, even dangerous, right? No, we’re not talking about human uninvited guests. We are referring to uninvited animal guests in your chimney. Critters such as squirrels, other assorted rodents, raccoons, and birds. Bats, as in “bats in your belfry,” which can indeed drive one crazy. (Your chimney system is structurally somewhat like a belfry without the bells. But not exactly. Just saying.)

How much damage can these critters cause? What can be done to keep them from getting into your chimney, or from feeling too cozy and comfortable, thereby taking up residence? Beware of critters in your chimney Image - Albany NY- Northeastern Masonry & Chimney

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney professionals are knowledgeable in answering these questions specifically as they relate to your home. Our chimney experience could fill a book on our adventures with animals in chimneys — and it wouldn’t always be as pleasant as a Dr. Seuss story.

How do these animals come to find lodging in your chimney? In many cases, the absence of a properly fitted and constructed chimney cap makes things all too inviting for animals. Therefore, a well designed and installed chimney cap can serve as a good anti-invitation, if you will.

What sorts of damage can creatures in your chimney cause? Let us count the ways.

First, there’s the animals themselves. No one wants furry or feathered creatures and any diseases or discomfort they bring with them. As we said, they are clearly uninvited. These animals pose other risks, too. They often leave behind messy, flammable nesting materials, as well as fur or feathers and whatnot. (Nobody wants that whatnot stuff around!) Many of the materials that the animals leave behind constitute a potential fire hazard. Moreover, the animals’ nests or remains can also restrict airflow within the chimney system. And restricting airflow translates to chimney system inefficiency, smoke problems and other issues. Finally, critters that get trapped in cap-less chimneys and cannot find an escape usually end up perishing. And that’s a problem. The result is greater potential for odor problems and disease.

In a word, creatures nesting — or having nested — in any part of your chimney system are unsightly (often literally), hazardous and potentially unhealthy to you and your family. They are most assuredly unwelcome!

What’s to be done?

A good starting point is to have Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians inspect and sweep your chimney. Leave it to our professionals to perform these tasks. We say this for a variety of reasons, with sheer practicality and mitigating danger or risk at the top of the list. With or without animal intrusions, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends an annual chimney inspection and cleaning anyway, so why not check for critters at the same time?

We’ve encountered these challenges many times, and we’re ready to help — and highly qualified to serve the Capital District. Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or start an appointment online. We can’t guarantee that no one will ever say “you have bats in your belfry,” but we’ll do our part.