How To Keep Animals Out Of Your Chimney

If you have a fireplace in your home, then a chimney is a must too, because you want the smoke and soot to have an outlet. But chimneys can also become a pathway for small animals to creep into your house if homeowners ignore scheduled chimney inspection and cleaning. Here are some ways to prevent that.

Get A Chimney Cap

Probably the best way to keep animals and birds out of your chimney is by installing a chimney cap. Before getting into how a chimney cap helps, here is a list of animals you need to look out for that are prone to burrowing down your chimney.

  • Raccoons
  • Rats and rodents
  • Birds like sparrows and crows
  • Squirrels
  • Small ferrets

Now, a chimney cap is like a four walled mesh screen which sits on top of the opening of the chimney. It also has a small roof on the top, to make it completely sealed so that no animal or bird can creep into your chimney. A chimney cap will not choke your chute and it will be more effective in controlling the air flow coming out of the chimney. Here are some other benefits of using a chimney cap, other than keeping the pesky animals out.

A chimney cap will keep out leaves, twigs and small branches so that they don’t fall into the chimney chute and choke the passage. This will also keep your gas or wood burning fireplace clean from unwanted leaves and dirt.

A chimney cap also helps to keep out rain and ice, during the months of heavy rain and snowing. You won’t have to worry about the ice or rain trying to extinguish the fire in the fireplace and it will also keep your chimney clean, since there will be no water build up.

A chimney cap doesn’t choke the chute by blocking out the air flow. The walls of the chimney cap are made out of fine mesh or screen material and it really helps to keep the smoke going out without any hindrance, so it’s a great option.

Make The Outlet As Small As Possible

One way to keep out the animals and birds from your chimney is by making a smaller outlet for the smoke to get out of the house. This can be done by extending the upper lip of the chimney into a narrower chute. This will keep the smoke from coming out but it will give a very congested entry for animals, so it’s highly possible that animals and birds will not try to pry into the chimney’s small opening. Although you should keep in mind that a narrow chute means that you will have a hard time cleaning it, since the access is quite limited.

Get Your Chimney Inspected

If you don’t get your chimney inspected from time to time, then it can give the animals and birds a safe place to reside for longer. It’s best to have your chimney inspected every 3 to 5 months, because it will keep the animals out. If someone is constantly coming in to check the chimney, it will ruin the haven like feeling for the animals and they will scurry out of there quickly. Animals want a place with peace and quiet and if someone like an service is coming in to check the chimney regularly, then it’s not the place for them to stay longer.

A Chimney Damper

An opening and closing damper is also a good option if you want to restrict the access of animals in your chimney. It is a small door which can be opened if you want to start a fire and when it’s time to stop using the fireplace, you can go and close the door to the damper. Not to mention, chimney dampers are also less expensive to install than a chimney cap and dampers also help to keep out rain and moisture, provided that the damper door is closed.


There you have it! These ways are effective for keeping animals and birds out of your chimney and it won’t put a toll on the performance of the fireplace or the chimney, so it’s a win-win. And take some time out to clean your chimney or hire chimney sweep services Ellicott City for the purpose.

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