Are you an animal lover? part 2

Responsible homeowners will install proper chimney protection such as a chimney cap with a screen to keep out animals from nesting. 

It is important to consider if you choose to only add screening as a solution toward keeping out animals, the cross sectional area of the flue system of your chimney must be considered. 

Most codes require four times the cross sectional area of your flue system when installing any type of chimney screen.  If your screen simply covers the opening of your flue horizontally, leaves and debris, buildup from soot and other contaminants may block off your flue system and allow deadly carbon monoxide to vent back into your home. 

A good screen will look more like a box on your chimney flue or even better include the coverage of a chimney cap.  The opening of the screen should not be less than five eights of an inch in diameter to prevent the screen from clogging. 

Your chimney sweep should be trained to identify the best solution for both screening and capping your chimney.

And, don’t just screen or cover the chimney flues that are being used.  Protect all openings to your chimney or chimneys regardless of use to keep out animals.

A chimney cap or screen on your chimney must also be secure for safety.  You do not want an animal to be able to remove the cap or screen. 

You also don’t want your cap to be blown away with a stiff wind.  Some chimney caps weigh several pounds and can be a deadly projectile in a strong wind. 

You masonry chimney may require some repair before properly installing a cap or screen.  If you have a manufactured chimney system, only an approved chimney cap and screen should be used designed for that manufactured chimney. 

Your chimney sweep should have some recommendations for the best solution and if you do not have a trusted sweep already, check the listing of professional sweeps on this site for a Certified Chimney Sweep that will serve your area.

This spring protect the local wildlife and your family by protecting your chimney from these cute animals who want to build a nest within your chimney. 

By having an early plan, homeowners will save wildlife, protect their families and also save some serious money, should they have to call a wildlife removal service to their home.

~ Dave Hannah

Ed. Note: if you have an animal story, please tell us about it.

Smoke Signals: Have a question about your chimney?