By Chris Williams on January 9, 2014.
Chimney caps are devices designed to prevent animals from entering chimneys. Chimney caps come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate the large variety of chimneys. Some chimney caps are fabricated to fit the unique shape of the chimney being fitted; others are pre-made to fit specific standard sizes. Installation of chimney caps requires safety gear, ladders, and special training.
The chimney cap must be fastened to the chimney in order to prevent dislocation or damage from animals or wind. A properly installed chimney cap will typically prevent bird nesting, and associated fecal/nest material in the chimney. Flying squirrels, red squirrels, and grey squirrels will not be able to nest, investigate, or fall into capped chimneys. Raccoons will not be able to have babies inside a capped chimney. Removal of squirrels, bats, birds, raccoons, and other wildlife-related chimney obstructions can be costly and dangerous. Blocked vents, ducts, and chimneys may result in the buildup of hazardous gasses, excessive heat, or fire resulting in serious property damage. Annual inspection of critical venting, ducts, and chimneys is an important part of property maintenance. Preventative measures taken during construction or before serious problems occur is critical to limiting problems in this area. Much can be done to remove animals from chimneys, and then seal them out.
Exclusion work and wildlife control is best left to professionals who routinely use safety gear and the latest equipment to safely work with ladders and wild animals. Wildlife control specialists are trained in roofing work, exclusion techniques, inspection, identification, and control methods. Bats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and birds are among the more common wildlife problems wildlife control specialists are called on to manage. The first thing to do if you suspect a wildlife issue related to your chimney or other area of your property is to call a licensed wildlife control company!