Three Signs That Animals Are Hiding in Your Chimney

Category: Chimney

Three Signs That Animals Are Hiding in Your Chimney

You might not realize it, but your chimney makes a great home for animals.  It provides shelter and the ideal place to create a nest, but for you, the presence of animals in your chimney can present a serious problem. storks sitting on a chimney

Taking Care of Animals in Your Chimney

Even if you don’t use your chimney often or if it’s not cold enough weather to warrant a fire, you’ll need to remove animals, their nests, and debris immediately, otherwise, they could damage the interior of your chimney. Long neglected animal problems can lead to structural damage to your chimney, which is much more of a headache to fix, not to mention extremely expensive.  It will be much better to address an animal invasion right away, no matter the season or frequency of use of the chimney, rather than to ignore it. But before you can address it, how do you know animals have moved in as unwanted roommates?  Fortunately, there are three noticeable signs to look out for.


The biggest tell that animals are inhabiting your chimney is the noise.  Animals that decide to take up residence in your chimney—no matter if it’s the very top or along the interior—will make noise. The typical animals to look out for are birds and squirrels.  Birds that tend to make their nests in hollow trees may be attracted to the prospect of building a home in your chimney and as everyone knows, birds are not quiet creatures.  If birds make nests in your chimney, you’ll be hearing chirping and singing as well as rustling.  Some birds will just become stuck in your chimney instead of trying to build a nest, so listen for flapping or noises of distress. a bird sitting in a chimney Squirrels are also culprits and because they don’t sing and squawk like birds do, these animals can be harder to hear if they make a home or become stuck in the chimney.  Squirrels do, however, chatter and skitter.  If you keep your senses on alert for the other signs of animals hiding in your chimney, you should be able to detect the presence of squirrels. If the noises you hear sound frantic, then it’s time to call a professional because the animal is stuck in the chimney.  Animal control professionals are trained and experienced and will be able to remove the stuck animal without harming or further distressing it.


Detecting if an animal is in your chimney will rely on your senses and smell is no exception.  Animals that hang out in your chimney for longer periods of time won’t be able to hide their presence for long as their smell begins to penetrate the home’s living spaces. The smells you’ll notice will most likely be urine and droppings, as unpleasant as it is.  You might also smell whatever food, twigs, debris, or branches are in the chimney that the animals have brought in to make a nest.  The worst-case scenario will be if you begin to smell something incredibly foul as that is an indication that an animal has died in the chimney.  If you suspect that this is the case, call an animal removal specialist immediately.


Your last sense that will tip you off an animal is in your chimney is your sight.  Visually, you’ll begin to see signs that your chimney is inhabited by a bird, squirrel, or other unwelcomed creature. You might not spot the creature living in your chimney, but you’ll start seeing signs that they’re living in it.  Droppings, fur, feathers, and pieces of nests will start to make an appearance at the bottom of the chimney in the fireplace. a squirrel peeking out a roof Let this be a lesson to always close the fireplace damper while the fireplace isn’t in use.  This doesn’t prevent animals from getting into the upper half of the chimney, but it will stop them from entering your home, and that’s the last thing you’ll want. What types of animals should you look out for?  Here are some common animals that have been known to move into chimneys:
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Bats

Preventing Animals from Living in Your Chimney

Installing a chimney cap is the best way to keep animals from shacking up inside your chimney.  These are inexpensive chimney accessories that can be installed yourself or by a chimney professional.  Chimney caps keep out weather and animals, protecting your chimney inside and out. As said before, close your damper when you aren’t using your fireplace.  This won’t keep animals out of the chimney completely, but it will keep them out of your house.  Homeowners should also strive to schedule a routine chimney inspection to detect animals in the chimney as well as spot any signs of damage or need for repairs. We’ve dedicated ourselves to making sure your home is safer and cleaner after we’ve completed every project. Get started on your next chimney cleaning or other chimney related. Contact us today!

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