Dear Raccoons,

You are not allowed inside my chimney anymore. You are much too loud and stinky, and I don’t feel safe lighting a fire with you inside there. Birds, bats, and bugs, that goes for you guys, too.

Sincerely,

Perturbed Homeowner

"Sorry Mr. Raccoon, but it's time to find a new home. " Keep your chimneys free from wild animals.

“Sorry Mr. Raccoon, it’s time to find a new home. ” Your chimney should be free from wild animals.

If you live in or around Kansas City and this sounds like a note you could have written, we hope you’ll take a minute to read Winston’s Chimney Service’s advice about how to keep wild animals out of your chimney for good.

What business do we have telling you who should and shouldn’t be calling your chimney home? Those of us at Winston’s Chimney Service have served customers throughout the area since 1978, and we’ve seen how animals and their nests can cause chimneys to catch fire, hamper a chimney’s efficiency, cause backdrafting, and create bad smells
and annoying noises. In some cases, we’ve even heard of an animal traveling the length of a chimney flue and entering a home. The ultimate unwelcome houseguest. And we find that often times animals will figure out how to get into a chimney but then can’t find their way out. Without food, they will die. When dead, they stink to high heaven.

Lucky for you, this common problem is easy to prevent.

Put a Cap On It

The most foolproof way to keep critters out of your chimney is to hire a chimney technician to install a stainless steel chimney cap or a top-sealing damper at the very top of your chimney. This cap will serve a dual purpose of also keeping rain and snow out of your chimney and protecting the crown or chase cover below. In other words, with the addition of one affordable chimney component you may end up saving yourself hundreds, even thousands, of dollars worth of masonry repairs and other repairs on down the road.

Don’t Start a Fire

If your idea of solving your animals-inside-the-chimney problem is to start a fire, you’re taking the wrong approach. Not only will you cook birds and other critters alive this way, but you’ll create a strong and horrendous order that you will have essentially baked into your chimney. This means you’ll have to live with the smell for a long time. These matters are best handled by a professional, and in fact one animal—a bird known as the “chimney swift” —is protected by law from being removed from a chimney.

If you live in the Kansas City area and think you have an animal trapped inside your chimney, you can count on Winston’s Chimney Service to solve and prevent this problem in the future.