Having a fireplace in your home can be full of benefits, but it is important to remember that there is a lot of responsibility as well. You have to spend the time and effort making sure you have a chimney that is in safe working order. Because this is where smoke and other flammable substances go on their way outside, it is important to have any obstructions removed from the chimney. If you are not able to clean and maintain it, you are likely to encounter problems in the future. Aside from that, one of the major problems that chimneys encounter is when animals build their nests, and set up their homes within the chimney appliance.
Squirrels and raccoons are examples of animals which are often found to be living in the chimney. Unfortunately, it is not easy to remove them. You have to be very careful when removing them for not only their safety, but also for yours. If a migratory bird, like the Chimney Swift, happens to nest in your chimney, you have to be very careful. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
There is an easier way in which you can avoid these issues to begin with. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” As soon as you have a home with a fireplace, you need to make sure a chimney cap has been installed. With a cap, your chimney will be closed off to potential critters that would take up residence in your chimney. However, if you do not have the budget in order to have one installed, annual chimney cleaning and sweeping can help. This will also ensure that it is clear of any dangerous creosote build-up. This would also help you monitor whether animals are attempting to take up residence in the chimney. Taking care of animal problems before they start is good for both the animals and you.