There are numerous ways that pests, such as raccoons, squirrels, mice, or rats, can enter your home. The chimney can be a good hiding place for squirrels because it provides a warm home out of the weather when the fireplace isn’t in use. However, squirrels in the chimney can cause a number of problems, so it’s important to recognize when you might have a squirrel in your chimney and what you can do about it. Here’s what you need to know about squirrels in your chimney and how chimney inspections in Marietta can help prevent this problem in the future.
Signs of a Squirrel
First of all, you need to determine whether or not you have a squirrel in your chimney. You’ll probably hear some unusual sounds, such as scampering, jumping, or scratching. You’ll often hear gnawing sounds as well since squirrels are known to chew through many different materials. If you hear persistent scratching sounds, there’s a good chance that the squirrel is trapped in your chimney and unable to get out. When you inspect your fireplace, you’ll often find squirrel droppings, although they can sometimes be mistaken for other animals. In any case, finding droppings means you need to call a professional to identify the animal and get it removed properly. Holes on or around your chimney are another good indication that a squirrel is in your chimney, and upon further inspection of your roof or attic, you’ll usually find damage to shingles and wiring. If you’re fairly certain you have a squirrel, here’s how you can try to help it leave on its own.
Don’t Light Fires
Many homeowners assume the best way to get critters out of the chimney is to light a fire and scare them away with the smoke and fire. However, this is something you should definitely avoid. There’s a good chance that the squirrel will run down the chimney and into your home, causing another host of problems. On the other hand, the squirrel could be trapped and all you’ll do is burn the squirrel, causing issues with terrible odors for a long time. Close the fireplace doors to keep the squirrel from coming in your home and try baiting the squirrel out the top of the chimney so it can be trapped.
Make Loud Noises
If the squirrel isn’t trapped, make loud noises to try scaring the squirrel back up the chimney above the damper. If you’re sure the squirrel is above the damper, close it and move to the next step to get the squirrel out of the chimney.
Provide Escape Route
There’s a good chance that the squirrel has stayed in your chimney because it’s trapped. When the squirrel is above the damper, lower a rope and tie it to the top of the chimney so the squirrel can climb up. If the squirrel leaves on its own, remove the rope.
Get Professional Help
If the squirrel is unwilling or unable to leave on its own, call a professional chimney sweep for help. A chimney sweep not only knows how to safely remove pests from your chimney, but he or she will also be able to inspect the chimney and recommend any chimney repair in Marietta, GA, that can help prevent future squirrel problems. The sweep will check the condition of your masonry and chimney cap to ensure any potential access points for pests are repaired. To schedule your inspection, contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor today.