Squirrels have a habit of nesting in chimneys in Toronto. It’s hard to blame the critters since a chimney bears an uncanny resemblance to a hollow tree trunk. Chimney caps are a good way to keep squirrels out of your house, or at the very least, out of your chimney. First, you need to call professionals to remove the squirrels then have them seal up the chimney with squirrel-proof chimney caps.
How Squirrel Proof Chimney Caps Work
Chimney caps come in a variety of shapes and designs but even the most basic will provide the protection you are looking for. The base of the contraption installs snugly on your chimney flue opening. The device has a small height of mesh separating its bottom and the solid, covered top. The chimney cap may be made from copper, aluminum, galvanized steel or stainless steel. They are also available in a variety of sizes, shapes, heights and designs to fit virtually any kind of chimney.
These caps keep out all kinds of wildlife that might like to nest in your chimney including squirrels, raccoons, snakes and birds. The mesh ensures that the chimney works normally. You may want to consider a thicker mesh that raccoon’s or squirrel’s strong claws and teeth cannot get through. These animals can be persistent when looking for somewhere safe to nest.
Keep in mind that the chimney cap only protects your chimney. You also need to reinforce your roof otherwise a persistent squirrel will find or create an alternative route inside. It is best to call an expert to do the necessary repairs and wildlife proofing. Squirrels can extend small holes and gaps on the roof that are easy for the untrained eye to miss.
Squirrel Proof Chimney Caps
When it comes to keeping squirrels out of the interior of a home, removal and sealing entry points is the essential method. Squirrels frequently forage for safe areas to get protection from elements, and the insides of homes offer this safe haven for them, much to the chagrin of homeowners. Chimney caps are contraptions that block the flue, which separates the exterior and interior.
Since regular caps can be made of a material that makes burrowing easy for squirrels, it is crucial to purchase squirrel proof caps that use a variety of metals to keep squirrels from gnawing through the cap. It is important to remember that caps are only viable as barrier protection. Squirrel removal by a wildlife removal specialist is necessary to preserve humane practices within Toronto.
Once the removal process is complete, the installation of the caps can proceed. Assembly can be a complicated process; therefore, it is a good idea to allow a professional to install the caps, which will usually include cleaning of the chimney in addition to the removal of squirrels. The caps are manufactured to keep wildlife from entering the chimney and are built to fulfill this task and to allow smoke to escape through the flue by way of metal and durable, non-flammable material.
This process is one of the more surefire ways to ensure that squirrels cannot enter the home or nest inside of a chimney. The metal structure of the caps prevents wildlife from gnawing through the material, although it is crucial to allow a removal specialist to inspect other possible entry points through the roof as well.
How Do I Keep Squirrels Out of My Chimney?
Have you ever been sitting in your living room and heard the scattering of claws and tiny footsteps emanating from your chimney? This is almost certainly a sign that wildlife has either fallen into or made a home inside of your chimney. Squirrels can be relentless creatures once they find an attractive spot to nest in. Combatting against their stubbornness can be an arduous task, but thankfully there are numerous ways that a squirrel removal professional can proof a chimney to keep them out. There do exist instances when squirrels accidentally fall into uncapped chimneys or enter the chimney and find that they are unable to get out.
A squirrel removal specialist can install a device that allows the trapped squirrels to get out, such as descended rope into the flue to allow the animal to climb out. The complete removal of any squirrels currently residing or trapped inside the chimney is always the first task of a wildlife professional and squirrel removal should always be left to professionals to ensure the removal is complete and the existing squirrels are not harmed in the process.
To keep squirrels out, professionals will usually do a thorough inspection of the surrounding roof to ensure that no additional entry points are available. Installation of caps that are specially made for wildlife can then be installed to keep the animals from reentering. Additional measures taken by a professional may include the application of animal scents and fluids, specifically from raccoons, that will add an extra deterrent to roaming squirrels.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Chimney Cap?
The price involved with the installation of chimney caps can vary depending on the particular price structures of various wildlife removal companies. In the greater Toronto area, Squirrel Control offers a complete installation package that is ensured by the use of heavy gauge square-holed mesh called hardware cloth for screening. Prices may vary upon consultation, but we can ensure an affordable rate.
The rate for cap installation can range from $100 to upwards of $1,000 depending on the range of services and additional offers from the company of your choice. In addition to the chimney cap, the cost will also reflect the installation, which can be quite complex. Installation typically involves an inspection to ensure the dimensions of your chimney to determine the best type of cap.
A good reason to hire a professional company for installation is due to the dynamics involved with caps used to keep wildlife from entering the chimney. Chimney caps for wildlife are specially designed and will need the expertise of a professional to ensure the cap is maximized to keep animals out. Rates will vary, but the peace of mind that comes from professional installation is worth it to keep squirrels out of your chimney.
Can Squirrels Get Down Chimneys?
Squirrels are incredibly versatile animals that utilize climbing as their main mode of transportation. Climbing is usually suited exclusively to trees, but there are instances where you may actually hear squirrels climbing into your chimney. Often times this is due to the accident since squirrels are usually more than content in making their homes in trees, but if hibernation for the winter is beckoning, easy access to a warm chimney is not outside of their exclusion zone.
The most common reason that squirrels are found in chimneys is likely because they fell into it. This is especially true if the interior of the chimney is made of a slick structure, such as metal. When this is the case, the squirrel(s) cannot climb out of the chimney and becomes stuck. In Ontario, it is always a good idea to check your chimney periodically if there is no cap on it. Trapped squirrels are defenceless if you light a fire not knowing they are trapped in the flue.
A wildlife removal specialist will easily be able to determine if a squirrel is trapped or nesting. Nesting squirrels will have to leave the chimney periodically for nourishment, and a professional can easily install chimney caps once the squirrel has left its nest. If a squirrel is indeed trapped, professionals are trained to physically remove the squirrel and then install caps to keep the incident from reoccurring.
What Keeps Rain from Coming Down a Chimney?
If you have ever found yourself wondering how rain and snowfall do not end up in your fireplace, you will likely be interested in knowing that there are structures of a chimney that prevent this from happening. The most obvious answer is the flue, which should be closed if the fireplace is not in use. There are instances where rain can leak into the flue even if it is closed, which is where a chimney cap comes into play.
A chimney cap serves many purposes at the top of a chimney: wildlife deterrent, moisture drifting, and metal mesh deflecting precipitation from falling into the chimney are all provided by a quality chimney cap. To keep rain or snow from drifting into a chimney, a cap installer will generally use a range of metal mesh materials which will leave just enough room for smoke to escape and prevent precipitation from pouring into the flue.
Chimney caps are a necessity to ensure that rain does not saturate your fireplace, but the installation of a cowl will also aid in preventing both smoke backflow, rain, and even animals from being able to enter into the chimney. Having chimney caps and cowls installed are the two main structures that keep rain from entering a chimney and no chimney is complete without them.
Bird Proof Chimney Caps
In Toronto, it is almost a fairly common occurrence to find squirrels inside of chimneys, but birds are actually more prone to fly into chimneys to nest over squirrels. Unlike squirrels that usually find themselves trapped inside of chimneys, birds use chimneys more for nesting purposes due to their ability to easily fly back and forth when seeking food and moisture.
Having chimney caps installed that prevent birds from nesting is not as easy a process as removing squirrels. If there is an active nest inside of your chimney, wildlife removal professionals can only clear the nest and install caps if the birds have migrated due to seasonal change. This is an inconvenience, but it is essential to avoid potentially harming the birds or their eggs.
If a removal specialist has determined that a nest has been abandoned, they will get to work removing the nest and installing the cap. Chimney caps for birds work much in the same way as caps for squirrels or raccoons. A metal mesh will be installed around the exit of the flue, which will keep birds from being able to enter into the chimney. Keeping birds out by using caps is a bit easier than squirrels since birds will not attempt to gnaw through the mesh.
Hire a Wildlife Removal Expert to Get Rid of Squirrels in Chimney
If you already have squirrels nesting or trapped in your chimney, a chimney cap won’t help but will certainly aggravate the matter. Do not light a fire or attempt to smoke the animals out. Squirrels are protected wildlife and killing or harming them is illegal and inhumane.
A wildlife removal expert in Toronto will first inspect the flue to make sure that there are no baby squirrels inside. Next, he might install a one-way door on the flue opening to let the squirrels out and prevent them from coming back in. He will clean the chimney to remove droppings and urine which may carry airborne diseases. Finally, the expert will squirrel-proof the house, which may include installing a chimney cap. Only a professional can guarantee to remove squirrels safely and humanely and to keep them out permanently.
Article Updated: January 16, 2020