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How To Keep Animals Out Of Your Chimney

More and more trees are being cut down to make room for new real estate developments. In turn, this has forced birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals to find alternative nesting spots. One of these alternatives could be your chimney! These critters see chimneys as safe places to build nests for their families.  So, it is important to make sure your chimney is protected from any animal invasions. Not only is an animal living in your chimney annoying, but it can also cause damage to your chimney and even spread diseases into your home.

Many species of birds, including chimney swifts, are protected by federal law in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This prevents them from being removed from their nesting sites; meaning you will be sharing your home with them until they leave in the fall. Atlas Chimney can help you keep wild animals and birds out of your chimney! We would like to tell you more about the best way to keep this from happening to your home.

How can I keep birds, squirrels, bats, raccoons, and other animals out of my chimney?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the best way to keep wild animals and birds from getting into your chimney is to be sure the chimney opening is protected. How? By professionally installing an animal-proof chimney cap on the top of the chimney! Without a chimney cap installed, your chimney is an open door for these critters. Make sure to select a chimney cap that is equipped with animal guards. These are mesh metal sides on the cap that will prevent birds and animals intrusion. Atlas Chimney sells a wide variety of this type of chimney cap. In addition, we also provide professional installation services so that your chimney is properly protected.

What are the other functions of a chimney cap?

A chimney cap serves several different functions. First, it keeps birds and wild animals out of your chimney. Second, it stops water from rain and melted ice from getting inside the flue. This is a very important function, since water penetration can cause extensive and expensive damage to your chimney and your home! A chimney cap can also help prevent accidental roof and brush fires from occurring. The mesh metal sides prevent hot sparks from jumping out of the top of the chimney, igniting a fire where they land. Additionally, if you are having chimney draft issues, certain types of chimney caps are equipped with special side vents that direct the wind to draft properly.

Is your chimney uncapped? If so, it is at a high risk for animal and bird invasions, as well as water penetration damage. Contact us at Atlas Chimney to learn more about keeping animals out of your chimney with our chimney cap sales and professional installation services!

Chimney Leaks This Winter

Although we may not get a lot of snow here in the Austin area, we can get heavy amounts of rainfall. You may think your chimney can tolerate all of this rain, but, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water can adversely affect masonry chimneys by causing expensive damage and deterioration. The bricks and mortar of your chimney are porous and easily absorb water. Once water has begun to penetrate into your chimney, you could end up with serious water leak problems. Atlas Chimney takes water very seriously, and we offer several repair and preventive methods to keep your chimney working safely and efficiently. We have years of experience in inspecting chimneys for water leaks, and we would like to tell you the most common reasons of how water gets into your chimney.

You do not have a chimney cap installed on top of your chimney.

no chimney cap - Austin TX - Atlas Chimney

Without a cap, your chimney is a wide open door for water from rain and melted snow. Even if you do have a chimney cap, it could be damaged if it is older, and water can easily get through any cracks or gaps. Atlas Chimney sells and installs a wide variety of chimney caps, and we can help you pick out the best type of cap for your chimney if you do not have one or your existing cap is damaged. Not only do these caps keep water out of your chimney, but they also prevent birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals from entering to nest inside your chimney.

Your chimney crown has been cracked.

Most masonry chimneys are equipped with a crown at the top, but the constant exposure to the elements of weather can damage these crowns. When the crown is cracked, water leaks into your chimney through these cracks. Atlas Chimney can repair cracked chimney crowns to prevent chimney water leaks, and we can also construct brand new crowns if your existing crown is damaged beyond repair. We know how to properly design chimney crowns so that they have a slight angle that allows water to run off instead of accumulating to cause erosion damage.

You do not have a flashing system, or your existing flashing has been damaged.

The area where your chimney meets your roof is one of the most common locations for chimney water leaks, which is why you need a flashing system to protect this vulnerable area. If your flashing is damaged, it cannot do a good job of keeping water out of your chimney. In fact, it can cause water from rain to rush into your home. Atlas Chimney can create and repair flashing systems to effectively seal out water. We take sheets of metal that have been cut according to the measurements around your chimney where it meets the roof and wrap them around your chimney in layers to prevent water penetration.

Even if you have these chimney components installed on your chimney, water can still leak inside through the bricks and mortar joints. Contact us at Atlas Chimney to schedule a water leak inspection and to find out how our waterproofing services can give even more protection to your chimney against water penetration.

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