Protecting Your Fireplace from Rodents
The last thing anyone wants to see scurry across their floor is a wild mouse or rat. Other rodents like squirrels and chipmunks can be just as unpleasant and destructive if they get inside your home. Along with chewing up furniture and walls, rodents can bring other pests with them like lice and diseases. One of the ways that rodents get into homes is through the fireplace and chimney.
There are steps that you can take to ensure no pests can get into your home through your chimney. These are the top three ways to protect your home from rodents:
- Always close the damper when your fireplace is not in use.
The damper is a vent that is located at the mouth of the fireplace. When it is open, it allows smoke from the fireplace to escape outside. It also creates an opening for rodents to slip through and get into the fireplace from the chimney. Keeping the damper closed whenever you do not have a fire burning reduces the risk that a mouse, rat, squirrel or chipmunk could get into your house.
- Be sure your chimney has a cap on it.
A chimney cap is the best way to prevent rodents from getting into your home. The opening at the top of your chimney is the easiest place for pests to enter. Even when you keep the damper closed, rodents may still be able to get into your attic or other parts of your house through the chimney if the liner has cracks. A chimney cap can prevent this. The solid top and wire mesh around the sides stops animals, like rodents and birds, from flying or crawling into your chimney.
- Have the chimney professionally inspected at least once a year.
The primary purpose of a chimney inspection is to ensure that your chimney and fireplace are safe to use. An additional benefit is that the chimney sweep will look for potential entry points where pests could get into the chimney such as a broken or loose chimney cap or cracked chimney liner. They will also let you know if they find evidence that pests have been in your chimney like droppings or a nest. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep, like us, will give you a thorough report after the inspection to let you know what they found and if they have any recommendations for repairs or maintenance.
Along with these three steps to prevent rodents from getting into your home through the chimney, here are a few more tips to make your home less attractive to pests:
- Keep all food, including pet food, stored in airtight containers.
- Always wipe down counters, tables and stovetops after meals.
- Sweep and clean your floors regularly, especially in the kitchen where there may be more food crumbs or spills.
- Have indoor and outdoor trash cans that seal tightly.
- Stack and store firewood far from your house.
- Don’t leave pet food or water bowls out overnight.
You can ensure that creepy critters stay out of your home by following these best practices and taking steps to protect your chimney. If you need a chimney cap installed or a chimney inspection, give us a call! Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps are here to help you.