I always get asked by homeowners about animal proofing their chimneys. It seems that when the leaves start to fall off the trees, animals such as racoons, squirrels, birds and even armadillos are looking for a warm place to live for the winter. And an unprotected chimney is an open invitation for them to build their homes for the winter. So what can a homeowner do to make sure that the neighboring wildlife stays out of his chimney?

I recommend to my customers that they install a chimney cap for a masonry chimney and a chimney chase cover for a prefabricated chimney. Chimney caps come in all shapes, sizes and are available in different materials depending on your needs. If you visit the Chimney Caps section of my website, you’ll see that we offer a whole range of chimney caps from Whitecaps, a US chimney cap manufacturer. Depending on if you have a single flue masonry chimney with extending flue tile or a multi-flue masonry chimney with extending flue tile you’ll need a different type of chimney cap.

Chimney caps come in three types: galvanized, stainless and copper. Galvanized chimney caps aren’t your best choice if you want one that will last a long time. They rust out quickly and once the bolts rust too, the cap can fall off the chimney. In some cases the rust will run down the side of the chimney; leaving unsightly stains.  Stainless steel chimney caps are very popular amongst homeowner because they are durable and very affordable. Finally, there are copper chimney caps that can cost a little more than stainless steel chimney caps but will match the copper flashing that’s found on certain homes.

Chimney caps not only keep animals out of your chimney but they also keep the rain out as well. Water can enter a chimney when it rains or snows and can damage many components of your chimney including stainless steel liners, dampers and mortar joints. And if the water leaks down your chimney, you can have a real mess. If you want to keep things out of your chimney, a chimney cap is an affordable long-term solution.