Chimney Care Company's Blog

Help – A critter is in my chimney!

Animals in Chimney - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyWe may be partially through winter already, but there’s a lot left to go. Children around the world spent the first portion picturing Santa Claus coming down their chimneys; many of them could now be wondering if it’s possible for anything else to come down them as well. One thing in particular—a wild animal—can cause huge problems and wreak absolute havoc inside your chimney and home. They can bring an assortment of parasites and/or diseases with them and, at the same time, can cause a blockage in your chimney that could ultimately result in dangerous (and potentially deadly) byproducts of combustion being unable to travel up and out of your chimney. Most birds, squirrels, and other animals can get trapped and die in the chimney; only raccoons bats, and chimney swifts are capable of getting themselves out of the chimney once they’ve gotten themselves in.


Animals are drawn to your chimney because it acts as a perfect nursery for them. In the wild, these same animals could very well search out a tall, hollow tree (which is quite similar in many ways to your chimney). Both provide a safe place for their young seeing, providing a location in which it makes it very difficult for predators to get to and harm them. Unfortunately, deforestation is quickly removing their natural habitats and leaving them with fewer and fewer alternatives. This results in your chimney looking too inviting for them to pass up.


Placing a chimney cap on your chimney is the best way, by far, to prevent animals from entering and nesting inside your chimney. A cap with wire mesh that is small enough to keep even the smallest of pests out (e.g. bats), while at the same time large enough to allow the harmful combustion byproducts (e.g. carbon monoxide) to escape is the ideal solution. Making your chimney look a little less welcoming is a key to keeping the wild things outside and leaving you with more time to focus on keeping your family safe inside.


It’s not easy to get animals out of your chimney once they’ve managed to get themselves in. Because of the afore-mentioned parasites and diseases these animals could be carrying, coming in direct contact with them is something you’ll want to avoid if at all possible. They will, however, need some sort of help getting out since flue linings don’t make it easy or even possible for most of them to climb back out. If you believe you have an animals or nest in your chimney, call a certified chimney sweep immediately. We’re trained to inspect and handle circumstances such as these.

Your home is designed to give you and your family a place where you can feel safe and warm. Animal carcasses and their nesting materials can quickly compromise this safety and warmth. As such, keeping them out of your chimney is crucial! Here at Chimney Care Company, your family’s sense of security and safety is important to us. We know how hard it can be to trust someone with the safety and well being of your home and family. But with us, you can rest assured that we’ll take care of your family as if it were our very own. We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you keep your family safe and warm for years to come!

Getting Optimum Draft

Your Chimney’s Draft, And How It Can Be Compromised

As comprehensive chimney and fireplace service professionals, the techs at the Chimney Care Co. tend to talk about draft a lot — it’s pretty much the key to your chimney’s proper function, so maintaining draft is key to what we do, too.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America has a detailed breakdown of the science behind how your chimney works, but if you want the chimney draft CliffsNotes, here’s a simple breakdown.

Not only does optimum draft increase effectiveness and performance, it also minimizes risks.

Not only does optimum draft increase effectiveness and performance, it also minimizes risks.

Draft is, more or less, how air draws up your flue. And it occurs because of a difference in pressure between the hot air produced by your fire and the cooler air outside your flue. When heated air is getting produced by your fire, some degree of draft will happen, but what you really need is optimum draft — the proper level of upward pull, which happens when your chimney system is properly built, in top shape, under optimum burning conditions.

That probably sounds like a tall order, all those optimums. But that’s what we do at the Chimney Care Co.: We use the right methods, tools and expertise to get your chimney system set up for optimum draft.

What Can Stop Optimum Draft?

Ensuring optimum draft means getting rid of all the things that hinder draft. Wondering what those things are? Here are a few of the most common problems:


This one’s kind of a given: If something is blocking off your flue, air can’t flow like it should. The most common flue blockages are usually an indication of another problem, like a missing chimney cap allowing animals to nest in the chimney, pieces of a damaged chimney liner falling into the flue, or excess amounts of creosote being present because of an overdue chimney sweeping  appointment.

Improperly Sized Flue

Heating appliances are designed to vent through a specifically sized flue. A flue that’s too small leaves you with weak draft and smoking issues. A flue that’s too large generally draws too slowly leading to poor venting, increased levels of creosote and often liner and masonry damage from acidic condensate, too. The mismatch in sizes sometimes happens when a new appliance is installed to vent with an existing chimney, and the flue size isn’t taken into consideration. The most effective solution: having a new stainless steel flue liner installed to bring the flue to its proper size.

Your Appliance Isn’t Getting Enough Air

Fireplaces and stoves need combustion air to encourage draft and keep byproducts and smoke moving in the right direction. If you’re having issues with smoke coming into your living area and your home has energy-efficient windows and doors, those energy savers might be keeping your fire from getting enough air. Try cracking a window and see if it helps.

You’re Using The Wrong Fuel

If you have a wood-burning appliance, here’s one rule that has no exception: Burn seasoned or kiln-dried wood, always. Burning improperly dried wood leads to a fire that doesn’t burn hot enough, which means a weak draft and increased creosote. If you’re collecting and cutting your own wood, let it dry for six months to a year. (Christmas trees and trash: also a no-no as far as proper fireplace or stove use goes.)

If you’re experiencing draft issues, The Chimney Care Co. technicians can inspect your system, find the culprit and offer solutions. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, or ask any questions, just give us a call!

The Science of Combustion

What goes on inside your chimney when the fire is roaring in your fireplace? Basic chemistry and physics play a critical role in the effectiveness and safety of your heating system.

Three ingredients are necessary for combustion to take place - fuel, heat and oxygen. If there is an imbalance, there will be performance and safety issues.

Three ingredients are necessary for combustion to take place – fuel, heat and oxygen. If there is an imbalance, there will be performance and safety issues.

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140