Fireplaces are stunning character features that look great on their own, but when they’re in use, they add an element of warmth and wonderful coziness to your property that just cannot be replicated with a central heating system. Pests, however, can turn a great feature into a nightmare. The good news is that there are ways to remove these pests and help reduce the risk they’ll ever return.
Reasons to Check for Pests Today
There’s no time like the present when it comes to dealing with pests – even potential ones. That being said, the times when you truly need to check if there are any issues with your chimney are when:
· You Plan on Sealing Off Your Chimney
If you plan on modernizing your fireplace and upgrading it with a gas-powered one instead, you need to go through and fully remove pests and then seal off your existing chimney system. This will help keep your home warmer, and you’ll also say goodbye to that pesky pest entrance.
You should do a thorough check and clean, even if you just plan on getting your fireplace mantle replaced. There are so many beautiful examples at this fireplace showroom London provider to help inspire you and show you just what you can do by sealing up that chimney for good. The heat feels the same, but the effort of maintaining, cleaning, and then pest-proofing is gone. For those who want the comfort of a fireplace but not the upkeep, modernizing is an absolute must.
· You Want to Use Your Chimney
If you do want to use your chimney, then yes, clearing out the fireplace and chimney of any pests is an essential step. If it doesn’t kill them, lighting a fire when rodents or other animals have made your chimney their home can cause them to scatter – and sometimes directly into your house.
Pests can also make a home in the foundation of your chimney, which deteriorates the structural integrity and puts your entire property at risk. Cleaning it out properly, checking for pests, and pest-proofing it can help you avoid these issues outright.
Types of Pests Found in Fireplaces and Chimneys
Since chimneys open up to the outside, really any type of pest can get in and make a home in your property. The most common types of pests found in fireplaces include:
Rodents of all shapes and sizes are happy to make a nest in a warm, safe space that keeps them away from the cold and predators. They’re also very talented at making nests in seemingly impossible spaces. This is because they’ll use anything they can get their hands on to create their nests, which can block up your chimney and cause a fire hazard all at once. Mice, rats, and squirrels are the most common culprits from the rodent family.
All bugs can enter your chimney and even your home. Many are small enough to get through a mesh chimney cap, so the best way to keep them out is to actually use your chimney once in a while. Bugs don’t usually hang out where there’s been a lot of smoke, so simply using your fireplace can keep them away.
Birds are another huge issue since they like to nest on top of chimneys. While it’s less likely they’ll get into your chimney and fireplace itself, they can seal off your chimney. Their nests cause huge fire risks since they’re highly flammable and seal off air.
How to Say Goodbye to Pests in Your Fireplace for Good
There are multiple ways to say goodbye to pests in your fireplace once and for all.
If you truly never want to worry about pests coming into your fireplace or living in the chimney ever again, then modernize. Rather than have a wood-burning stove, for example, you may want to consider an electric or gas-burning fireplace instead.
· Regular Cleaning
If you do want the classic wood-burning experience, then you will need to invest in regular cleaning. This needs to be done in several stages. Regularly cleaning and maintaining it offers several benefits when you are actively using it, from keeping the materials in great-looking condition to improving the efficiency of your heating.
Pests, of course, are only really an issue if you have a real fireplace that you don’t use regularly. In this case, they may take up residence in the area, thinking it’s a dry, warm space to set up shop, and find themselves in a very rude wake-up call once you light a fire.
Bugs can also use your chimney and fire as a place of egress. To prevent them from causing issues, even if you do use your fireplace regularly, you’ll need to use a glass-covered fireplace. This type of design prevents fumes and can be more efficient. Do keep an eye on the rope seal, however. If the seal needs to be replaced, not only can fumes get through, but so too can bugs.
Beyond proper maintenance, you’ll also need to have the chimneys themselves cleaned out. While the tools chimney sweeps use today are far different, the overall process is the same. You won’t need to have them cleaned out as often, of course, so long as you aren’t using coal.
· Pest-Proof the Chimney
One of the simplest ways to stop pests like birds or rodents from entering your home or chimney is simply to close the damper when there isn’t a fire. If you want even more assurances, add a mesh chimney cap to the top of your chimneys. These two options will help stop larger pests from entering. You do need to have a professional install this cap since improperly doing it can actually decrease airflow in your chimney. Why is that an issue? Too little airflow can cause a chimney fire, which occurs when there’s a sudden influx of oxygen (like when you open the door to put more wood on).
Before you do any of this, it’s a good idea to bring in a pest expert so that they can help you understand how deep the infestation goes. If you do have a pest issue, getting rid of them, then pest-proofing and maintaining your fireplace is a must.