What Lurks in Your Chimney?

chimney sweep, what lurks in your chimney

Winter is here, and it’s time to sit by the fire and enjoy a nice evening with your family!

Before you can start sparking a fire in your chimney this winter, you should think about the types of things that can be lurking in your chimney from the last time you used it. There are many objects and hidden dangers that can inhabit your chimney during the offseason, such as creosote, pests and debris, mold, flue leaks, and many other dangers.

Because the chimney is an entrance point to the outside world and what lives in our air, it can become the adopted home of all sorts of creatures and objects seeking protection. A blockage can prevent many things from happening that should be going smoothly. When small animals such as birds and bats, or debris collect in the chimney it can prevent the smoke and fumes from escaping. When that buildup happens and it becomes impossible for the chimney to properly function, smoke can start filling up the room and cause an even bigger issue than a clogged chimney.

Animals That Can Be Found in Your Chimney

There is a wide variety of creatures and critters that can inhabit your chimney. Check out our list below and be aware of what can lurk in your chimney.

  • Chimney Swift – The Chimney Swift is one of the most common migrating birds found in North America. They can be mistaken as bats, but they have many unique characteristics, such as trouble balancing on horizontal tree limbs, and they don’t find comfort in the branches of a tree. It’s important to know that the Chimney Swift is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which means neither birds nor nests can be removed from chimneys without a federally-issued permit.
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Rats and mice
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels

One easy solution to prevent blockage would be installing a chimney cap along with annual chimney inspections, which your Valley Chimney Sweep and Restoration team would be happy to perform.

How Valley Chimney will Protect Your Chimney From Hidden Dangers

Our professional sweep and restoration team recommend annual chimney inspections and cleanings to protect your chimney and extend the life of it. Our team of seasoned professionals will perform an inspection or cleaning of your chimney to ensure it is in pristine working condition and ready to embrace the winter weather. The Valley Chimney teams follows an inspection checklist with the following:

  • If you’re sure something seems different or anything is wrong, we will take a look at your fireplace or chimney to find the solution.
  • We will look for signs of deterioration, cracking, weathering and damage by inspecting the structure of your fireplace, both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that the chimney damper properly opens and closes every time.
  • We will check that the chimney cap and flashing are fitted to the chimney properly, to avoid future water leaks, the habitation of any animals, or debris entering.
  • Before we leave, we will ensure that any items that are combustible are at least 18 inches away from your fireplace. Items to keep away from your fireplace are curtains, furniture, decorations, etc.
  • We will teach you how to properly clean and care for your fireplace and chimney in between annual chimney sweeps. We will educate you on the following proper ash removal, what types of firewood to burn, signs to look out for, etc.Stay safe this winter and schedule your annual inspection with Valley Chimney Sweep and Restoration today!
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“We had Valley Chimney Sweeps out to check out a cracked firebox on a home we were considering purchasing.  They were honest & upfront about the condition of the chimney, what would need to be repaired, and what future repairs would look like (the chimney was built incorrectly).  Price for inspection was reasonable and if we choose to have the work done, the inspection payment is considered a prepayment toward the repairs.”

‐ Sarah W.

Naperville, IL

8940 B Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


Service over 30,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago