Top seal chimney damper opens easily, squirrel fell through : HomeImprovement

Hi all,

Yesterday we finally trapped and released a squirrel that fell through our chimney into the fireplace. Here’s a cute video of him escaped in our livingroom 😅. Glad we got him out okay after 4 days of him avoiding the trap at all costs. Turns out he need peanut butter AND bread, not just PB.

Today I had someone come check out our chimney situation and install a cap. He was from the pest company, and they were originally coming to trap the squirrel. I left it up to the company if they still wanted to keep the appointment (after we caught the squirrel) for just checking out the chimney and the owner said sure. He’s not charging me at all for the futile visit, so no regrets. We are new to the house, so when he came today, he explained that we have a top seal chimney damper, and the cap would be humongous and $$$. It seems like the damper is extremely easy to push down, so now it’s more like a trap door for animals to get caught in.

Should the damper be that easy to push down? He said it looks in great shape, the spring is shiny, seals good etc.. The guy wanted to DIY some counter weights on the backside of the lid (which I thought was a great idea) but the owner didn’t want him to, which is understandable. I haven’t called a chimney specialist yet because I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill (or squirrel trap). I am curious if others have had similar experiences, and what they did to protect their death trap chimneys from animals.

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