The Many Benefits of Chimney Caps
One of the best ways to protect your chimney and keep it running safely and efficiently is by installing a chimney cap. This simple device can prevent a number of problems and save you significant money on repairs down the line. Chimney Specialists of Highland, WI, would like to share why we believe that having a quality chimney cap is a smart move.
What is a chimney cap?
Chimney caps are components that cover and protect the entire top of the chimney, minus the flue opening. They’re usually made of metal and feature mesh on their vertical sides that allows smoke and gases to pass. A simple flue cover protects only the flue opening. It doesn’t protect the vulnerable chimney crown or create a run-off to keep water from draining down the masonry.
Here are four key benefits of chimney caps.
1. Chimney caps block rain and snow
Rain and snow are major enemies of chimneys. When any kind of moisture gets into the flue, it can gradually begin to deteriorate the chimney liner and cause rust to form on the fireplace damper.
With a custom full-width chimney cap, your concrete chimney crown is also protected. Without a cap, when crowns start to crack, water can get in and speed up the damage. Worse, water can run down into unseen areas of your chimney and damage interior masonry, ceilings, walls, flooring and other home building materials.
2. Chimney caps keep animals out
Some regions are more susceptible to small-animal infestation than others. Birds, raccoons, rodents, squirrels, and the like often seek shelter in chimneys during the cold months and during birthing seasons.
Small animals in a chimney can lead to several problems.
- An accumulation of nesting material can cause smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide to draft sluggishly and possibly back up into your home.
- Nesting material provides excellent kindling for a chimney fire.
- Some animals die inside chimneys, unable to escape. The smell can be bad enough to make you want to evacuate your home.
- The nesting material itself can begin to produce a foul odor.
- The more curious among the animals may want to go down into your home and explore.
3. Reduce draftiness
With a secure covering over your flue, you’ll experience fewer downdrafts that can blow ash and live embers into your room during fireplace use. When you’re not using your fireplace, you can prevent drafts by tightly closing the fireplace damper.
4. Contain sparks
Chimney caps do a great job at keeping errant sparks and embers from popping out the top of your chimney, particularly during a small and brief chimney fire that you may not even know about. Fiery material can affect the roof, power lines, trees and flammable objects down in the yard.
An important note: When you use a chimney cap, it’s very important that you or your chimney technician inspect it periodically to make sure the mesh sides aren’t blocked with any kind of debris. A blocked cap will not allow smoke and gases to draft properly.