Chimney caps aren’t the only part of the chimney system, but they’re an important part! Literally capping the top of the chimney, they protect your chimney from the top. This keeps out weather, animal intruders, and keeping fire in.
Chimney Caps Keep Water Out
Water from rain, snow, and ice can fall directly into the flue – if it’s left open. A chimney cap not only covers the top of the flue, but also causes the water to flow off of the cap. In addition, it flows onto the chimney crown, instead of into the flue. Water is one of the most detrimental things for a masonry chimney. Water causes costly damages, including rusted parts, stains, deterioration, spalling, mold, and structural damage. What’s the best way to prevent this type of damage year-round? The answer is simple. Prevent water penetration by ensuring your chimney system is properly waterproofed. Part of your routine maintenance is making sure your cap is installed correctly, and functioning properly!
Chimney Caps Keep Wind Out
Though some caps are better than others, most are designed to deflect wind. In high-wind areas, special caps can be installed for this purpose. Preventing wind gusts from entering your flue means that your fire won’t be affected by drafts, and your chimney’s efficiency won’t be compromised.
Chimney Caps Keep Wildlife Out
Other than weather, there are outside threats that a properly installed chimney cap deters. Anything that can climb onto your roof, can also climb into your open chimney flue. Small critters especially love a warm and dry chimney flue in the nesting season. Small animals like chipmunks and squirrels, and large ones like raccoons have been known to become stuck in chimneys. If you have an animal intrusion, a professional chimney sweep can safely and humanely remove the animal in a timely manner. If the animal becomes stuck and suffocates, this can become a stinky issue quickly. It’s best to call a professional at the first sign of an animal intrusion because even if they escape again, they leave behind hair, droppings, and nesting materials–all of which is highly flammable or toxic. They also scratch the liner when they escape, causing weaknesses in the lining system and future damage.
Some birds like to nest in flues, including the federally-protected chimney swift. If a swift gets into your flue, it cannot be removed, even by a professional. Not to mention, a fire cannot be lit while the birds are nesting. This can be a nuisance since chimney swifts are raucous and will nest for about 90 days!
Chimney Caps Keep Fire In
Chimney caps not only have a cover, but also a mesh that is a spark suppressor, as well as an animal deterrent. When the cap is present, unruly sparks cannot fly out of the flue and ignite debris on the roof or on the ground below. Without the cap, these sparks can cause house and wildfires that put your family and property in damage!
The chimney cap can save you money in repairs, animal removal, and even fires. It’s always easier to prevent a disaster, than to clean up after one! Northwest Fireplace & Chimney has the cap for you, offering a variety of materials, designs, and sizes. Call a chimney expert today at (219) 413-2349.