Atop your chimney sits one of its most important components: Your chimney cap. The chimney cap is the metal peak on top of your chimney. Usually, it is separated from the chimney by a metal case that allows smoke to exit your chimney while protecting your chimney from outside elements. Your chimney cap protects your chimney and your home in several ways.
Your chimney cap keeps water out.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has labeled a secure chimney cap as your chimney’s best defense against water damage. A secure chimney cap prevents water from flowing down the inner walls of your flue, causing cracking or spalling in your chimney liner and rusting on your damper or the metal components of your fireplace.
Your chimney cap keeps sparks in.
The distance between your firebox and the top of your chimney seems like a major journey for sparks, but burning embers can make their way out of the top of your chimney, especially if you ever have a chimney fire. Your chimney cap keeps those sparks in, protecting your roof from burns, or even worse, from catching fire due to stray sparks.
Your chimney cap keeps animals out.
Animals love a warm chimney, especially when temperatures drop. They can make their way down into your chimney to build a nest. Or, other animals like bats and birds can fly in and become trapped. Animals in your chimney can obstruct smoke trying to exit your chimney, putting your home at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or a chimney fire. Trapped animals can cause an unpleasant smell. A chimney cap can help you avoid the dangers of a nesting or trapped animal and save you the costs of having to have an animal or nest professionally removed.
Your chimney cap helps you avoid debris.
Just like animals, leaves, twigs and other debris can fly into an unprotected chimney cap. That debris can build up and block the flow of smoke out of your home. Or, it can catch fire and ignite your chimney. A chimney cap can prevent debris from finding its way into your chimney.
Your chimney cap blocks downdrafts.
A strong burst of wind can force its way down your chimney. If you have an open-heart fireplace with a fire burning, that can force smoke and ash back into your home. If a fire isn’t burning, it can cool your home, lowering your home’s heating efficiency. A chimney cap can block downdrafts to keep your home safer and warmer.
Have your chimney cap inspected!
Over time, chimney caps can become dislodged, or they can rust or corrode. Your chimney cap should be inspected regularly, along with the rest of your fireplace and chimney system. The Chimney Sweeper can help! We can make sure your chimney cap is in good repair and in place. If it’s not, we can help fit your chimney with a new chimney cap to keep your chimney, fireplace and home safe and free from water, debris and wind damage.