Water can destroy your fireplace, your chimney and even your home. That’s why it is important to make sure your chimney is protected from the elements. The best way to do that, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, is to install a chimney cap.
How a chimney cap protects your chimney.
The primary function of the chimney cap is to block water from flowing down your chimney each time it rains, snows or sleets. The chimney cap serves as a little roof to keep moisture out of the chimney flue. Moisture in your chimney can have a host of ill effects. It can cause flue tiles to crack and crumble. It can cause metal dampers, fire grates and fireplace doors to rust and warp. Consequently, it cal also can lead to unpleasant odors in your home. And, ultimately, moisture in your chimney can cause deterioration that threatens your chimney structure. This increases the risk of a home fire.
While water protection is undoubtedly an important function, your chimney cap protects your chimney in other ways. A chimney cap can prevent debris from being blown into the chimney and cause a blockage. In addition, a caged chimney cap can prevent animals or birds from making their way into your chimney flue. Plus, your chimney cap can block strong down drafts from entering your home. Downdrafts can blow smoke and ash into your living space and it can make your home cold and uncomfortable.
How to choose a chimney cap.
If you find yourself in need of a new chimney cap, you might be surprised to find how many chimney cap options are available. Chimney caps come in different sizes, shapes and materials. There are also some chimney caps that have added functions. Your chimney sweep will be able to steer you toward options that are appropriate for your home’s chimney.
One chimney cap trait you will need to choose is the material the chimney cap is made of.
Chimney caps are available in galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel and copper. Galvanized steel is often used because it’s economical, but it also breaks down quickly and will need to be replaced within a few years. Aluminum chimney caps are similarly economical, and they won’t corrode the way galvanized steel caps will, but they are lightweight and prone to being blown away or damaged. Stainless steel caps are the industry favorite, as they are durable, sturdy and reasonably priced. Copper chimney caps are beautiful and sturdy, but are often passed over due to cost. Copper caps most often are chosen for aesthetic reasons.
Knowing when to replace your chimney cap.
Has your chimney cap has been thrown off by a storm? Also, has it has become corroded or damaged? If so, it’s time for a new chimney cap. In addition, are you unsure about the health of your chimney cap? Make sure you ask your chimney sweep during your next sweeping and inspection. If you do need a new chimney cap, call Total Chimney Care. We’ll help you find the right cap for your chimney and get it installed the right way.