All chimneys are open on top. This is very necessary for venting smoke and gases… but it also means that you essentially have a hole in the top of your home. Fortunately, there’s a solution to keep your home and chimney protected, while still allowing it to properly vent – a chimney cap.
Simply put, a chimney cap is a covering that fits over the top of a chimney. It has metal mesh on the sides to allow smoke and gas to escape, and has what looks like a roof that creates a barrier between things you don’t want in your home (such as rain, snow, debris, and animals) and the interior of your chimney. Chimney caps come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes.
What Does a Chimney Cap Do?
A chimney cap serves a number of important purposes:
- Keeps out debris. What could enter your chimney? More than you might think! Leaves, twigs and other miscellaneous items can fall in, creating clogs which inhibit proper ventilation and create a fire hazard.
- Keeps out critters. Your sheltered, warm chimney can look pretty attractive to birds, raccoons, and squirrels. Animals can create nests in your chimney, and can also become trapped.
- Helps stabilize temperature. Downdrafts can affect the temperature of your home – and can blow ash and embers into your living space. A properly installed chimney cap helps protect against downdrafts, which means increased coziness and decreased energy bills.
- Stops sparks. Many chimney caps also have spark arresters.By stopping sparks that make their way up your chimney, chimney caps help guard against roof fires.
- Prevents water damage. Chimney caps keep rain, sleet, and snow from entering your chimney. This is an absolutely crucial part of a chimney cap’s job, as water can cause costly damage to chimney liners, dampers, and mortar. Excess water in your chimney can also affect your ceiling and walls, creating an environment that is friendly to mold and mildew.
- Improves ventilation. Chimney caps can improve the airflow in your chimney by minimizing blockages, increasing efficiency and reducing smoke.
- Ups your curb appeal. In addition to their significant functional benefits, chimney caps add polish to your home’s exterior. Because they come in a variety of styles and durable materials, you can choose one that complements your home’s style.
How Do I Install a Chimney Cap?
Chimney caps are not one-size-fits-all. Installing one begins with selecting the right one for your home.
First, consider mesh size. Your goal is to allow proper ventilation while still arresting sparks. The size of the flue opening will be a main factor in finding the appropriate mesh size for proper ventilation.
Next, you’ll want to research options, keeping in mind that your choice should be influenced by more than mere aesthetics. A specialty cap may be right for you based on your chimney specs and levels of wind in your location. Find the optimal materials, and know the shape and size of your chimney.
Then, your chimney cap needs to be secured. How you secure the chimney cap is determined by the type of chimney you have. Round shaped flues may open up the option of a slip-in cap, but square, oval, or rectangular flues will require clamps and screws.
While you technically can install your own chimney cap, it’s always better to trust a professional with this particular project rather than try tackling it as a DIY project. Here’s why:
Climbing and moving around on your roof to work can be dangerous, especially if your roof pitch is steep or you aren’t experienced. Professional chimney sweeps have the right equipment and training to safely access your chimney.
Professional installers know how to choose the right chimney cap for your chimney and install it correctly. They’ll ensure correct fit and secure fastening.
A professional chimney sweep will measure your chimney and help you choose a chimney cap that meets your needs. They’ll professionally sweep and inspect your chimney, since the chimney must be free of debris before installation. Finally, the installer will attach and inspect the cap to ensure it’s properly secured and functioning as it should so you can enjoy your new upgrade with peace of mind.
Wait… isn’t the benefit of DIY jobs cost savings? Yes, ideally. But we all know that things don’t always go as planned.
Your chimney cap is a guard against countless types of damage, many of which are expensive and time-consuming to fix. If your cap is not selected or installed correctly, damage can result – and since you likely aren’t frequently looking over you chimney components, it can potentially go unnoticed until it’s become a substantially more expensive issue than simply trusting a qualified pro in the first place.
How Much Does a Chimney Cap Cost?
There are a number of factors that influence the final cost of having a new chimney cap installed, including size and shape of your chimney and the material of the cap. Galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper chimney caps are all options, and these offer varying aesthetics, durability, and expected lifespan.
We are happy to provide the best solutions for your cap requirements and budget.
Call Us Today for Quality Service
Although it’s a relatively small and simple component, the chimney cap is an integral part of the chimney system. Thankfully, the price tag is also small when compared to the impact it has on protecting your home and keeping your chimney system running safely and optimally. This is one upgrade or repair that will pay itself off many times over in prevention and keeping you warm, protected, and comfortable in the space you call home.
If you have questions about chimney caps, give us a call! We’d be happy to review the options available with your needs and budget in mind. Our knowledgeable and skilled crew takes pride in serving you by keeping your chimney system running at the top of its game.
Reach out at 636-249-1482 or book online today.