What is a Chimney Cap?
In simple terms, a chimney cap is just what it sounds like; it is a form of a cap, which covers the top of your chimney. Typically, chimney caps are made from either copper or steel because they can withstand the heat that comes from the chimney, as well as endure the harsh beatings of Mother Nature. However, it is possible to be made of a different metal.
The chimney cap attaches to the inside of your chimney (the flue’s insert) and extends above the chimney. The top part of the cap is a sheet of solid metal, while the four sides or walls of the cap, look similar to a metal-wire mesh or even a chain-link fence.
What is the Purpose of a Chimney Cap?
Although it may not be a legal requirement for you to have a chimney cap, chimney specialists, contractors, inspectors, and even insurance companies, HIGHLY SUGGEST you have a cap installed atop your chimney. Chimney caps serve many purposes, but they can be summed up in two small, yet extremely noteworthy functions: SAFETY & DAMAGE PREVENTION. In more detail, it is important to have a chimney cap because of the following:
- Sparks – Wood-burning fireplaces often release tiny embers (debris on fire), which are forced upwards, by the heat and gases from a lit fire. Chimney caps help prevent these embers from escaping your chimney and causing a fire or other damage.
- Water – Chimney caps prevent water from getting into the chimney and your home. Any form of water (rain or snow) can damage your chimney or home, as well as cause more ‘soot’ to build-up within the chimney.
- Debris – Build-up of dirt, leaves, and other debris, from the outside is largely thwarted by a chimney cap, which is extremely dangerous.
- Animal Blockage – The chimney is the perfect home for Mother Nature’s littlest babies, animals. Chimney caps prevent many animals from making your chimney their home, which is not only a pesky nuisance, but it can be dangerous.
- Ventilation – Chimney caps allow for proper ventilation, without permitting large gust of winds to enter the chimney and cause a hazardous disruption to your fire/fireplace.
- Energy – Reducing the exchange of airflow (both cold and heat) by installing a chimney cap, keeps the home at a better temperature than an open chimney. This saves energy and therefore, money.
Having a chimney cap installed for the first time or as a replacement is a quick and relatively cheap process. Alliance Chimney can install a new cap within an hour or two and with little to no mess. It is important, however, to have a professional install the cap, in order to ensure it is done so correctly and works properly, therefore deeming it SAFE!
As with anything on your home or building, it is important to have any and all damages repaired, as quickly as possible, in order to prevent dangerous occurrences and additional damage. Oftentimes, damages are identified during the suggested (if not mandatory) annual inspection.
Alliance Chimney will be happy to inspect your chimney to ensure everything is safe and in good working condition. Should your chimney need a small repair, it is probable that one of our specialists can repair it right on the spot. If not, we will be back within the next day or two so your chimney, home, and family are safe.