The Purpose and Function of a Chimney Cap
A chimney without a chimney cap is like a house with no roof. Your chimney is, of course, an exit route for combustion gases. But, without a chimney cap, your chimney is also an open invitation for various unwanted elements that get inside. If there is no chimney cap covering your flue pipe, experts recommend that you contact a qualified chimney sweep without delay. Your chimney should be inspected for signs of damage caused by the lack of protection, and the immediate installation of a chimney cap is needed. Read on to learn more about the purpose and function of a chimney cap.
Keep Out the Enemy
Moisture is a chimney’s worst enemy and keeping it out requires a chimney cap and a chimney structure in good working condition. Rain, snow, and sleet flow directly into a chimney flue that doesn’t have a protective chimney cap. The interior of your home can suffer water damage from the inpouring water, in addition to chimney components experiencing accelerated deterioration, including rusting.
Inside the flue, the mixture of water with acidic creosote deposits has the destructive effect of eating away at the chimney liner. When a chimney liner is damaged to even the smallest degree, repair or replacement is a must. A chimney liner must not have a breach because its function is to keep hazardous elements contained within the chimney. Even a small crack in a chimney liner can result in:
- A devastating home fire and
- Occupants in the home being exposed to potentially deadly combustion gases.
Prevent Wildlife Access
Various animals are known to seek warmth and/or shelter inside of chimneys. Raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and birds can get into your home if there is no chimney cap with mesh covering your chimney flue. If your home happens to be in the migratory path of chimney swifts, your chimney could become a federally protected dwelling place for the birds until they and their new offspring move on to their next migratory stop.
The inconvenience of animals inside of a chimney cannot be underestimated. Animal waste, a toxic substance, is deposited inside of your chimney. Some animals are unable to get out once they’ve climbed into a chimney. It is not unusual for a trapped animal to die in a chimney and create a horrendously pervasive odor in the home as it decomposes.
More Benefits of a Chimney Cap
- In addition to keeping water out, a chimney cap will keep out debris that could obstruct the chimney. Twigs, leaves, and other debris can go into your chimney if it does not have a protective chimney cap. The debris can cause toxic combustion fumes to enter your home because of chimney obstruction, and it can also catch fire. Chimney fires are extremely dangerous and the best way to prevent them is with annual chimney inspections, whether or not you have a chimney cap.
- Downdrafts are blasts of cold air that can enter your home and cause your heating costs to rise. Chimney caps prevent downdrafts.
- Another benefit of chimney caps with mesh is that the mesh can serve as a “spark guard.” When hot embers float up to the top of the chimney, instead of possibly starting a roof fire or igniting other combustible materials, a chimney cap can prevent them from exiting.
Two Basic Kinds of Chimney Caps
You can have a flue top chimney cap installed that will provide all of the above-named benefits. A better option is a full-width chimney cap, which offers more appealing aesthetics and also fully protects the chimney crown. The chimney crown is a component of the chimney quite prone to cracking and deteriorating, resulting in destructive moisture damage to the chimney.
Contact the Experts at Northeastern Chimney LLC
The certified chimney sweeps at Northeastern Chimney LLC are kept busy with chimney repairs largely due to damage that results from moisture. You can lower the cost of chimney maintenance significantly by ensuring a strong defense against masonry’s most destructive enemy. The installation of a chimney cap is essential for every chimney, and routine chimney inspections and cleaning also helps to ensure that your chimney is in a state of good repair. Contact the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Northeastern Chimney LLC. Call 860-233-5770 today to schedule an appointment.