When it comes to keeping your home safe and your home heating system working at its best, there may be nothing more important than the humble chimney cap. This little piece of protection sits above your chimney exhaust flue keeping it safe from unwanted guests (animals), debris, moisture, and downdrafts. Their diversity in type and function make them vital to your chimney and your home.
The Advantages of Chimney Caps
Your chimney cap is doing an array of different jobs that keep smoke and dangerous fumes going up and out of your house – while not allowing unwanted things in. Here are just some of the many things your chimney cap is doing for you.
- Protection Against Debris & Animals: Many chimneys are located in an area exposed to wind and flying debris. Sticks, twigs, leaves, and other debris can find your way in if a well-fitting chimney cap isn’t in place. Of course debris isn’t the only thing a chimney cap will keep out. Animals looking for a warm and dry location to build their nests can be a real hazard, as well. Chimney caps keep these things from getting in, while still allowing smoke and fumes to get out.
- Enhanced Draft Efficiency: One of the most important jobs a chimney does is make sure that smoke and fumes are rising up the chimney and not getting pushed into your home due to downdrafts. There are a number of factors that make sure air throughout the home is flowing correctly, but without a chimney cap, your chimney becomes a great way for downdrafts to force cold air down in – without letting the bad air out. This leads to expensive heating bills and unhappy family members.
- Spark Arrestors for Fire Safety: Some chimney caps are equipped with a mesh around the outside that keeps sparks from floating up your chimney and out into the world (i.e. your flammable roofing materials). This becomes especially important for homes in areas that are prone to wildfires and dry conditions. These spark arrestors also reduce the risk of fires inside the chimney which increases the safety of your home, as well.
- Moisture Prevention: Water is one of the biggest culprits in chimney and home damage. If water is able to get into a chimney, it will quickly collect within the natural pores of your brick and mortar. Over time the water will force cracking and crumbling on the masonry, especially when temperatures drop and it freezes. It will also cause metal components to rust and deteriorate. Your chimney cap prevents water from entering your chimney flue vent.
Types of Chimney Caps & Their Advantages
There are many different types of chimney caps but they tend to fall into five categories. Here are the various types of chimney caps and why they might be what you need on your chimney.
✔️ Full-Coverage Caps
This chimney cap is probably the best value for a homeowner. It offers complete coverage over the top of your chimney, so that water isn’t able to get to any of it. It is designed with the look of your home in mind and, since it covers the entire top of your chimney, it becomes nearly invisible as it blends into the look of your home. It is generally one of the most common choices.
✔️ Single-Flue Caps
These caps are designed to cover a single chimney flue. They carry a small profile and are designed to shed water away from the flue and onto the chimney crown where it is further directed away from the chimney altogether. They can be built from a variety of materials, but are generally metal. This means that they have a long lifespan and will help your chimney to have a long life, as well.
✔️ Multi-Flue Caps
If your chimney has multiple flues this is the cap for you. Designed to fit over whatever space is needed, this cap will work in much the same way as its single-flue counterpart – only it is bigger and covers a wider area. These can be specifically designed for whatever size chimney needs it.
✔️ Outside Mount Caps
These caps are installed on the outside of the top of the chimney structure. They cover a wider area above the chimney, which gives it enhanced protection against rain and other elements. These are often for chimneys on houses that are in locations that want ultimate protection, and they have a variety of lid styles to complement your home style. They are also great for covering poorly constructed crowns.
✔️ Specialty Caps
Sometimes a specific home or chimney is in a situation that calls for something unique. These caps are designed for specific tasks and with specific functions that enhance the use of the chimney cap. These functions can range from creating drafts to stopping downdrafts. The options are limitless with specialty caps.
Our Experts Are Excited to Serve You
Our experts at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney are excited to work with you in making sure your chimney is functioning as efficiently and safely as possible. Your chimney is important to us. Call us today to set up an inspection to find out if your chimney cap is doing all the things it should be. You can also reach out online. Thanks for trusting us!