When you burn a fire in your fireplace, smoke, gases, and hot air flow up your chimney flue and outside of your home through an opening at the top of your chimney. This opening exposes your chimney system and home to all sorts of potential hazards. Luckily there is a small and relatively inexpensive device that you can add to your chimney system to protect chimney from potential issues. A chimney cap is an essential component of any chimney system. This is especially true in the winter when snow, ice, and cold weather can affect the health of your chimney.
What is a chimney cap?
A chimney cap is a device that is attached to the flue where is comes out of the chimney. The cap prevents rain and snow from getting into your chimney. Chimney caps are usually designed with a mesh screen on its sides to allow smoke and gasses out of your home, but keep leaves and critters out.
Winters are especially hard on your chimney and if snow or rain gets into your chimney it can cause a number of issues. Probably the most costly issue related to moisture is when water seeps into the tiny pores of your brick and mortar. When it gets cold enough, the water can freeze and expand, causing cracking and crumbling of your chimney masonry. Not only can this affect the functionality of your chimney, it can also cause a hazardous situation by loosening brickwork enough to cause bricks to detach and fall.
There are other potential chimney system issues caused by rain and snow. If moisture gets inside your chimney, it can mix with ash, oil, and creosote deposits along your chimney wall. Not only can this mixture corrode the inside of your chimney, it also causes a formidable odor that can creep into your home. Other potential issues related to moisture are: rusted firebox and damper assemblies; water stains on chimney exterior and walls; chimney settlement; and rotting of your homes wooden framework.
Chimney caps also prevent nature from entering your chimney. An unprotected chimney may allow leaves and small branches to enter your chimney flue. Animals may also see a chimney opening as a nice, protected place to build a nest. Chimney blockages can really mess with your chimney systems airflow, allowing smoke and other gases into your home. Furthermore, blockages can also combust, causing a chimney fire.
What kind of cap do I need?
Winter is almost here! If your chimney cap is missing or worn out, and you’re looking to replace it, it’s important to know that chimney caps come in a number of styles and sizes. The best way to know if you have the correct chimney cap is to have a certified chimney technician inspect your chimney and guide you from there. At Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, we have a wide variety of chimney caps that can we can customize to fit any chimney. If you’re in the market for a chimney cap, or have questions regarding chimney cap installation, please contact Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified chimney technicians.