We all love what our chimneys do for us. They add a certain aesthetic beauty to our homes and help keep our families safe from the smoke and harmful gases that would otherwise leak into our homes without them. Since we value them so much for this provided protection, why shouldn’t we provide them with a little protection, too? Chimney caps serve this exact purpose. While not a requirement for chimneys, it is strongly recommend that you consider having one installed on your chimney if you don’t already have one. If you have a chimney cap already, keeping it in good working condition is the name of the game.
What does a chimney cap do anyway?
It’s quite simple actually. A chimney cap’s basic job is to cover your chimney’s opening so as to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney and/or house. It directs water away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting to your chimney by the mesh screening on the side. If permitted access to your chimney, any of these things could damage it and cause more problems for you down the road. As an added bonus, keeping these things out can increase the lifespan of your chimney liner.
What type of cap do I need?
Now that you have a better understanding as to why a chimney cap is a necessary investment, you may be ready to make that purchase. Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to know your chimney and flue configuration. This information is important because the kind of flue you have determines what kind of chimney caps you can use as well as the measurements necessary in order to guarantee that it fits properly.
Do you have a single-flue or a multiple-flue chimney? Is your flue square, rectangular, oval, or round? Would you prefer a top-mount or a flue-mount cap? The Q&A session could go on for days if you let it. But don’t let these questions deter you. A qualified, certified chimney professional could answer all of these questions for you by simply looking at your chimney.
What materials are available?
Chimney caps are most commonly manufactured from galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper. The one that’s right for you will depend on your priorities, preferences, and budget. Stainless steel caps generally give homeowners the most bang for their buck, as they are not impacted by the elements as much as are the other materials. Galvanized steel and aluminum caps can and will eventually rust and need to be replaced, while shiny, more expensive copper caps will slowly weather and eventually end up the same color as the Statue of Liberty. Some homeowners may actually prefer copper’s natural patina and will be willing to pay the premium to get it; it’s strictly a matter of taste.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a chimney cap; however, that doesn’t mean it has to be a stressful task. Once you understand your options and determine your needs, the selection process is pretty straightforward. Deciding to purchase a chimney cap and have it installed by a professional chimney technician is a choice you won’t soon regret.
To preserve your chimney system and protect yourself from the hazards and expensive repairs that come with element- and animal-related damage, be sure to have a properly-sized chimney cap professionally installed on your system. Whether you are looking for a standard chimney cap or something a more elaborate, the experts at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney can recommend and install the perfect cap for your system. Whatever your needs may be, contact us at your earliest convenience to see how we can help you!