Chimneys are complex structures, and many important chimney components are hidden away out of sight. One chimney component that protects your entire fireplace system is the chimney cap; while most of us spend very little time thinking about our chimney caps, they have a major impact on the safety and functionality of our fireplace and chimney.
What are chimney caps?
Chimney caps are fitted metal hoods that sit on top of the chimney structure, covering and protecting the top of the flue. With a solid metal top and wire or mesh sides, chimney caps prevent water, debris, and animals from getting into your chimney while also allowing gas and smoke to safely vent out.
While chimney caps have an important function, they can also be used to complement your home’s style. In addition to the factory built standard sizes and styles, chimney caps can also be custom created for your home. Custom chimney caps can be made in a variety of sizes and styles, allowing you to create a custom chimney cap that adds curb appeal to your home.
Why are chimney caps important?
Chimney caps serve an important purpose in maintaining the safety of your fireplace system. By protecting the top of the flue, the chimney cap keeps animal, debris, and moisture out of the chimney while keeping sparks and embers off of the roof. Below are four ways your chimney cap is important to your chimney system.
- Animal entry: Many birds, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals think of chimneys as safe places to build nests or hide from predators. However, these animals can cause damage to your chimney system as well as keeping your family safe from bacteria or diseases carried by the wild animals. A well-fitted chimney cap keeps animals out of the flue.
- Debris: Unprotected, branches, twigs, leaves, and blowing trash can all fall into your chimney. This debris can not only scratch the flue liner but can also create chimney blockages that prevent proper venting. By covering the top of the flue, the chimney cap keeps out debris and prevents blockages.
- Moisture: While exterior masonry may be equipped to handle exposure to water, the delicate interior fireplace components are not. Without a chimney cap water from rain, ice, sleet, snow, and even sprinklers can fall into the chimney and damage the fireplace system.
- Sparks and embers: Chimney caps are sometimes referred to as spark arrestors because they keep sparks and embers off of the roof. Because sparks can sometimes travel up the chimney when the fireplace is in use, a chimney cap can help prevent roof fires by keeping stray sparks and embers off of your roof or landscaping.
Your chimney cap protects your fireplace system from animals, water damage, and debris, while also protecting your home from stray sparks and embers. To make sure your chimney cap is still doing its job, contact Mason’s Chimney Service today to schedule your next chimney inspection!