You wouldn’t go out in the rain without an umbrella, would you? Okay, maybe you would – but your chimney should never be out in the elements without its own umbrella, better known as a chimney cap. Usually made of copper or steel, chimney caps sit atop the chimney opening and perform a number of really important functions, all geared to keeping the chimney running safely and efficiently. Let’s look at five good reasons to have a chimney cap.
1. Keep out the rain
Ask any professional chimney technician what the #1 enemy to chimneys is, and he or she will tell you: water. Water from rain and melting snow can wreak havoc with bricks and mortar as well as many chimney components. Rusting, rotting, decay, destruction – all are possible when water is not held in check.
A chimney cap, likened to an umbrella above, is the perfect water shield for the opening of your chimney. Without a proper cap in place, a clear path is available for water to do its damage.
2. Keep out the animals
It would be nice if you could reason with small animals and simply tell them to stay out of your chimney. But since you can’t, the next best thing is to have a chimney cap that prevents them from infiltrating the flue and setting up shop.
Squirrels, bats, snakes, racoons, rodents, birds and other smaller animals consider chimneys a safe place to live, and some of them build nests in there for their offspring. Animals often die in chimneys and create a horrible smell. Others may actually scurry (or slither or fly) down into your home. Put an end to this with a good chimney cap.
3. Prevent air-flow obstructions
Speaking of critter nests, it doesn’t take many to start creating a significant obstruction to the drafting of smoke and toxins when you use your fireplace. And speaking of small dead animals, these also serve as obstructions.
Smoke that can’t draft properly can come back into the home and carry with it many toxins including dangerous carbon monoxide. Keep obstructions from blocking the draft with a new chimney cap.
4. Contain sparks and embers
What’s happening at the top of your chimney when you’re burning a roaring fire in your fireplace? If you’re like most people, your answer is, I have no idea. And that’s the problem. Fiery embers can shoot out of the flue opening and land on the roof without you even knowing it.
House fires can start this way. More aggressive embers can land in the yard and on flammable objects. A chimney cap will block this activity and let you enjoy your fires with peace of mind.
5. Prevent smoke downdrafts
Depending on how the wind is blowing, it can blow right into a chimney and blow smoke, hot embers, soot and ashes all over your room. Downdrafts are a serious problem.
It’s impossible to stop the wind from blowing – and you really wouldn’t want to if you could. What you do want to do is keep the wind from blowing down your chimney. A well-fitted chimney cap will do just that.
Is it time to get a new, high-quality chimney cap installed on your chimney? Fluesbrothers Chimney Service of Kansas City, KS, can install one quickly and put you on the road to preventing all the above-mentioned problems. Call us today at (913) 236-7141.