Your chimney cap plays an important role in maintaining the life of your chimney system. It protects your roof from dangerous sparks, keeps animals and debris out, and prevents moisture from entering and damaging your chimney. It is important that you do a visual inspection of your chimney multiple times throughout the year, as well as a professional inspection annually. These inspections will help you identify when you need to replace your chimney cap.

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Visual Inspection

Inspecting your chimney cap regularly can help you determine when you need to call a professional to replace or repair it. The first thing you need to inspect is how securely the cap is attached. Oftentimes, screws can come loose or begin to rust, which causes the cap to detach from the home. This isn’t typically a problem, but if your chimney wasn’t installed correctly or is attached with the incorrect materials then it may need to reattached. Next, you need to inspect the overall integrity of the cap itself. Due to weather or heat, the top of the chimney cap can warp and pull away. Other parts of the chimney cap can also become loose over time. While screws can sometimes repair these issues, it may be better to invest in a quality cap that will cost you less in money and time down the road. The meshing or grating on the chimney cap is also extremely important. While it is there to keep animals out, that doesn’t mean that a pesky squirrel won’t still try to get in and, in the process, damage the mesh. Creosote can also clog the grating, which will prevent smoke from venting properly. Even small amounts of creosote should be removed from the netting. Lastly, you should look for rust. While this isn’t an issue for stainless steel or copper caps, galvanized steel will rust over time. If your chimney cap is rusting, the best thing to do is replace it, preferably with a stainless steel cap.

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If the turbine on your draft-enhancing cap is clogged, it is time to replace. These types of caps are hard to clean and eventually become more and more clogged until they stop turning all together. If the mesh is heavily clogged or damaged it is best to replace the entire cap. While this may seem like a minor detail, it is critical in keeping animals and debris out of your chimney. It the the mesh is weak in any way, a persistent critter may get inside of your chimney. What’s worse, the animal may not be able to get back out, in which case you might be dealing with a decaying animal and all the unpleasantries that come along with it. If a chimney fire has occurred, you need to replace the chimney cap. The heat from the fire will cause the cap to warp and be damaged beyond repair.

Keeping an eye on your chimney cap is a great way to make sure your chimney is properly protected. However, it is best to have a professional check it out at least once a year or if you are ever unsure of the condition of your cap. Our pro chimney sweeps will not only inspect your chimney, but also perform any repairs or replacements. Call us today to set up an appointment!