Every chimney should have a cap. Why? Because it prevents animals, debris, water, and leaves from getting in the chimney and causing problems. Chimney caps also prevent embers from escaping the chimney, landing on the roof, and possibly starting a fire.
If your chimney doesn’t have a cap, let’s look at what you should consider when choosing one.
Chimney caps are typically made from three materials, each having its own benefits.
Most people opt for caps made from galvanized steel because they’re inexpensive and do the job just fine. However, galvanized caps aren’t as durable as the other materials, so you’ll have to repair or replace them more frequently.
Moving up, stainless steel caps are another option. While slightly pricier than galvanized steel, stainless is more durable, and some prefer the look.
Besides a custom option, copper is the most expensive cap you can get. Copper is highly durable and long-lasting, and can increase your home’s curbside appeal with its visual flair. When picking a material, consider the climate you live in. If you live in an area that receives a lot of precipitation and freezing temperatures, it’s a better investment to opt for a durable material that can withstand a beating.
Type of Flue
Another thing to consider is what kind of flue you have. For example, single flues require a different-sized cap than double flues.
Many homeowners have unorthodox chimney and flue sizes, which means they need a custom cap designed specifically for their chimneys. If you’re unfamiliar with chimneys or flues, call your local chimney professional to inspect and measure your equipment to determine the right-sized cap. Chimney caps come in various sizes, including multi-flue, single-flue, and top-mount.
Choosing the right mesh size for your chimney cap is important, as it affects whether embers can exit.
The standard mesh size is ¾ inch, allowing enough air to flow freely while keeping embers inside. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow and ice, you should schedule regular chimney inspections from a trained professional to ensure the mesh isn’t damaged. A larger mesh may be necessary if your fireplace produces large amounts of smoke.
It’s crucial that your chimney cap be correctly sized, so it doesn’t impede the draft. An ill-fitting cap can restrict the airflow necessary for the fireplace or stove to burn efficiently, expel toxic gases, and prevent back puffing.
Most chimney caps come with a warranty, but it’s always wise to check before making a purchase, especially if you live in a climate that could cause it to wear out more quickly. As stated, chimney caps are necessary for protection against animals and debris, embers, and moisture damage.
The average cost to install a cap is approximately $300, making it a wise investment to protect your chimney against damage that could cost thousands to repair.
Call Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace
If you want help choosing the right chimney cap or need chimney sweeping or repairs done by certified professionals, call Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace in Kansas City at 913-236-7141 today to book an appointment.