A chimney cap refers to a small wire mesh or metal box installed on the top part of a chimney. Chimney cap installations are inexpensive but already brings plenty of benefits for homeowners. This small metal piece prevents numerous mishaps and saves you money from unnecessary chimney damage repairs.
In this post, you’ll learn the important reasons why you need to install a chimney cap.
1. Keep Away Unwanted Animals
Small animals, like squirrels, raccoons, and birds, find chimneys a great source of warmth and comfort during cold winter months. This is because the chimney is a warm, dark, and safe place that these animals can build their nests on or hide from predators. When this happens, it can cause some problems including the nests being a fire hazard, blockage of the flue and even the spread of a disease called histoplasmosis.
Here’s how a chimney cap can help drive away unwanted animals inside the chimney:
- Without a chimney cap, critters can easily move into your home via your chimney. That’s why a chimney cap installation is important to keep unwanted animals away from climbing into your chimney.
- The netting or wire mesh wrapped around the chimney cap also works to keep these critters away from your chimney.
2. Prevent Freezing and Thawing
Weather changes can cause chimney problems. Snow, ice, or rain can enter your chimney flue, causing moisture, which then freezes and thaws throughout the winter season. This cycle of continuous freezing and thawing then compromises the structural integrity of your chimney.
Freezing and thawing of the chimney may cause cracks that warrant costly repairs. However, with a chimney cap installation, the moisture that is caused by harsh weather is blocked.
3. Increase Your Home’s Aesthetic Appeal
Installation of a chimney cap gives added value, security, cleanliness, and functionality for your chimney and overall home as well as adding a great aesthetic appeal. Don’t be surprised when visitors ask about your chimney cap and what it is for. They’ll definitely add one on their chimneys too.
4. Prevents Fire
Embers can increase the risk of chimney smoke and fire as well as roof damage. You can avoid these problems by installing a spark guard and chimney cap to prevent the escape of these burning particles. A chimney cap even comes with mesh wires that are wrapped around it to keep sparks contained until they eventually die out.
Here’s how an open chimney can endanger your home and cause a fire:
- Large sparks can make their way up to your home’s chimney flue.
- If sparks are hot enough, they can make it all the way out of your chimney and eventually into a pile of leaves or a dry patch of grass.
- A brush fire may happen, ruining your outdoor living space, and possibly your house too.
- Burning embers coming for your fireplace can set the fire up and exit the chimney with burning gases.
5. Increase Your Chimney Liner’s Lifetime
You can add a chimney cap to increase your chimney liner’s lifetime. Debris and water can easily get into the chimney liner, causing it to deteriorate. This is most especially true in chimneys that have clay liners.
Important Things to Know About Chimney Cap Installation
1. Types of Chimney Caps
Choose the right material for your chimney cap. When it comes to the different materials of chimney caps, you can choose from galvanized metal, copper, and stainless steel. The type of chimney cap you select depends on the situation of your fireplace and your budget.
2. Always Check Your Measurements
Chimney caps come in different sizes, so you have to make sure that you always get the right measurements. It is very important that your chimney cap should fit your chimney properly. Bring a measuring tool, pen, and a pad of paper with you when you go up the ladder.
Also, take measurements (length and width) outside the chimney. If you have a round-shaped chimney, check the diameter (both outside or inside). For multiple flues, always check the required height and the width.
3. Secure the Chimney Cap
Choose chimney caps that you can screw onto the roof for maximum security. Don’t use caps that slide into the chimney flue because they can be removed easily, most especially due to strong winds. This may cause damage to properties, increasing the risk of harm in tornado conditions.
With all of the stated reasons above, installing a chimney cap can help increase your chimney’s overall life. Also, remember that it’s generally cheaper to install a chimney cap than to repair or replace your chimney liner or hire the services of a pest removal specialist to get small animals out of your chimney.