Chimney Caps & Chimney Crowns

The one that sounds common has a ‘higher status’ than the one that sounds regal and we love that! The cap is the uppermost thing you should see on your house. The cap keeps unwanted critters and elements out of your chimney; which is important for safety, as well as proper draft and function. The crown is needed for waterproofing as well and it typically made of  metal, stone or concrete slab. Your crown should extend past the walls of the chimney to catch excess precipitation.

Chimney cap - Northern VA/Washington DC - Winston's Chimney Service

Chimney cap – Northern VA/Washington DC – Winston’s Chimney Service

 What is the Difference between a Cap and a Crown?

Chimney caps can be everything from spring-loaded top-mounted dampers to simple caps that snap in. Almost regardless of their style, and especially in spring, they add protection from birds, nests, animals, and debris to their other benefits. Their primary purpose, however, is to keep water out of your chimney.

They share that with their equivalents for chases – the chimney crowns that are beneath them. Crowns – or “rain pans” for pre-fabricated chimney chases – function to prevent water from entering through the chase. Caps – whatever form they take – prevent it from entering the flue; caps do more, but keeping water out of the chimney is their main job.

Both cap and crown are designed to direct water off their own tops, so the trickle-down is first from the common cap to the royal crown! When the crown is in good condition and properly constructed, it directs all the water that hits it off itself and away from your chimney. If the “crown” is really a rain pan for a pre-fabricated chimney, the whole thing can be put under a “shroud”. There are also full-coverage caps.

Once you have had your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional sweep, and know that your chimney is properly covered, you are well ahead of the game. Your job then is pay attention to any signs the cap may have been moved. This could result in unwanted guests or water damage inside your heating system.  This keeps your home better protected from fire and retains proper functionality for your chimney.