There are many components of a chimney system that work together to make sure that your chimney is keeping smoke and other hazardous chemicals flowing out of your home, while still ensuring the interior parts stay protected. One of these components is your chimney cap.
What Does a Chimney Cap Do?
The chimney cap serves many functions and plays a vital part of keeping your chimney standing strong and working efficiently. While it might look small compared to the rest of your chimney system, it is actually working in a variety of ways that allow your setup to function properly. Here are some reasons your chimney cap is a vital component to your chimney.
- Protection Against Water: Chimneys hate water. Nothing poses a greater threat to your chimney system than water finding its way into your brick and mortar, inside your flue, or into your home’s interior. On it’s own, it can cause all kinds of damage, and when water seeps into brick and mortar it can trigger a cycle of deterioration called the freeze/thaw process. This allows a constant back and forth between expansion and contraction of water that causes masonry to eventually crumble and fail.
- Protection Against Debris: There are alot of natural exterior elements that find their way onto your roof. Wind brings leaves and other light materials onto your rooftop and sometimes onto your chimney. Even sticks and twigs can find their way onto your rooftop. Without a chimney cap to deflect flying debris, your chimney is susceptible to fill up with this debris and experience blockages and clogs.
- Protection Against Animals: Because of the protection it offers against Mother Nature, animals see the flue of your chimney as prime real estate for their new luxury nest they are looking to build. If critters, like raccoons, birds, squirrels, or rodents, make their way into your chimney it can be hard to get rid of them. The nests that they build can block your chimney flue and become a dangerous fire and or carbon monoxide hazard. Your chimney cap guards your flue and keeps animals out.
- Protection Against Downdrafts: Your chimney cap breaks up wind that would otherwise blow directly across the top of your chimney. This wind can create a vacuum that would pull air into and down your chimney – and then into your home. When equipped with a properly installed chimney cap, downdrafts are prevented.
Now, when it comes to finding the right cap for your flue, it’s important to note that not all chimneys are created equal. Because of this, it’s important to know what your chimney needs in a chimney cap.
There are a variety of options when choosing a chimney cap for your chimney and each provides a different set of advantages for your chimney system. At Winston’s Chimney Service, our team of experts can help you find just the right chimney cap for your specific needs. Here are some things you should know to get you started as you explore the world of chimney caps.
1. Single-Flue Caps
Single-flue chimney caps are designed specifically to cover individual flues within a chimney system. They are a great choice for homes with only one flue. They are typically made of galvanized steel, stainless steel, or copper, and because of their size, are more flexible to install. These are ones of the more common types of cap, which means that they are readily available – and their price tag is typically lower.
If you have only one flue opening and your chimney doesn’t have any unique features, this cap may be a good fit. It’s low-profile and low-price, making it a good choice for a more standard chimney system.
2. Multi-Flue Caps
Like the name suggests, a multi-flue cap sits above chimneys that have multiple flue openings. Perhaps you have more than one fireplace or you have another appliance, like a furnace, that needs smoke or air ventilation. The multi-flue cap has you covered.
The multi-flue cap is larger in size and extends over the entire set of openings in your chimney. This allows it to provide greater coverage as it defends your chimney against water and debris. These are a little bulkier and can be more complex to install, but their comprehensive coverage and cohesive look make them a great choice for any chimney that has multiple flues.
3. Outside Mount Caps
Outside mount caps are installed to the outside of the chimney and cover the entire chimney crown or chimney top. They are used when a chimney crown is ill fitted, deteriorated, or even non existent. They extend out and over the entire chimney stack keeping water not only out of the chimney flue but also off the masonry.
These caps are custom made and can be quite large – and they definitely require a professional to install. They are more pricey than some of their counterparts due to the fact that they are usually custom built to fit the chimney.
4. Specialty Caps
Specialty caps are fully custom built caps to fit specific chimneys with unique needs. Some chimneys just don’t fit any mold. They may have an awkward shape, size, location, or material that doesn’t allow standard chimney caps to function. A specialty cap is designed to fit that abnormal chimney and give it the protection it deserves.
5. Full-Coverage Caps
Full-coverage caps completely surround your chimney and provide the maximum amount of protection for it. Though large, they offer the most protection and are highly customizable. This means that they can be designed to perfectly match other architectural features of the home – which then makes your chimney both visually-pleasing and well-protected.
When it comes to value, full-coverage caps are probably your best choice. When you consider the protection they provide, the customization they offer, and their cost, it’s hard to beat the overall bang for your buck that a full-coverage chimney cap provides.
Winston’s Is Here to Help
At Winston’s Chimney Service our experts know chimneys inside and out. Call us today or reach out online, and let us help you find the perfect chimney cap for your chimney.