Chimney caps play an essential role in protecting your chimney from the elements, and yours should be checked regularly to ensure it’s in good shape.
And if you’re choosing a new chimney cap for your system, there are some things to consider like the environment you live in and what material would be best for your set-up. Always consult with a chimney professional to provide you with the best options for your home and needs – our team is here and would be glad to help!
What Is a Chimney Cap & What Does It Do?
A chimney cap is a protective cover placed over the top of your chimney to keep water, debris (such as leaves and twigs), animals, and more from entering the chimney. And without a chimney cap, your flue is left open and vulnerable.
Most caps consist of a solid metal cover with metal screening on the four sides. This allows air and smoke from the chimney to come up from the bottom and flow out the sides, while keeping rain and snow out when the system is not in use. The metal screening also helps to keep out intruders like raccoons, squirrels, and birds, as well as leaves and tree branches.
In addition to these basic functions, some chimney caps also come with additional features, such as spark arrestors or wind guards, which provide even further protection for your home.
Types of Chimney Caps
There are a few different types of chimney caps available, and we advise trusting a professional to help you find the right one, as the wrong size or type of cap may not offer the protection your system needs.
Now, many homeowners are tempted to opt for an economical way to cover their chimney by installing a galvanized chimney cap. Yet, while these are much more affordable, they aren’t typically recommended. They may temporarily protect your chimney from the elements, but they rust out quickly and aren’t known to stand the test of time – meaning you’ll need a replacement sooner rather than later. The rust they create can damage and stain your siding or brickwork.
Stainless steel or copper caps, on the other hand, are much more reliable and long-lasting. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles, so you can easily coordinate with your home and needs, while still offering your system the protection it deserves. Let the team at Winston’s Chimney Service help you select the chimney cap that works best for your needs.
Additional Benefits of Having a Chimney Cap
Aside from its main purpose of keeping rain, snow, debris, and animals out of your chimney, a full-coverage cap also has other benefits that will be of great help to you and your family. A properly installed and maintained chimney cap will:
- Help you save money: By keeping the elements from impacting your chimney, you won’t have to worry about water damage or repairs nearly as often. In addition, a cap will also help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by acting as an insulator, which helps you keep your energy bills in check.
- Prevent downdrafts: A downdraft can force smoke and dangerous gases back into your home, which is a significant health hazard. A chimney cap can help prevent this from happening by creating a barrier that allows the gases to escape and prevents wind from entering – ensuring you and your family can breathe easier.
- Eliminate fireplace odors: If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of smelling smoke or creosote-related in your home when you haven’t been using your fireplace, it could be because of a draft. A chimney damper cap will eliminate this problem by keeping the air flowing in the right direction.
Tips for Maintaining Your Chimney Cap
Once you’ve decided on and installed the right chimney cap for your home, it’s important to take care of it. The best way you can do this is by investing in annual chimney inspections. Before our burning season, our sweeps can take a look at your entire system, ensuring it’s free of clogs and safe for use. This includes checking your chimney cap.
We also suggest investing in any necessary repairs as soon as possible. If you cap is damaged, it won’t be able to do its job properly, which will put your entire home and system at risk. Finally, be sure to clean it regularly, ensuring no debris and buildup is affecting it’s functionality.
Call Our Experts Today
By having an understanding of the elements that make up your chimney caps and following the tips above, you can help to extend the life of your chimney and make the most of your investment. If you are unsure about anything or would like a professional to take a look, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
At Winston’s Chimney Service, we are more than happy to help ensure that your chimney is in prime condition all year long. Our office is located in Fairfax, and we service all of Northern Virginia. Contact us at 703-379-5006 or visit us online to schedule!