When it comes to owning a home there are some improvements you always like to think about (Who doesn’t dream of a bigger, better deck?), and then there are other things that you would prefer took care of themselves (Hello, gutter cleaning…).
An often overlooked part of home maintenance is your chimney – and, more specifically, your chimney cap. This little feature sitting high above your rooftop is actually an essential part of your chimney system, and if properly maintained, will go a long way to keeping your chimney stronger and more efficient.
But if your chimney cap is damaged, missing, or just old and outdated? Well, then it’s time to call in a chimney technician to take a look and find the perfect cap for your needs.
The Importance of Chimney Caps
Chimney caps perform multiple functions as a part of your chimney system – which is why it’s important to keep yours in good working order. In fact, caps are often the first point of defense against bigger, more costly problems in a chimney. As no surprise, an improperly installed, broken, malformed, or missing chimney cap should be addressed right away.
Here are a few of the jobs a chimney cap does for your home.
- Keeping Out Debris and Animals: It seems like allowing things out, like smoke and fumes, would be the main function of a chimney. While this is true, that open hole at the top makes your chimney is prime real estate for animals, such as squirrels and birds, who are looking for a dry, cozy place to make a home. A chimney cap keeps animals out of your chimney, which ultimately protects your home from fire risks and damage to your flue lining. In addition to keeping animals out, your chimney cap also keeps out blowing debris like sticks and leaves.
- Preventing Moisture Protection: Water is the nemesis of brick and mortar. Moisture trapped inside naturally porous masonry can start the freeze/thaw process in your chimney which inevitably leads to dangerous deterioration. Metal components can also begin oxidation which leads to rust and corrosion as well. Chimney caps prevent water from entering the chimney flue and then redirect it away from the chimney structure.
- Preventing Downdrafts and Drafts: The entire purpose of a chimney is to allow smoke and hazardous fumes to escape outside. Air flow problems can prevent your chimney from doing its job. Depending on the time of year and the location of your chimney, downdrafts can be a big problem that push smoke right into your house, instead of out where it belongs. Chimney caps are designed to prevent downdrafts.
Are There Different Types of Chimney Caps?
Single-flue caps are designed to cover one individual chimney exhaust flue. They have a small profile and are a basic choice if you have only one flue coming out of your home. They are easy to install and, because of their modest size, they can give your chimney a clean, finished look.
Multi-flue caps are designed for, you guessed it, multiple flues. These caps are a great alternative to installing multiple single-flue caps above your chimney. They can easily be customized to fit the specific dimensions of your chimney, which then guarantees a secure fit. They are a little larger in profile than their single-flue counterpart, but they don’t forfeit aesthetics, as they are easily cleaned and maintained.
Outside Mount Caps
Outside mount caps are fixed to the outside of the top of the chimney. They are wider, extending beyond the chimney crown, which means greater protection against rain, snow, and debris. These caps are a great choice for all rooftops exposed to high winds, snow, hail, and heavy rainfall. They are very professionally installed, easily maintained, and come in many different designs to match an extremely wide variety of home architectures.
Depending on the home, its location, and the various elements your chimney has to defend against, it may be desirable to have enhanced functions available to your chimney. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of wind direction changes, such as an open field, you may want a chimney cap with built-in wind direction reduction. Specialty caps are built for your specific needs and desires, making them a great choice for unique situations.
Chase Covers or Pan Covers
Sometimes known as chase covers or crown-mounted covers, the chase cover or pan cover fits around your entire top of the chimney offering it comprehensive coverage. These covers provide your chimney with a maximum amount of coverage, thus extending the life of your chimney structure, minimizing maintenance costs, and preventing expensive repairs. They are so good at protecting your chimney that they really offer the highest value to home owners. Even beyond protection, the chase cover or pan covers can be designed to perfectly match the exterior of your home making your chimney almost unnoticeable to the passerby.
Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Cap
There are many reasons to make sure your chimney is properly capped, but with so many options available it can helpful to have an expert walk with you as you make sure you have what you need.
At Mid-Valley Chimney Repair & Sweeps we have the experience and knowledge necessary to make sure your chimney is working at its best. We know chimney caps and can provide you with advice on maintaining, repairing, purchasing, and installing a cap that will protect your chimney and keep it strong for years to come. Call us today or reach out online to ask how we can help.