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The Importance of a Chimney Cap

One of the most important parts of your chimney is also one of the most forgotten: the chimney cap. Because chimney caps are difficult to examine without getting on to the roof of your home, many homeowners take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to their chimney caps. However, these important chimney pieces should not be ignored as they play a vital role in protecting your entire chimney system.

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What is a chimney cap?

The chimney cap is a metal cover that protects the top of your chimney and the entrance of your flue. Chimney caps can be made out of a variety of materials, but the most popular modern chimney caps are constructed of stainless steel.

Although chimney caps are a vital part of your chimney, they do not have to be an eyesore. In addition to protecting your chimney and flue, chimney caps can also serve as a decorative addition to your roofline, increasing your home’s curb appeal.

While style is an important component of a chimney cap, durability and size are the most important things to consider. The chimney cap on your home should be able to withstand direct exposure to the elements, as well as keep debris and animals out of the flue. Likewise, the chimney cap must be correctly sized for your fireplace and chimney; an incorrectly sized – or incorrectly installed – chimney cap cannot properly protect the flue.

Benefits of a capped chimney

There are a number of benefits to having a capped chimney. Below are just some of the ways that capping your chimney can benefit the overall health of your fireplace system.

Keep animals and debris out: Animals such as birds, raccoons, squirrels, and roof rats love chimneys because they offer a dark, quiet, and protected spot to build nests and raise young. The wire or mesh sides of a chimney cap, however, prevent animals from being able to crawl into the flue. This also prevents debris such as leaves, twigs, branches, trash, or even stray Frisbees or balls from falling into and clogging the flue.

Prevent water damage: Water is one of the most damaging forces to your fireplace system. In addition to causing masonry to chip, crack, and spall, water can also severely damage the interior components of your fireplace such as the flue, damper, or firebox. A chimney cap prevents water from rain and snow from being able to get into the fireplace system.

Reduce the risk of roof fires: When your fireplace is in use, sparks or embers may travel up the chimney along with the smoke and gasses. When this happens, the chimney cap can stop these embers from landing on your roof, landscaping, or other flammable structures; this can be especially beneficial in dry areas or after periods of little to no moisture. Because of this, some chimney caps are called spark arrestors.

The chimney cap is one of the most important components to maintain the health and safety of your fireplace system. To ensure that your chimney cap is in good condition or to replace one that has been damaged, contact Guaranteed Chimney Service today.

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