Every part of your chimney system is important and works together to do one thing: vent your fire. When your fire burns–even an efficient, organic fire–it releases harmful byproducts and your chimney is working. Vapors, particle pollution, smoke, carbon monoxide, sparks, and excess heat all vent up the chimney. In order to keep these harmful byproducts out of your house, the chimney needs to work properly. Your chimney cap is you chimney’s first defense against outside intrusion and should be installed properly and checked regularly.
Your Chimney Cap and Its Jobs
The Chimney cap literally caps the chimney flue, covering the opening to the chimney, while still allowing smoke, heat, and microscopic particles to escape. Its job is three-fold:
- Keep Weather Out
Your chimney cap has a firm, metal lid that keeps rain and snow out of the flue opening. Without a cap, precipitation would fall directly into the chimney system. You wouldn’t need to worry about waterproofing because the water would destroy your chimney from the inside out. Water damages masonry, parts of the chimney, structural materials around the chimney system, as well as leaves unsightly stains on your chimney, walls, and ceilings. Avoid this headache and cost by capping your chimney.
- Keep Wildlife Out
There are many small critters that love to hideout in chimneys, including chipmunks, raccoons, and birds. Some birds, like the chimney swift, are federally protected and cannot be removed if they decide to nest in your flue. Other animals can scratch your liner, leave debris and droppings, and even die in your flue, resulting in foul odors, blockage, and increased fire risk. Chimney caps are equipped with a metal mesh that keeps critters and birds out while letting the smoke and byproducts escape.
- Keep the Fire In
Oftentimes a large, hot, or unruly fire can mean sparks flying up and out of the chimney flue. This can result in a dangerous roof fire if sparks escape the chimney cap and ignite leaves and branches or even roofing materials. Sparks can even ignite brush and debris on the ground around the house. It’s best to cap the chimney and prevent this kind of risk altogether.
Call the Professionals
Homeowners often overlook the chimney cap either because it’s out of sight, or because they don’t realize its importance. If you aren’t certain if your chimney is capped or not, take a look next time you’re outside. A chimney cap can prevent damage that requires costly repairs later and can even save you in conditioned air loss over the summer. A professional installation can ensure your cap is correctly installed, and you also have the opportunity to discuss your options.
For instance, Newbuck Chimney Services is happy to offer top-sealing dampers as well as high-wind caps that can save you in utilities while working as a cap.
Call Newbuck today to find out what kind of chimney cap will work best for you. You can also make an appointment online for your convenience.