Installing a grate at the top of your chimney may seem like the next best thing when comparing the cost of a simple metal grate with a standard chimney cap. Making this concession is not only a dangerous mistake but a costly one as well.
Protecting the Chimney From the Top
The only way to protect a chimney properly is to cover the flue opening completely. Covering the opening so that nothing gets into the flue system while also allowing heat and smoke to exit the opening requires the right parts. This is where the chimney cap is essential. The chimney cap or the top-sealing damper are the only two parts that are designed for this job. They both provide a roof for the flue opening, preventing precipitation from entering, and include a metal screen to keep animals and debris out. This screen also functions as a spark suppressor to keep hot sparks and embers from escaping.
At New Buck Chimney Services we install chimney caps made from quality materials and fitted to your chimney top exactly. These are the most effective and long-lasting chimney caps. They are installed at the top of the structure—not receding into the flue and allowing the harmful buildup of debris. A chimney cap should be properly secured to the flue opening and work together with the masonry crown and flashing to prevent water penetration. An improperly installed cap can become dislodged during a high wind or storm and lead to a leak. The worst thing that can happen to your masonry chimney is water damage! That is why we take chimney caps very seriously at New Buck Chimney Services. It doesn’t matter how mild the weather in our area may be. Water damage doesn’t need freezing temperatures to destroy a chimney.
Grates and Dangerous Chimneys
The reason why a chimney cap works best to protect your chimney system is that it has fire science in mind in design and installation. Your fire needs proper ventilation in order to burn and vent properly. A chimney without a cap will not vent properly as debris and moisture enter the flue from the top. These two separately will do their part to drop your chimney’s efficiency, but together can wreak havoc. Without a cap, your flue liner and masonry can become damaged, your flue obstructed with flammable materials, and chimney so inefficient that heated air stalls in the flue, igniting a flue fire. This hazard is even more serious when a grate is used instead of a cap. A grate installed in the chimney will allow ventilation, sure enough, but only for a short time. As debris falls into the uncapped flue it becomes entangled in the metal workings of the screen and causes an obstruction. As the air slows in the flue, more creosote is deposited on the flue walls and fire hazard is more extreme. The leaves, sticks, and twigs entangled in the grate can also become the perfect bedding for wildlife which you do not want to be enticed to your chimney. Prevent animal intrusion by passing on the grate and instead of hiring a professional to install a proper chimney cap.
Chimney Installations and Services in Shreveport
For residents in and around Shreveport, Louisiana, the safest chimneys are those that are serviced by New Buck Chimney Services. Our customers, friends, and neighbors continue to put their trust in the hands of our professionals year after year. We sell and install quality products that keep chimneys working properly and safely. In addition to selling and installing parts, we also sweep and inspect chimneys to prevent damage and problems. We service and repair appliances and chimneys, restore masonry, and more. If your chimney is having a problem, we can fix it.
If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned or inspected in the last twelve months, you need a service call now. If your appliance wasn’t installed by a professional, it needs to be checked out now. If you look at your chimney and see no cap, you need to call a professional who can help you choose one now. If there is a grate in your flue instead of a cap, it needs attention now. Imagine a grate in a drainage ditch where water constantly flows and is exposed to the elements. The aquatic plants, rocks, and other debris quickly clog the grate and water flow is stopped. To prevent buildup and flooding, the screen needs to be replaced or cleaned regularly. The same principle occurs in your household HVAC system where the filter becomes clogged and needs to be cleaned or replaced to keep the system working properly. In the same way, a grate will become clogged. It isn’t only clogged from air moving in one direction, but without a cap, the grate is clogged from outside elements as well.
If your chimney has a grate, call New Buck Chimney Services today to have it removed. Once the grate is removed and any damage repaired, we can install a proper cap.
Call 318-674-2825 or schedule online.