A chimney cap is a type of metal cover that sits on top of the chimney flue. Also known as a spark arrestor, the chimney cap protects the interiors of the chimney from nesting animals, water, and debris. It also works to protect the roof from stray sparks to prevent fires.
Benefits of a Chimney Cap
Protection from Damage
Without a chimney cap, the opening of the chimney will be exposed to the elements. Water, snow, rain and sleet would enter the chimney, causing damage to the interiors of your home. The cap also protects the chimney from corrosion, masonry damage, leaks, as well as mildew and mold growth.
Keeps Nesting Animals Away
An exposed chimney serves as an invitation for nesting birds and rodents. These critters often look for exposed chimneys for protection, warmth as well as a place to raise their young. Unfortunately, the situation is dangerous for you and the animals. If the nesting material ignites, it can lead to a house fire. Since the animals cannot get out of the chimney, they will be trapped to die inside the opening too. A chimney cap prevents all these from happening in the first place.
Protection from Debris
Because the chimney is exposed to the elements, dirt and debris will start accumulating inside the opening of the structure. Trash, dried leaves, sticks, all these could ignite once you use the chimney. By installing a chimney cap, debris does not accumulate.
Types of Chimney Caps
Standard Chimney Cap
A standard chimney cap features a plain metal sheet. It prevents hail, rainwater, animals and birds from infiltrating the chimney system. The cover is not adjustable so it only fits standard sized chimney pots.
This type of chimney cap is designed to prevent downward drafts from blowing fumes and smoke back in the house. It also protects the home from the elements and nesting animals. Pamper caps are also adjustable so they fit most chimney pots.
Revolving Chimney Cap
The cap revolves to improve airflow. This type of chimney cap is suitable to chimneys that do not draw air well or those that are prone to downdrafts.
How to Maintain the Chimney Caps
Although a chimney cap is only a small part of the home, do not ignore it. It plays a critical role in ensuring that your heating system is working properly.
Don’t wait until the situation gets bad before you have the chimney cap repaired. Make a habit out of cleaning your chimney regularly and conduct inspections especially if the fireplace is used on almost daily basis. Inspecting the chimney regularly ensures that the chimney system is working efficiently. It also resolves any damage before it worsens. Also, don’t forget to clean the chimney cap to protect it from corrosion!
When checking for damage, you want to look out for anything out of the ordinary such as foul odor, strange sounds, water leakage, cracks, etc. If you noticed a problem, it’s best to make repairs immediately. If the damage is extensive, we strongly recommend calling a professional to resolve the issue.