How Chimney Caps Protect Your Home
Let’s face it, the only place you really want to see and learn about most animals is at the zoo. However, many homeowners get the opportunity to learn where animals roost, hunt and live when they leave the top of their chimney system unprotected. For animals including squirrels, rats, cats, raccoons, ducks, snakes, barn owls, Eagles and Chimney Swifts, which are both protected by laws, and even geese think an open chimney is a sign that says, “Come on in!”
A chimney cap protects your chimney and flue from these animals as well as rain water and debris from getting into your home. It can also protect your home from fireballs of creosote flying onto the roof in case of a chimney fire.
Types of Caps
There are many types of caps for masonry chimneys that you can choose from for single and multiple flue chimneys. They include stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and galvanized iron electrolytically painted. They are mounted securely, but not permanently because they need to be removed when the flue is inspected and cleaned each year as recommended. Also available are clay chimney pots that were originally designed for use on flues to coal fires. Though these caps are durable and handsome, they can restrict the draft and are not necessarily suitable for a chimneys serving a wood-burning fireplace, furnace or stove. We know the fire codes and can let you know if you need to include spark arresters (a type of screen) on your chimneys. If you have a shake roof or live in a wooded area it is highly recommended that you include spark arresters whether they are required by codes or not.
We recommend using a certified chimney sweep to install your chimney cap. A certified sweep knows the ins and outs of this type of installation and has immense experience working on roofs. The technician can also assist you with choosing the right type and size of chimney cap for your chimney system.
The most important thing to remember about your chimney system is getting the annual chimney maintenance done. This will not only protect you and your family but also protect your budget from large repairs down the road. So if you need a cap and have not had the chimney system cleaned and inspected within the last year it would be a good time to get everything checked out and repairs done so you can enjoy your fireplace all year long.