Protecting the Top of Your Chimney
Water from rain and snow entering chimneys gradually damages the inside of a chimney. Joints between liner tiles gradually dissolve. In fireplaces, this can cause heat, flames, creosote or gases to other parts of the home. In utility flues, corrosive elements in the exhaust mix with the water and slowly weaken the lining allowing gases to other parts of the home. Freezing and thawing of water causes expansion damage. A good chimney cap reduces this damage by keeping most of the water out.
Chimney caps can help with downdrafts. They keep birds and animals from nesting in the flues. Carbon monoxide can be emitted into the home due to a blocked chimney flue. Since carbon monoxide can enter the home due to a blocked flue, it is important to have a chimney cap to help prevent this problem from occurring.
Most factory-built chimneys incorporate a cap specifically designed to fit that brand of chimney. It is important to note that a masonry chimney cap cannot and should not be installed on a factory-built chimney. Also, there may be cause for a metal screen to be applied between the chimney chase and the cap of a factory-built chimney.
A cap with a screen mesh helps keep sparks off the roof. So if you don’t have one, it is a good investment. Caps are readily available in Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel. Copper caps may be custom ordered upon request and carry a lifetime warranty.
Top Sealing Damper Caps are those where the damper serves as both a cap and a damper. It is installed at the top of the chimney flue and is operated by means of a cable which extends from the damper cap to a bracket in the fireplace. It is a spring-loaded system that can be adjusted pursuant to the opening you want to achieve. Their great virtue is both their airtight performance and unlike a traditional damper, they can be installed without a firebox rebuild.
Since choosing a proper chimney cap is daunting and involves reflection upon the use of the chimney and a careful measurement to insure a proper fit, call Full Service Chimney for advice and professional installation of the cap that’s best suited for your chimney.