The Function Of A Chimney Cap

Did summer storms dislodge your cap? Maybe you’re not convinced it was installed correctly in the first place, or you’re unimpressed with it’s design and function. If you had a chimney cap installed, but your fire is affected by wind gusts, wildlife, or it’s allowing rainwater into your chimney, you need a new cap!How A Chimney Cap Functions - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

Protection from the Top-Down

The chimney cap is often overlooked, especially by older generations, but it has never been more important. Chimneys are constructed to withstand time and chemical abuse, but they can be destroyed on the inside, from outside influences.

Chimney Caps Keep Water Out

Rain, sleet, snow, and wind can affect your chimney. Without a cap, precipitation falls directly into the flue, and begins affecting the chimney system right away. Water penetration is the worst thing that can happen to your masonry chimney. Masonry is constructed of many different materials, and all of them are adversely affected by water. Water in the chimney can cause:

  • Rust of doors, hinges, attachments, damper assemblies and firebox assemblies
  • Deterioration of masonry, flue lining system, and building materials.
  • Ruined floors, walls, ceilings, wall coverings, carpeting, and duct systems.
  • Spalling, shifting, and settlement of masonry.

(Note: The affect of water on your masonry is far-reaching. It can even cause a leak in another part of your home, due to water running unseen through walls and ceilings. Chimney leaks can also lead to mold and mildew which leads to chronic respiratory illness.)

Chimney Caps Keep Wind Out

During the summer, gusts of wind can lead to drafts in your house, raising the cost of cooling. During the winter, wind in the flue can lead to difficulty lighting or controlling a fire, as well as leading to drafts when the fire isn’t in use. Chimney caps come with wind deflectors.

Chimney Caps Keep Wildlife Out

Any small critter that can get onto your roof can also get into your chimney. Small animals such as squirrels and chipmunks as well as larger raccoons and opossums have been known to climb into chimneys. When they do, they bring debris, bedding, droppings, and fur that can decompose or ignite. If they get out again, they likely damage the lining with claw marks or holes. If they don’t escape, they can suffocate and die, causing a dangerous obstruction. Chief Chimney Services often sees animal intrusion and specializes in humane animal removal as well as chimney sweep services to return the chimney back to safe function.

Chimney Caps Suppress Unruly Sparks

Many chimney caps are equipped with spark suppressors that extinguish sparks that might have escaped the flue. This function prevents sparks from leaving the chimney and igniting debris on the roof or below, in the yard or landscaping.

All functions of the chimney cap are essential to the proper function of your chimney system. If you’re looking to replace your chimney cap, consider a top-sealing damper. The top-sealing damper, often called the energy-saving damper, attaches to the top of the chimney flue, working as a cap AND damper, saving you money, and providing more protection for the chimney from top to bottom, year-round. Discuss top-sealing dampers and chimney caps with a chimney expert now. Call 631-863-2460.

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