One of the best tools to prevent water penetration of your chimney, a chimney cap keeps water from rain and melted snow out of your chimney flue. Not only does a chimney cap stop water from getting into your chimney, but it also prohibits birds and animals from entering your chimney to nest. Some people choose not to cap their chimneys as they feel it is an unnecessary expense; however, the cost of a chimney cap and its professional installation is much less expensive than the costs of the repairs of the water and animal damage that can be caused with an uncapped chimney and home. The Mad Hatter strongly recommends installing a durable chimney cap with wire mesh siding to prolong the life of your chimney. We would like to tell you more about two of the most important reasons for the professional and custom installation of a chimney cap.
A chimney cap protects your chimney from water penetration.
One of the most important functions of a chimney cap is to divert water away from your chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is the number one enemy of a masonry chimney as it causes major deterioration to its structure. The most damage occurs during the freeze-thaw process in the winter. When water trapped inside the bricks freezes, it expands as it thaws, which causes cracks and other damage. This can affect your masonry work, your chimney liner, and your chimney crown. A properly fitted and installed chimney cap is one of the best defenses against damage from water penetration.
A chimney cap keeps wild animals out of your chimney.
Every winter when birds, squirrels, and raccoons are looking for a warm, safe place for nesting during the cold months, some of these animals mistake your chimney for a hollow tree and use your chimney as a hibernation spot. It does not take long for a family of animals to make their new home in your flue. Squirrels can build a four foot deep nest in less than 24 hours. Animals in your chimney can cause several problems. Nests can be a fire hazard, and they can also cause a chimney blockage. If the exit of your chimney is blocked, smoke and toxic gases cannot leave and are forced back into your home, which causes soot and smoke damage as well as the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Yet another possibility, birds and animals can become trapped within your chimney and eventually die. This causes a horrible odor within your home, along with a possible bug infestation. There is also the chance the birds and animals can get into your house through the fireplace and cause damage to your home. A chimney cap with mesh siding will keep these animals from intruding into your chimney.
Want to know more about the importance of a chimney cap? Contact The Mad Hatter to talk to our expert staff about this essential chimney component.