The Appeal of the Chimney Cap

A chimney cap covers a flue opening so debris, water, and small animals cannot get into the chimney or the home. Caps are made from different materials and come in assorted styles ranging from simple to lavish. These components are sometimes referred to as spark arrestors because they prevent sparks , which can cause the roof or dried leaves to catch fire if allowed out of the chimney.

Different Types of Caps

Chimney caps are made from materials including aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless steel, and copper. Stainless steel is considered the most durable and longest-lasting material. When exposed to weather elements, a stainless steel cap will not rust or develop corrosion. Though this is the recommended material, more costly copper caps are also popular due to their appearance. Most caps feature side screening that prevents small animals from entering the chimney and home.

There are different ways to mount these chimney toppers and using a professional service like The Mad Hatter for installation is recommended. Some systems require top-mount dampers/cap, while others need an inside-mount. The type of system and depth of the flue determine which type will provide the best fit. Your chimney tech will be able to properly measure before ordering and complete the installation to complete the job.

Reasons To Cap Your Chimney:

  • Prevents rain from entering the home, eliminating moisture problems that can result in odors and damage.
  • Keeps small animals from finding a new home in the chimney, fireplace, or house.
  • Helps increase draft in windy locations.
  • Extends the life of the chase cover or crown by reducing the amount of rain or ice that can collect in the area.
Before and After Chimney Cap Replacement image on top old rusted cap below is the new sliver one
This is the before (top) and after (bottom) of a chimney cap replacement.

Disadvantages of a Chimney Cap:

  • If the cap is poorly designed or installed incorrectly, it may reduce the chimney draft or could be blown away by wind.
  • The screening around the area can clog if it is not inspected and cleaned annually. This can create reductions in draft and cause the system to perform poorly.
  • Using an incorrect kind of wood in the appliance can cause tar and creosote to collect on the cap and run down the exterior of the appliance, possibly causing discoloration.

Most of these disadvantages are avoided through correct installation, annual maintenance, and required repairs. The advantages of installation far outweigh the disadvantages, causing professionals at The Mad Hatter to recommend chimney cap installation on most chimneys they service. Chimney caps come in standard sizes that fit most chimneys but custom sizes are also available when needed.

If you would like to schedule a time to discuss getting a chimney cap, please fill out our form or contact us at 317-596-0200.


Chimney dampers that don’t work properly or efficiently can cause many problems, like smoke back-up or the wrong amount of air flow, so get your damper checked. This is just one of many options that are available when you have your chimney cleaned and serviced.