Chimney Caps Are for More than Aesthetics
Many people put chimney caps on their chimneys simply because they prefer the way it looks as opposed to an uncapped chimney. However, those who do not care about the aesthetics should still make sure they have a cap on their chimney. These small structures are simple and inexpensive. They go a long way to making sure that the chimney is not only efficient but that it also allows the fireplace to function safely.
Of course, the primary reason people get chimney caps is to keep animals out of the chimney. There are many species of rodents and birds that build their nests in the tight, quiet space of a chimney. Not only is this an annoyance, but it can lead to dangerous obstructions in the chimney. In the worst cases, the animals make their way into the home and can spread a host of diseases to the people living there. A chimney cap is the only way to ensure that they have no way in.
It may not seem as if rain and snow in the chimney would be a big problem but it actually is something to worry about. If moisture is allowed to build up in the chimney, it can damage the structure of the chimney itself. Not only that, but it can lead to buildup of mold which can pose a serious health risk for everyone in the home. A chimney cap protects the chimney from moisture caused by rain and snow that would simply fall right into the chimney.
One of the worst chimney problems that homeowners run into is when their home suddenly begins to fill with smoke. If this is the case, it is possible that a downdraft is pulling the smoke into the home instead of blowing it out of the chimney. A chimney cap can prevent downdraft while increasing the draft that will carry the smoke away. This prevents not only the unpleasant smell of the smoke but the health risks associated with breathing it in.
A risk that many homeowners are unaware of is the existence of burning embers left in their chimney after a fire. If there is no chimney cap, the embers can blow right onto the roof while they are still extremely hot. In fact, this is a very common cause of house fires that tend to rage out of control. A chimney cap keeps those embers safely in the chimney flue and prevents them from ever reaching the outside of the home.
There are many different kinds of chimney caps and it is important to find the one best suited for the chimney. For example, a person with multiple flues in their chimney can get a cap that is specifically designed for that situation. Unfortunately, most people are not very familiar with the structure of their chimneys. Call a certified sweep who can take a look and recommend the type of cap that will work best.
A chimney cap can look great and add a very distinctive appearance to any chimney. However, this is by far the least important of its functions. In addition to keeping animals out of the chimney, it prevents smoke from entering the home and keeps out water, which can lead to serious damage. Most importantly, it keeps burning embers in the flue where they belong and reduces the risk of a house fire. Anyone without a cap on their chimney should look into having one installed before they use their fireplace again.