3 Important Things To Consider in Choosing the Right Chimney Cap

Published: 18th May 2011
Views: N/A

This article explains the importance of chimney caps and provides basic tips on how to choose the one that best suits your need.

A chimney cap may be considered an accessory but the huge things it does are far more than just an aesthetic view it gives to your chimney. Without it, your property is at risk of fire as sparks coming out of your chimney go straight to your roof or right into the next building or any flammable materials nearby.

What does a chimney cap do? Aside from protecting your property from direct fire, it is also responsible for keeping animals from gaining entry into your chimney. Dead or alive, animals can get in your chimney especially during off-season, not to mention the leaves, loose debris and so on.

Maybe, some of you even experienced at some point, opening your damper and finding a live snake or even a duck trapped inside. Needless to say, this can lead to chimney blockage which is often the cause of many chimney fires.

A chimney cap stops the rush of air that would flow down to your chimney causing clouds of smoke (downdraft) to enter your home instead of escaping out into the air. Also, it keeps the rain from making a lake out of your firebox. When rain manages to enter your chimney, it gives your chimney more than just that old, damp smell. While the mold spores can cause allergies, the rain water mixed with soot will speed up the deterioration of the mortar between the joints of the bricks.

Also, if you have gas logs, once rain enters your log burner unit, you will find yourself spending a huge amount in repairs. Also, when the ceramic log gets wet, it can crack or break under the extreme heat which poses more danger to you and your entire property.

Choosing the Right Chimney Cap: How will you choose the right chimney cap? It doesnít need to be difficult. Knowing which cap will work best for your needs is actually easy. Just take one step at a time.

1. Shape- Know what type of chimney you have. You can do this by looking at your chimney where you can find the flue. Itís the pipe that lets out the smoke. The shape is either round, square or rectangular. In cases where there is more than one flue in your chimney, arrangement is always rectangular. This means that even if you have more than one flue, the shape you need is still rectangular.

For flues that stick up above the chimney crown a single flue cap

can be used. This applies for square or small rectangular flues. Additionally, flues less than one inch above the crown may need a top mount cap fixed with screws through a flange.

For more than one flue, you may either use a single flue chimney cap for each one provided that thereís an adequate space between each flue. Or you may use one single top chimney cap covering all the flues, which is the common practice.

2. Type- Chimney caps are made in three kinds of metals from stainless steel, copper, and galvanized steel. Stainless steel is the best buy. It is the most durable and requires minimal maintenance. Some manufacturers even offer the stainless caps to be coated with heat-resistant colors. Also, it usually comes with a lifetime warranty. It is however not recommended for salt water climates.

On the other hand, copper, the most expensive of the three, is ideal for historical or posh residential houses due to its elegance. However, it is not advisable for light-colored chimneys.

Finally, the galvanized steel which is the least expensive is understandably the least durable. The caps are usually painted black to prevent rust. It also requires constant maintenance since the rust that develops will run down into the crown and the chimney causing for the deterioration of your masonry type chimney. Also, due to its caustic exhaust, galvanized caps are not advisable for homes with gas logs.

3. Size- To determine the size of your chimney cap, you need to get up on the roof and accurately get the measurements. Do not guess. You may end up incurring more expenses than you actually should for extra charges. Usually to get the size of your cap, you need to measure the length, the width and the height of your flue.

Indeed, purchasing a chimney cap is such a small price to pay for the several things it does to ensure the safety of your family and property.

Learn more about chimney caps and other subjects like Fireplace Accessories click on these links.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore