A cap is synonymous with a cover. A gas cap on your car keeps the gas in and dirt and dust out of your gas tank. A cap on a water pipe keeps the water in while you repair it and a chimney cap covers and protects your chimney.
It’s important to understand the structure of your chimney to understand how the chimney cap works. The uppermost piece of your chimney structure, built onto the top, is the chimney crown. This is usually made out of masonry. It is constructed with sloped sides to direct precipitation away from the opening and toward the roof. All chimneys have chimney crowns built right at the top. It’s pretty clear, though, that the actual opening into your chimney is still left unprotected. The chimney cap is the solution to the problems that that opening can cause.
Chimney caps are separate features that you can purchase to cover the opening at the top of the chimney. While the opening is necessary to allow smoke to escape, the cap is designed to both protect and allow the smoke to escape. In fact, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) chimney caps, are the least expensive preventive measure to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney.
Usually made of stainless steel or copper, chimney caps are designed to have a sloped roof. The sloping of the roof directs precipitation down towards the chimney crown, which in turn directs it to your roof but away from the junction where the roof meets the chimney. However, you also want to allow smoke to leave your home, and that’s where the most special part of the chimney cap’s design comes in. The sides of the chimney cap are made of meshed metal, so smoke can easily exit, even while the precipitation is being kept out. An added benefit of the meshed sides is that other things, such as animals, birds, dried leaves and twigs, and other floating debris are kept out of your chimney. This means that the chance of a blockage due to nests or other buildups is virtually eliminated as well.
Who to Call
If you don’t have a chimney cap already, or if you do but it’s in a serious state of disrepair, give Chimney Concepts a call today and we can take care of fitting you with a new chimney cap that meets the needs of your home. We can also install that chimney cap quickly and efficiently. Give us a call soon so that you won’t need to spend your summer worrying about critters making a home in your fireplace or the damaging effects of precipitation on your chimney!