A chimney cap plays important roles in the health of your home’s masonry chimney. Many homeowners’ do not realize the importance of a chimney cap. Some just think that a chimney cap is for the aesthetic appeal of a masonry chimney. This could not be further from the truth! I am here to information you about the many roles that a chimney cap plays in the health of your masonry chimney system and why it is so important to install one.
Why is a Chimney Cap important?
A chimney cap is not just recommended so that your masonry chimney has a greater appearance. There are actual functions behind having a chimney cap installed. An important reason to have a chimney cap is that it will stop sparks or embers from escaping the chimney and causing a possible fire. A flying ember could be detrimental if it landed on your roof or nearby tree. A chimney cap will also help to prevent downdrafts. Do you ever notice on a windy day that you get a smokey smell in your home? This is a caused from the wind blowing the smoke back down the flue opening creating a down draft. A chimney cap will help to block the flue opening from the wind. Have you ever had a critter get into your chimney? A chimney cap will prevent this as well! Keep small animals, debris, or moisture from getting into your home by installing a chimney cap. A chimney cap does a great job at blocking rain and snow from getting down the chimney flue. Keeping your chimney protected will keep it working properly a lot longer.
Review the Functions of a Chimney Cap:
- Stop Sparks or Embers
- Prevent Backdrafts
- Reduce Moisture
- Keep animals out
- Stop Debris Buildup
Inspecting an Installed Chimney Cap
Inspecting a chimney cap should be done at the same time as your annual chimney inspection. The first thing to check when inspecting the cap is the constructions integrity. This will include all corner joints, mesh, and top. A chimney cap is normally constructed of some type of metal and may begin to break down over time. This may not be a concern if your cap is relatively new but it does not hurt to be thorough. A chimney cap’s integrity can be compromised by more than just the elements. Animals can cause damage trying to get into the flue or falling branches or sticks from a nearby tree could dent and damage the cap. Secondly you will want to check for signs of rust. If your chimney cap is constructed of stainless steel or copper rust should not be an issue. Galvanized steel caps are made of a lower quality steel and will rust overtime. These caps are normally painted with a heat resistant paint to slow the rusting process, but as the paint wears the metal will begin to show and ultimately start to rust. When this begins to occur best option is to just replace the chimney cap. Lastly check to see how securely the cap is attached to the chimney structure. Some caps use set screws to tighten the chimney cap to the outside of the flue opening. Others use masonry screws to attach the chimney cap to the crown. Either way you want to ensure that the cap is secured tightly.
Measuring for a New Chimney Cap
If you are in need of purchasing a chimney cap, whether you are buying one for the first time or buying a replacement you want to make sure that you purchase the right size for your chimney flue. There are two basic types of chimney caps: single flue or multi flue. They will mount one of two ways: flush mount or side mount. A flush mount will screw directly to the chimney crown and a side mount will fasten to the side of the chimney flue with set screws for a tight fit. If your chimney does not extend past the chimney crown enough you will have to go with a flush mount model. Multi flue chimney caps are not available in side mount options. Now let’s go over what to measure for the different chimney caps.
Single flue – A single flue chimney with an extended flue is going to be the most common chimney style. You will simply measure the outer width and length of the flue extending from the chimney. You will also want to measure the height of the extended flue. This measurement will tell you if the cap will be tall enough. There is a minimum clearance of 5 inches from the top of the flue to the flat top of the chimney cap to ensure proper drafting.
Oval or Round Flue – You will need to use a top mount style cap. Measure the total crown width and length, length and width of the area surrounding the flue, and the height of the flue if extended. These measurements will give you a range of chimney cap sizes to choose from. You to choose a cap that falls within the measurements.
Multi Flue – Chimneys with multiple flues require top-mounted chimney caps regardless of whether any of their flues are extended or not. The measurements you need for this kind of chimney are the total crown width and length, length and width of the area surrounding the flues, and the height of the tallest flue. Measuring the height of the tallest flue is to make sure that the cap is at least five inches taller than your tallest flue as to not interrupt the draft of your chimney. Just as with the Oval/Round measurements, you will choose a cap that falls in between the measurement range.
Save on Chimney Caps for a Limited Time Only
We once again have a great promotion to offer for our customers. From September 15, 2015 until October 15, 2015, Use promo code HYCCAP10 to save an additional 10% off of the already low price of our entire stock of Hy-C Chimney Caps. This offer is only valid for a short time so don’t miss out!