Unless you are in the fireplace or chimney field, you probably don’t think much about the structure of your chimney, and even less what is on top of it, but you should. There is a pipe that extends out of the top of your chimney that lets smoke and hot embers escape called a flue. Your flue is quite an important part of your chimney because, without it, smoke, fumes, and embers would have nowhere to go but inside your house. You can see why it’s essential to have a flue and just as necessary to protect your flue with a chimney cap. What is a chimney cap? Here is the purpose and function of a chimney cap.
A Chimney cap is located at its crown at the top of your chimney, coveri and protects the opening in the flue. Chimney caps are placed above the flue’s aperture to let smoke pass between the opening and the cap.
There are several pertinent functions a chimney cap performs. Here are the most important things a chimney cap does.
The top of the chimney is usually the tallest point in your home, and if it doesn’t have a chimney cap, leaves or needles from surrounding trees and other types of debris like litter can blow in on the wind. Wildlife also sees the top of your chimney as an inviting place for birds to build their nests and find refuge from predators. Wildlife and debris can plug the flue opening, stopping smoke and fumes from venting. Blockages can force toxic fumes into your home, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Water that gets inside a chimney can have a catastrophic effect; it accelerates a chimney’s deterioration resulting in expensive damages to its brick and mortar, flue liner, and other components. Water damage can impact a chimney’s structural integrity, forcing it to list to one side or even collapse. A chimney cap is used to keep moisture away from the chimney protecting its flue dry from rain and snow.
Temperatures inside a wood-burning fireplace can climb in excess of 1100°F. Intense heat combined with combustible gases can send hot embers sailing out the flue and onto your roof, or a neighbor’s roof, potentially setting it on fire. Remember, when selecting a chimney cap for your home, make sure it contains a spark arrestor to keep floating embers from escaping and starting a fire.
At FlameMaster, we understand how chimney caps and coverings work and what your chimney requires. Call us now at (719) 661-3277. A chimney expert will be happy to discuss chimney caps and what will work best for your chimney. If your chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap or the one you have is damaged, get in touch with us today. Don’t let water invade your chimney or have it become a fire hazard.