Do I Need a Chimney Cap?

The Chimney cap plays an important role in your home’s chimney system. If you don’t already have one, or if yours has seen better days, here are a few reasons you should get a chimney cap installed today!

  1. Chimney caps keep birds, bats, squirrels, and raccoons from entering your chimney. In addition to the nuisance of having animals in your chimney, nests can become fire hazards during winter. Not to mention the smells! We often get calls from frustrated homeowners with mysterious smells coming from the firebox, only to discover animals have taken over and nested or died in their chimney.
  2. A chimney cap will keep rain water from coming down your home’s chimney. Rain water can damage chimneys with stainless steel liners, chimney dampers and chimney mortar joints.  As water seeps into cracks and freezes, it expands, slowly widening the crack. Over time, this process can require expensive repairs. Chimney caps shield your chimney from water, preventing damage. Beyond the damage from the water itself, moisture from rain water can produce mold and mildew.
  3. Some people refer to chimney caps as spark arrestors, which basically means that the chimney cap helps prevent lit embers or sparks that travel up the chimney from landing on roof, possibly catching it on fire. Chimney caps keep burning embers and sparks from flying out of your chimney and potentially starting a wildfire.
  4. A common misconception that comes along with the topic is the worry that caps will cause problems with the chimney draft. At times adding a chimney cap incorrectly can create draft problems. But if you hire a professional chimney sweep to do the job, a chimney cap can often fix a draft problem. There are specially designed chimney caps that reduce draft problems or correct existing ones. If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, it can introduce a downdraft. If you don’t have a chimney cap and you’re using a wood-burning fireplace at the time, a wind-induced downdraft has the potential of blowing smoke back into your home. The flat-shaped top of a chimney cap is designed to help prevent wind-induced downdrafts.

Call Portland Fireplace and Chimney today, and get a quote for your custom chimney cap! 503-758-4710

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