“A Chimney Cap is a device fitted to the top of a chimney to improve the draft by presenting an exit aperture to leeward.” But what does that mean? A chimney cap is your first line of defense. Chimney caps are one of the most important components of your fireplace system because of the way they protect the rest of the chimney and flue. Without a working chimney cap, animals, debris, and moisture can all freely enter the flue. Likewise, chimney caps help prevent sparks and embers from flying out onto the roof and causing accidental fires. A proper chimney cap is one that shelters and protects the entire masonry crown footprint and all terminations, with a screen to keep our pests and debris.
Chimneys Caps are Vital in the Pacific Northwest
90% of the repairs we provide our customers is repair to chimneys above the roofline.
Spalling (Cracking) Bricks
A chimney in the PNW gets hit so hard with rain, the chimneys become saturated, then if temperatures drop below freezing, the bricks and mortar of your chimney expand and contract. This causes chimneys to crack at the crowns and around the flue tiles. The mortar begins to fall out of the chimney onto the roof. Also, we find bricks themselves going through decomposition. This is when you see the brick face sheer off because it filled with water and literally burst like a frozen ice cube. This is known as spalling bricks. These cracked areas are open water ways and cause all kind of leaks and water damage into the home. We have seen it all, rotten roof, falling ceilings, leaking fireplace face, rusted dampers, rotting floors, and…
Mold! MOLD! MOLD!
We have found customers suffering from mold allergies for years not knowing it was coming from their chimney! This is called Masonry saturation Decay. With no chimney cap or the wrong cap, this decay is accelerated in our Pacific Northwest climate. If a chimney has never had a proper cap, it is likely you will need some repairs.
All of this decay is preventable. I think of a proper chimney cap as a crucial piece of flashing. We all know how important flashings can be. The proper chimney cap is a very important water diverting flashing for the chimney and everything below it.
Get a Proper-Fitting Chimney Cap
We can provide a proper-fitting chimney cap to shelter and protect your chimney from excessive water accumulation and further damage. If your Chimney had a proper cap since the start of its existence it would not need as much repair. Our chimney caps and water seal treatments help customers fully protect their home from PNW masonry saturation decay. With applicable repairs, curing, water seal treatment and proper chimney caps installed, we guarantee no leaks.
Contact us today for an in-depth NFPA Level 2 Fireplace and Chimney inspection so we can educate you on your chimney’s history and condition!
Chimney Cap History
The history of the chimney cap begins of course with the chimney, which, in considering human history, is a relatively new concept when compared to other architectural functions. They are really only a few hundred years old, much younger than gutters. Since man began to live in houses, the main solution for warmth was an open hearth. Often walls or ceilings would have holes to promote circulation though most were not very air tight to begin with.
After the Norman invasion (around 1000 BC), second story homes began to appear, making a hearth on the bottom floor a bit more difficult. Fires were moved into walls and holes and/or flues were constructed to vent them. Romans used tubes inside the walls to draw smoke out of bakeries but chimneys only appeared in large dwellings in northern Europe in the 12th century. The earliest extant example of an English chimney is at the keep of Conisbrough Castle in Yorkshire, which dates from 1185 AD. Chimney caps immediately began to make an appearance then.
Chimney Caps Come in a Variety of Colors
Something for Everyone
We offer a variety of styles of chimney cap, and a variety of colors. Aside from our standard stainless steel or copper finish, we offer a full powder coating service. We keep white, black, gray, and brown powder coat in stock, but offer an almost unlimited amount of colors and variations that can be custom made for you. Interested in seeing some of our colors? Check out out color palette PDF here.
What Makes Our Chimney Caps Different:
Our chimney caps cover the entire footprint, keeping the crown dry, and offering a drip edge that extends past the dimensions of the chimney.