One of the best ways to keep your chimney in good condition is to reduce the amount of water that penetrates it. A chimney cap is a key component in keeping your chimney dry, but it has other functions as well. Whether you need something strictly functional or are interested in more decorative chimney caps, here are some reasons you should consider replacing your current cap with a new one.
Why Chimney Caps Matter
One of the most important functions of a chimney cap is to keep water from coming down the chimney. Water can damage stainless steel liners and allow mold and mildew to grow as well. Another concern with water is that it will penetrate the masonry and cause damage as the moisture freezes and thaws throughout the year. Another reason you need a chimney cap is to keep animals like rodents and birds that find your chimney an attractive place for a nest. The chimney cap can also help prevent downdraft from the wind. In addition, the chimney cap will keep debris like leaves and branches out of the chimney. Chimney caps can also help increase your home’s safety by blocking embers and sparks that could otherwise exit the chimney and start a fire on the roof. There are a few things to watch for when determining when to replace your chimney cap.
Many homeowners don’t realize when the chimney cap has blown off during a storm, which is one reason it’s important to have regular chimney inspections in Acworth. If the chimney sweep or you notice that the cap is entirely missing, you need to have it replaced right away.
You or the technician can also periodically check the condition of the chimney cap to watch for warping. If the top of the chimney cap has started to pull away from the sides, it’s vulnerable to further damage and will be less effective at keeping debris and animals out of the chimney. It also increases the likelihood that the entire cap will blow away during strong storms.
Any rust on the chimney cap is another reason to replace the cap. A heavily rusted cap or screens indicate that the integrity of the entire cap or screens has been compromised. Further damage is inevitable, and the cap should be replaced.
Other damage to the screens warrants replacement as well. Any holes in the screens that cause separation between the screen and cap will allow birds or rodents to make their way into the chimney. These pests can fit through very small holes, so rather than risking a pest problem, you should replace the cap.
Creosote buildup on the screens is dangerous because the creosote is highly combustible. In some cases, the creosote can be cleaned off, but if it’s a thick enough layer, it’s best to replace the cap rather than risk the creosote igniting and causing a fire in the chimney or on the roof.
If you have a draft-enhancing chimney cap, it’s important to make sure the turbines are working properly. If they’re no longer burning because they’re clogged or otherwise damaged, you should have the cap replaced.
If water is coming in the chimney around the flue, there’s a good chance that the cause is from a damaged chimney cap, even if you can’t see the actual damage. If you notice leaking water, be sure to call Atlanta Chimney doctor to see their selection of copper chimney caps as well as other options.