Is It Time to Replace Your Old Chimney Cap?

October 8, 2019

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Chimneys are often one of the most overlooked and misunderstood components of a residential building. Chimneys are vertical structures, built to provide ventilation for furnaces and fireplaces by emitting smoke and gases to the outside atmosphere. They are made up of seven basic parts, including the flue, the flashing, the damper, the smoke chamber, the crown, the liner, and the cap. Of these components, the cap is often considered to be an accessory, yet it provides a great deal of protection against environmental elements. Having chimney caps in Alpharetta prevents animals from climbing into the chimney and entering your home.

However, like any other home component, the chimney cap requires replacement from time to time by an Alpharetta, GA, chimney caps and chimney specialist.

Chimney Cap Functions

Just like the roof of your home protects its structural integrity and interior from rain, wind, and animal intrusions, the chimney cap does the same thing. It is positioned at the top opening of the chimney, also known as the flue. It provides a level of safety, preventing embers from escaping and starting a fire on the roof. Without a chimney cap in place, leaves and tree branches can get into a chimney, causing blockages, or even a chimney fire. In most cases, a chimney cap is a part that must be added and doesn’t come as a standard part of a chimney purchase.

Signs Your Chimney Cap Needs Replacing

There are a variety of ways a chimney cap can be damaged. Regular inspection by a chimney specialist will ensure your fireplace is functioning properly.

  • Most chimney caps also include a screen, which prevents sparks from escaping and hitting the roof. Birds and other animals can tear or damage the screen, allowing sparks to be released, landing on the roof, and causing a fire. A damaged screen will also allow animals entry into the fireplace flue.
  • Because the chimney cap is constructed of metal, it could become rusted over time. This weakens its construction and leaves open areas where water or rain can enter the flue and damage the inside of your fireplace. Galvanized caps are more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
  • Chimney caps can blow off or become loose over time because they are constantly exposed to the weather. If you see or hear the cap moving, it isn’t attached properly, and likely needs to be inspected by a professional who has experience replacing chimney caps in Alpharetta.
  • Not all chimney caps offer draft control options. However, if there is an issue with drafts entering your home through the chimney, chances are, there is no chimney cap in place or it isn’t functioning properly. Replace it with one with a vacuum chimney cap or choose a wind directional chimney cap.
  • If you see damaged masonry or missing bricks around the top of the flue, your chimney cap probably isn’t positioned correctly, is the wrong size, or is allowing water to leak into the flue–and it’s likely been an issue for a long time. Repair the masonry before installing a new chimney cap.

Smoke from a chimney

Choosing a Chimney Repair Service

Experience is crucial when it comes to chimney repair. Chimney sweeps should be certified, offer warranties on their work, and be licensed and fully insured. Regular chimney maintenance and inspections will prevent costly repairs and replacements, in addition to protecting the structural integrity of your home and its roof. If your chimney hasn’t been inspected by a professional company with experience in replacing chimney caps in Alpharetta, GA, call and schedule an inspection today.

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