A Functional Chimney Cap Can Save You Thousands
Summer has officially come to a close and cooler weather is on its way. This time of the year marks the start of many things like school for the kids, leaves changing colors, and preparing for the upcoming holidays. Some of you may even have your fireplace on your mind because it will soon turn cold enough to light a fire. With the start of a new fire-burning season comes the usual appointment to have the chimney inspected and swept, but what about the other parts of your chimney? Your fireplace is more than a dirty chimney. It has many working parts that need regular attention as well to keep the system running smoothly. One part that many homeowners neglect too often is the chimney cap.
The Main Use For A Chimney Cap
The chimney cap is a small apparatus that sits at the very top of the chimney and acts as a cover to the interior flue. Usually made of copper or steel, these inexpensive contraptions may seem superfluous, but they actually serve some very important purposes. The main use for a chimney cap is to keep things out of the chimney that do not belong there.
One obvious guest you want your chimney cap to prevent is any kind of pest. Little animals like squirrels and birds are attracted to the warmth of the chimney during the frigid Massachusetts winters, and they have no qualms about settling into your flue. Unfortunately, this obstruction does not allow the chimney to properly vent the smoke and toxic fumes created by the fire.
In turn, these gases backup into your home and cause a potentially deadly situation for you and your family. Having a properly fitting and functioning chimney cap will prevent this.
The chimney cap also keeps water out of your chimney. Water can damage your chimney in a number of ways. First, it will cause the steel flue lining to rust and deteriorate. This compromised structure then exposes the interior structure of the chimney to water. If you have a masonry chimney, the water will absorb into the materials and eventually degrade the structure through the freeze and thaw cycle of winter. The structure could eventually crack or even collapse. Water can also continue down into your fireplace and rust your damper assembly or cause water damage to your interior walls and ceiling. These repairs can add up to thousands of dollars and can all be avoided by a functional chimney cap. When you have a mason out to clean and inspect your chimney, he or she should also look at your chimney cap. If the cap has experienced any kind of damage in the past year, or if it is missing completely, your mason can give you expert advice on how to proceed.
Most likely, the least expensive route will be to simply have a new cap installed. If you live in the Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth or Barnstable Counties of Massachusetts and you need your chimney cap inspected, contact Above and Beyond Chimney Service for a professional consultation.