A Chimney Cap Is Needed Even on an Unused Fireplace
A chimney cap is a smart investment, even if you never light up your fireplace.
Have you ever noticed a metal top covering the mouth of a chimney? That is a chimney cap. It is a metal cover that acts like an umbrella, stopping rain, sleet, and snow from falling down the flue. It also has wire mesh along the sides, preventing critters, leaves, and debris from getting into the chimney system. Even if you never use your fireplace, a chimney cap is still a very wise investment.
4 Reasons Why Every Chimney Needs a Chimney Cover
#1. Prevent Water Damage
Chimney leaks are a common problem. We often receive calls from homeowners with water damage to ceilings and floors around their chimney. Many times, this water damage is caused by a missing chimney cap. Bricks and mortar are incredibly absorbent. Lawn debris and animal nests in an open chimney also collect and store moisture. Without a chimney cap to stop water from entering the flue, this moisture can accumulate and seep into surrounding structural beams, insulation, flooring, walls, or ceilings. Even if the water is contained in the flue, it can weaken the structural integrity of your chimney. If it is weak enough, it can become a hazard.
#2. Eliminate the Need for Annual Cleanings
Just like gutters, exposed chimneys get clogged with leaves and debris. The water problems caused by an open chimney can be exacerbated by a buildup of leaves and trash in the flue absorbing moisture. It can also turn your chimney into a breeding ground for organisms such as mold, mildew, and rot.
No one wants their home to smell like rot or mildew. Breathing in mold spores from your chimney can aggravate asthma and allergies. If you have toxic mold growing in your chimney, it can have more extreme health impacts. You can avoid these problems and the hassle of regularly cleaning debris out by installing a chimney cap.
#3. Keep Pests Out
Many animals like to nest in chimneys, such as squirrels, raccoons, bats, and birds. These critters can be noisy and unpleasant houseguests. They can leave behind rotting food and droppings that stink up your home. They may also die in your chimney. Along with a nasty smell, having a decaying animal in your chimney can attract other pests like maggots and rodents that won’t stay confined to the flue. A chimney cap can save you from these pest problems.
#4. Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Installing a chimney cap can even lower your utility costs by improving your home’s efficiency. While the damper in your chimney is intended to keep out drafts, many dampers don’t have a tight enough seal (especially if there isn’t a chimney cap to prevent it from being warped by the moisture in your chimney). Hot summer breezes and cold wintery gales can sweep down the flue forcing your HV/AC system to work harder. A chimney cap should be the first line of defense against downdrafts. Installing a chimney cap can make your home feel more comfortable and reduce your heating and cooling costs.
A chimney cap is a wise investment for any homeowner with a fireplace. It will protect your home from chimney water damage, mold and mildew growth, and pest problems. It can also improve your home’s energy efficiency. It is a purchase that can last a lifetime!
Chimney caps come in many different shapes and sizes. To ensure your chimney cap will last, make sure that you carefully measure your chimney and pick out a cap designed for your type of fireplace. If you need help, ask the experts on our team! Burlington Fireplace & Solar’s chimney experts can help you find the right fit for your chimney!