When Do You Need a Chimney Cap Replacement?
Sitting at the top of your fireplace, attached to the flue should be a chimney cap. Oddly enough, chimney caps are added on as an “accessory” even though they are an essential component of the entire chimney system. If you don’t have a chimney cap, you should get one asap. And for those who have one, how long has it been since you’ve had a chimney inspection where a trained technician takes a look at the status of the cap? When it’s time for repair or replacement of your chimney cap, it should be done without delay.
What Does the Chimney Cap Do?
If you have a basic chimney cap, it does the important job of preventing rain and snow from going directly into your chimney. Moisture is enemy number one for masonry chimneys. If moisture damage is neglected, it eventually results in a leaning or collapsed chimney.
Chimney caps can serve several other beneficial purposes when they have wire mesh. The mesh can keep animals out, which is important since it is not uncommon for birds, snakes, squirrels, raccoons, and other creatures to find their way into chimneys.
The mesh on chimney caps can also serve as a spark guard to prevent hot embers from potentially starting a fire if combustible materials are nearby, especially if on the roof.
Chimney Cap Needs Repair or Replacement?
You don’t always have obvious clues that something is wrong with the chimney cap. After all, it’s a long way off and probably the highest point on your rooftop. The following, however, are ways you can determine chimney cap repair or replacement is needed.
It’s Not There
Chimney caps sometimes go missing. During natural disasters, chimney caps are often ripped off or something strikes them and knocks them off. It’s always important to inspect the exterior of your home after high winds and destructive storms. Include a rooftop check as you look for possible evidence of damage. Get a chimney cap replacement, if yours is completely or partially missing.
Obviously, if there has never been a cap on your chimney, it’s important to get one. And, unless your chimney was literally just built, chances are good that moisture damage has already occurred. Schedule a chimney inspection as well as chimney cap installation. During an inspection, a certified professional can identify any signs of chimney damage that untrained eyes may not recognize. Taking care of repairs early saves you money since moisture damage only gets worse.
The metal on chimney caps can develop rust over time, depending on the type of material the appliance is made with. If you see rust streaks toward the top of your chimney, it’s likely a sign the chimney cap needs repair or replacement.
Effects of normal wear and tear caused by constant exposure to the weather can also cause chimney cap damage. Cracks sometimes form, which allows moisture into the chimney system. A chimney cap damaged by deterioration is unable to provide the level of protection against moisture that’s needed to avoid masonry damage.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
If you schedule annual chimney inspections, which are recommended by all leading fire safety experts, you can avoid getting rust stains on the chimney stack. Repair (as opposed to replacement) of deterioration and rusting of a chimney cap can be possible when the damage hasn’t had an excessive amount of time to progress.
Contact the Experts at Burlington Fireplace
For chimney cap installation and comprehensive chimney sweep services, contact Burlington Fireplace & Heating. All of our technicians are NFI-certified by the National Fireplace Institute, and yet we offer far more than high-quality chimney maintenance services. We specialize in creating extraordinary custom fireplace designs. Call us today at 262-763-3522 to learn more about new fireplace installation, chimney inspections, chimney cap styles, and more.