Chimney Caps

Chimney Cap FAQ’s

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Posted by Stephanie H.

What happens to a chimney that has no cap?
Water infiltration and pest control are your homes biggest enemies when it comes to your chimney. A third nuisance may be air infiltration. These may be your biggest enemies – they will attack nearly every part of your home from top to bottom. Water can cause unwanted odor or premature degradation or corrosion. Birds, squirrels, bats, and other unwanted guests often find chimney flues inviting. Lastly, wind can often cause down drafting or spillover from stack to stack, filling your home with smoke or carbon monoxide.

Do I cover just the flue or the entire crown?
The choice is yours, there are caps designed to do both. They vary in functionality and appearance. There is no question that custom made outside mounted chimney caps give you the best protection for your chimney and your home, but these caps may not fit your budget or your design. Single flue chimney caps or caps for metal chimneys often provide adequate protection without straining your wallet.

Smoke sometimes comes into the house when we use our fireplace. What is the cause of this?
Talk to a professional. Creating a draft in your chimney may be as simple as cracking a window or door in the room where you use the fireplace. Some homes in extreme wind conditions such as on plains, near mountains, or off an ocean coast may experience down drafting as a result of the wind. There are specific wind resistant chimney caps engineered to eliminate this problem.

I cant seem to find a size cap to fit my chimney or flue. What do I do?
Go to the place where professionals go. Custom chimney caps can be made for every situation. You simply need to find the right source. You may be surprised by how affordable a custom cap can be.

What are my options as far as materials go?
Galvanized, stainless steel, and copper. Aluminum caps are extremely rare.

I want to replace this cap with one that will last - which material is the best option for longevity?
Stainless steel is the most affordable long term solution. Copper will last a lifetime as well. Black galvanized - depending on your environment - may start to rust out in as little as 3-5 years.

Are caps difficult to install?
If you can use a drill and a screwdriver you can install a chimney cap. Often, the most difficult part of the installation of a chimney cap is getting to the crown of your chimney. In some cases, especially on estate sized homes, this is impossible outside the use of scaffolding, or a commercial lift. If you need professional help, roofers and chimney sweeps are your best options. These trades are often equipped and experienced with high chimney tops.

My home is my palace. What are my options if I want something a bit more distinctive?
Again, custom chimney caps are available in an eclectic selection of sizes, styles, and materials. Homeowners often bring sketches or send renderings to custom fabricators. With a little time and good communication, you can bring a sketch to life and crown your chimney with a truly unique design. Gaining in popularity, are custom copper chimney pots. Builders, architects, and home designers are using these versatile covers for the ultimate in class and distinction.

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