The majority of people who own homes with fireplaces understand the importance of yearly inspections and regular maintenance of their fireplace and chimney. One area that is often overlooked, however, is the chimney cap. Oftentimes homeowners don’t have an understanding of the importance of this protective device, and, if it is in a state of disrepair, may choose to do away with it altogether. This is a mistake that can have negative, often disastrous results.
Why Is A Chimney Cap Important?
There are two main reasons that a chimney cap is important. First, the chimney cap acts as a protective guard for your roof and yard by keeping sparks from your fireplace from flying out and causing a house fire or catching in the breeze and landing on the grass during the dry season, causing a yard fire.
Chimney caps can also keep things from getting into your chimney. Imagine the debris that can blow into your chimney without a chimney cap to stop it from entering. Dry leaves and twigs, paper products, even birds or other animals that are looking for a place to make a home: all of these can cause big problems when you decide to build a fire in your fireplace on those cool autumn nights. These elements can build up in your chimney, causing a blockage that will keep toxic gasses in while not allowing adequate air flow for a proper fire.
A chimney cap also keeps rain, sleet, and snow from entering your home through your chimney. Moisture in your chimney can get into cracks in your mortar, and if that moisture freezes, it will expand, causing the cracks to widen and the mortar to deteriorate. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) website lists other damages that can occur from moisture entering your chimney: rusted damper assemblies, clogged clean out area, stained chimney exterior, chimney settlement – these are just a few of the problems that can develop from precipitation entering your home through the chimney.
Creosote and Moisture: A Damaging Combination
Creosote buildup is a common occurrence in chimneys, and homeowners need to be aware that yearly chimney inspections and cleanings are important to rid your chimney of this buildup. According to wiseGEEK, when moisture mixes with creosote buildup inside your chimney, it can eat away at the mortar in the firebox and flue and can cause rust to build up on the metal parts of the fireplace, such as the damper. Having a chimney cap that is well constructed and maintained can keep this precipitation from entering your chimney and mixing with the creosote that has built up over the season’s use.
Chimney Cap Care and Repair
The Chimney Safety Institute of America states that chimney caps are “probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney.” The CSIA certified professionals at Michael’s Chimney Service are trained to professionally install chimney caps that will help maintain the safety and integrity of your chimney.
Call Michael’s Chimney Service for installation of a chimney cap or maintenance on an existing chimney cap, and rest easy knowing that your chimney cap is in tip-top shape to keep your home safe and dry as you use your fireplace.