‘Is it essential to use a chimney cap?’ this is the first question people ask whenever asked about chimney caps. Though this question comes naturally, the fact is, if you have a chimney, you must have a chimney cap.
It ensures safety. While using the fireplace, you are creating a lot of sparks. Most of them remain at the base of the chimney or within the fire chamber but some of them may reach the top of the chimney. If you don’t have a chimney cap in place, this may ignite the roof or other flammable materials found nearby. A single member has the capacity to set your whole property on fire.
A chimney cap plays a significant role in the chimney system. Here are a few reasons why you need to consider installing a chimney cap.
Keeps the Animals Away
In the cooler months, the animals walking along the roof will feel the warmth of the fire. Owing to this, they will try to make the nests closer or inside the small and the comforting space of the chimney flue. It won’t take very long for them to make nests in the chimney flue. Using a chimney cap will help you to prevent birds and animals to enjoy a stay at your residence.
Birds, as well as squirrel nests also block the path of smoke and harmful gases escaping out of the chimney. In case they cannot get out of the chimney, they will remain in the rooms. This will not just cause smoke and soot damage, but also carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prevents Rainwater of Getting into Chimney Liner
Usage of chimney cap is highly recommended because it prevents rainwater of getting into the chimney liner. Chimney caps stop the water of entering the chimney liner or the flue, directing it away from the centre of the chimney.
Moisture causes deterioration problems in the structure and on mixed with a few types of soot, may turn harmful to the structure of the chimney. The freezing as well as melting of snow and ice is hard on the chimney crown, chimney liner and the masonry chimney walls.
Freeze as well as thaw damage, in fact, can lead to costly repairs. It is better not to allow excessive moisture into the chimney, diverting the elements of it using a chimney cap.
If wind is blowing in a given direction, it may introduce a downdraft. In case the chimney cap is not in place and you are using a wood burning fireplace, wind induced downdraft may blow back smoke into home. The flat shaped top of the chimney caps is designed to prevent the downdrafts induced by wind.
Prevents Accumulation of Debris
Installing a chimney cap helps in preventing debris like twigs, leaves and trash accumulate in the chimney. If you stay in a play where there are lot of trees nearby, you have seen what happens during autumn. You must have been outside on a cold winter day, raking leaves out of the yard. Imagine these leaves along with small sticks and random litter blown by the wind. Don’t you think this will make the chimney appear like a giant trash can?
Most chimneys will not experience such a huge build-up of trash. But in case trash builds up, it won’t take much time for the chimney fire to start. Chimney caps that come with a metal grating or a mesh wrapping the outside of the cap will stop debris of entering the chimney. You may need to go up and clear the net at times but this job is easier to do as compared to cleaning the leaves from the chimney flue.
Enhances Life of the Chimney Liner
The life of the chimney liner increases substantially through addition of the chimney cap. Water and the debris getting into the chimney deteriorate the liners, especially the ones coming with clay liners. Through addition of chimney caps, it is possible to increase the life as well as the efficacy of the chimney liner.
Now, you know that chimney caps are a necessary investment and must be ready to make the purchase. Make sure to identify the type of flue and chimney you have; this will help you choose the right kind of chimney cap.
Contributed by: www.jamesthesweep.co.uk