Having a fireplace is a real benefit for most homeowners. It is a place to relax after a hard days’ work, to enjoy the company of friends and family, orto sit back and have a cozy meal with a loved one. It is such a simple process as well; just lay the wood and get a fire going. Most fireplace owners even know the parts of the fireplace and chimney system. The dampers are easy. You open them when you start a fire to let the smoke out and you close them when you’re not burning a fire to keep the warm air in. The firebox is easy as well. That’s where you burn the fire. One thing you might not be quite as clear on, though, is the function of the chimney cap.
The Function of a Chimney Cap
The chimney cap sits at the very top of your chimney, right over the chimney crown. Many people get these two things mixed up, and some of the functions are very similar. Both are essential pieces of the chimney system, working together to keep moisture out of your chimney. A chimney crown is actually part of the chimney, constructed out of masonry and sitting at the top of the chimney structure coming out of your roof. It has a particular slope and structure which allow precipitation to be directed away from the opening and down onto the roof instead. Every chimney has a chimney crown. On the other hand, a chimney cap is an additional structure that many people add to their chimney as extra protection to keep things out of their chimney.
Chimney caps sit directly on top of the chimney crown. Although some homeowners choose to not add a chimney cap, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that “[C]himney caps, also called rain covers, are probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney.” A chimney cap is usually made of stainless steel or copper, and is designed to keep rain out of your chimney. It has mesh metal sides, which make it great for keeping animals, birds, and floating debris such as dried leaves, twigs, or paper from blowing into your chimney and causing a blockage which could hinder the air flow in and out of your chimney. It’s important to keep critters out because they can build nests which, when left behind after the babies move out, could dry out and catch stray sparks, causing chimney fires.
We’ll Custom Fit Your Chimney Cap
If you’re looking to add a chimney cap to your chimney system, give us a call at 704-554-9595. At Owens Chimney Systems, we custom make our chimney caps so that you can choose the style that’s best for your home. Call soon so that you can have the added protection of a custom designed chimney cap before the snow flies!