Anatomy of a Chimney – How to Choose the Best Chimney Cap

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Single Flue Cap
The chimney is effectively a big hole on top of your home. It’s the perfect hiding spot for small animals and birds, and a good way to catch rain; but that isn’t really the purpose. We strive to keep moisture out of the chimney, not invite it inside. A chimney cap is your chimney’s best defense against small animals and water. Let’s go over a few facts about chimney caps, the purpose they serve, and how they can really dress up the appearance of your home.

How Chimney Caps are Installed

There is no real industry standard regarding the actual installation of the chimney cap. Most either slide onto the inside of the flue or the outside of the flue. They are either held in place by a couple of screws or by the flue itself.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you choose a chimney cap that is constructed from a sturdy, durable, rust resistant, corrosion resistant material. Otherwise, you may have to replace it every time it shows signs of rust.

Stylize Your Chimney

I’m sure you have an image in your mind that includes a plain silver cap with a silver mesh circle (spark arrestor) around it when you think about chimney caps. I understand how that image is a turn-off for many homeowners. Today’s chimney cap options are often very stylish and can really dress your chimney up to become one of the most unique parts of your home. They’re generally available in a variety of finishes so you’re sure to find the perfect cap. Some companies also custom make chimney caps to create a truly customized look.

How to Choose

Choosing the right chimney cap requires basic knowledge of the inside of your chimney. The flue is the inner lining of your chimney. It’s usually square, rectangular, or round, depending on the shape of your chimney and how the flue was installed. Just because you have a square chimney doesn’t mean you’ll have a square flue.

Chimney caps are available in a variety of shapes to meet all homeowner needs. Once you know the shape of your flue, you can begin searching for the best chimney cap. If you would like my help in understanding the anatomy of your chimney and advice on choosing the best chimney cap, please call me at 610-626-2439.

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