One chimney accessory that professionals always recommend is a chimney cap. It is installed at the top of the chimney as the name implies. Its main purpose is to shield the interior of the chimney from exposure to the elements. This will protect the internal components and enhance the life and efficiency of the chimney. Chimneys that have no caps usually have to be repaired more often than protected chimneys. In every area where chimneys are used, you will still see some without caps. Clearly, some people are not convinced that this small addition to the chimney can do so much.
Protection from Critters
Birds and small animals like squirrels enjoy finding warm spaces to call home. It is common for these creatures to die inside and cause foul odors to enter the home. They will also take debris inside the chimney that can end up starting a fire. Animals nesting inside the chimney will cause a partial or complete blockage. In either case, smoke can be forced into the home when you use the fireplace.
Shielding from Rainwater
Rain falling directly into a chimney can be a problem for the internal components. Over time this can weaken the masonry. When the water soaks into the masonry and freezes during the winter, you will start to see cracking and flaking. The chimney damper can start to rust, which will prevent it from operating effectively.
Preventing a Chimney Draft
Wind can blow down into an open chimney if there is no cap to stop it. This draft decreases chimney efficiency and it can send smoke into the home. You might have trouble getting the fire going if there is wind coming down the chimney. The cold air that enters the home can also make your heating system work harder when you are not using the fireplace.
Chimney caps are cheap, and the installation can be done by a sweep very quickly. With this small investment you can prevent hundreds of dollars worth of damage to the chimney. The increase in efficiency will allow you to use less wood when you make a fire, so this will help to lower your costs each year. A chimney cap is one upgrade you cannot do without, so talk to your sweep about getting the right one for your chimney.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.