I know I’ve mentioned the importance of a chimney cap several times recently, but here goes again. Today I’m also going to talk about designer chimney caps and how you can really customize them to match or complement your home. Call Lou Curley Chimney Services to discuss issues with any part of your chimney’s anatomy. I’m located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and provide quality chimney services throughout the greater Philadelphia area.

Small Creatures

You may have already read this post from last April about the raccoon in the chimney, but it always comes to mind when I mention animals in the chimney. A chimney cap would have easily stopped the raccoon from entering the chimney and a properly closed damper should have prevented it from entering the home. The story does have a happy ending, so if you haven’t read it, you should.

Never Smoke Out Animals in Your Chimney

Animals in your chimney are, essentially, blockages. You wouldn’t try to smoke out a blockage of leaves or debris, so don’t try to smoke out an animal. You may end up with a dead animal on your hands… quite literally.

Prevent Animals from Entering the Chimney

Birds and other small wildlife often seek shelter and protection in small places. The chimney flue is roughly 4-5 inches in diameter and provides a nice safe haven for small creatures that are being chased by predators. A chimney cap fits over the flue and has a metal screen to prevent animals from obtaining access to the flue.

Designer Chimney Caps

Just because a chimney cap is durable and functional doesn’t mean it needs to be plain. I’ve heard people complain about the appearance of your standard chimney cap; they aren’t attractive, I agree, but they are functional. You can have the best of both worlds. Here are a few suggestions for finding an amazingly attractive, yet functional, chimney cap:

  1. Look for a local metalsmith. I mention finding a local smith first, because I think we could all benefit from shopping local. I’m a big proponent of locally owned businesses, because I own one. When you find a local metalsmith, call them and explain what you’re looking for. They’re artists in their own right; they will help design and create a chimney cap that will truly be the crowning glory of your home.
  2. Shop around town. You can find some fairly attractive chimney caps at your local home improvement stores. You may not find the perfect chimney cap, but you’ll find something functional and attractive, nonetheless.
  3. Shop online. Google is your friend. Check popular sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon for deals on custom or limited edition chimney caps.

Most Importantly, Remember to Schedule an Annual Inspection

Your chimney may not need to be cleaned every year but it does need to be inspected at least once per year. The CSIA recommends that a well-used chimney be inspected twice per year, and an occasionally used chimney inspected once per year. Call me any time to schedule an appointment for regular chimney maintenance.