Why Chimney Caps Are Important
Anyone with a fireplace in their home has, at one time or another, most likely had some trouble with their chimney. What they may not realize is that many common chimney problems can be quickly solved by installing a small piece called a chimney cap. A chimney cap protects the opening at the top of the chimney, which can be the starting site for a number of problems that arise frequently. They are inexpensive and it is easy to have them installed.
One of the most important reasons to have a chimney cap is that it helps keep excess water out of the chimney. Water often finds its way into the flue in the way of rain or snow and then accumulates within the chimney liner. This can cause mold that leads to dangerous illnesses and, in some cases, can compromise the structural integrity of the chimney. A chimney filled with water is also likely to become a breeding ground for pests. A chimney cap is a simple way to avoid the issue completely.
Another common chimney problem is that animals make their way into the chimney and set up their homes there. Not only will this cause annoying scratching sounds, but it can actually be dangerous for the people living inside of the house. The animals that live in chimneys often carry diseases and they do not have to enter the home to pass them on to the people living in it. If they do make their way into the house, there is always a chance that they could bite someone, causing both illness and injury. When there is a cap on the chimney, they cannot get in there in the first place.
When the chimney is left without a cap, it is easy for leaves, twigs, and other natural debris to build up inside of the flue. This may not seem like a big deal but it can actually be quite dangerous. When the chimney is clogged with these materials, it cannot vent properly and smoke often comes back into the home rather than exiting it. It also prevents dangerous gasses, including carbon monoxide, from safely leaving the home. In the worst cases, a clogged chimney can lead to a dangerous chimney fire that spreads throughout the home.
Whenever a fire is going in the fireplace, it is natural that there will be a bit of smoke. However, when the room is filling up with smoke, there is a problem. Oftentimes, the problem is negative air pressure when wind blows into the chimney. A chimney cap allows dangerous smoke and gas out, but it prevents the air that blows those gasses into the home from getting in. This is a vital part of enjoying a fire without filling the entire home with plumes of smoke.
A chimney cap is a fairly simple and inexpensive piece. In fact, it is so simple that many homeowners are tempted to simply install them themselves. However, this should be avoided in favor of a professional who has experience with these instillations. If the job is not done properly, the chimney cap will be ineffective and the home will still be at risk. In addition, it requires climbing on the chimney, which can be dangerous for a person who is not used to working at that height.
Leaving the chimney uncovered invites a host of problems, including animals living in the chimney and poisonous gasses entering the home. Instead of dealing with these serious issues, homeowners can have a simple chimney cap installed that will prevent them completely. Any homeowner who is not sure whether or not their chimney has a cap should have it inspected as soon as possible.