The Importance Of Having A Properly Installed Chimney Cap
Simply looking at the metal chimney cap up at the very top of your flue might not give away just how many services it’s providing. But we aren’t exaggerating when we say that the chimney cap might be the most multi-faceted part in your chimney system. Because of its importance, the California Uniform Building Code requires that each chimney have a cap.
The Many Jobs Of The Chimney Cap
Keeping Water Out
First, your chimney cap is covering up what would otherwise be an open hole in the top of your home, and preventing rain, snow and all other forms of precipitation from entering your flue. Without a cap, water can enter your chimney system and damage virtually every part, right down to the masonry.
Keeping Birds & Bees Out
Animals can also be troubling intruders, and often enough, they’ll choose your chimney as a place to set up a new home. Birds, squirrels, and even bees choose your chimney as a home base because its location is highly appealing. When squirrels and birds make their home in your chimney, they bring in highly flammable debris for their nests that can clog up the flue and easily start a chimney fire. They also carry in bugs, create unpleasant smells, and make annoying noises. The problem isn’t even simply limited to animals that choose to move in — baby birds and squirrels are known for falling into chimneys, getting stuck and dying, making for an unsanitary and unfortunate circumstance in your home.
We hardly need to tell you how frustrating having a beehive in your home can be – but in your chimney, it’s particularly troubling, because you could light a fire and unknowingly melt honey down the walls of your flue, attracting even more bees with the smell. The best way to keep animals and bees out of your home is to have a protective chimney cap or top-sealing damper installed by certified professionals.
Keeping Sparks In
Gases and hot air should be moving up and out of your chimney, but you don’t want sparks doing the same. Weststar Chimney Sweeps’ S/B Spark Arrestor Rain Caps can prevent sparks from flying out of the top of the chimney top and causing a fire on the roof or igniting nearby trees or shrubbery.
A downdraft occurs when air travels directly downward into your chimney, instead of up and out, like it’s supposed to. Many things can contribute to this problem – from improper installation to strong winds and nearby tall trees and buildings — but custom chimney caps installed by a Weststar professional can help.
Are you looking to have a new chimney cap installed to protect your chimney and home against the intrusion of water and animals? Or do you need to halt sparks or downdrafts? Call Weststar Chimney Sweeps at 619-338-8116, or make an appointment online!
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David was great -- cleaned both fireplaces neatly and quickly, and answered all my questions cheerfully. At the end of the cleaning, knowing that I had recently had back surgery, he even asked if he could help with anything - even offered to take out the trash!
~ Cynthia Johnson