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The Many Jobs Of A Chimney Cap

The chimney cap may not look like the most impressive part of your chimney’s anatomy, but the truth is you would be in rough shape without one. This device plays a big role in keeping your chimney better protected, and it ends up taking on a lot of different jobs in the process.

Concerned that your cap is missing, damaged, or incorrectly installed? Get our team on the job. We would be happy to check things over and set you up right. In the meantime, learn more about the many jobs of your chimney cap below.

Preventing Water Damagechimney with cap

Your chimney liner, smoke shelf, brickwork, mortar, and everything inside of your chimney need to stay in good shape to ensure your fireplace functions as safely and as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the water to find its way into your system and wreak havoc, causing all of these parts to break down and deteriorate.

When your structure has holes, gaps, and cracks, your risk of experiencing house fires and gas leaks increases significantly. Because of this, it is vital to do everything you can to keep water out. The chimney cap completely covers your flue opening, making a big impact on your system’s ability to keep water out.

Keeping Out Wildlife

Water isn’t the only thing your cap keeps out. It also prevents birds, raccoons, bees, and other types of creatures from working their way in and causing problems throughout your home. Not only can these critters be loud and annoying, but their nesting materials can also clog up your flue and create fire hazards, too. Keep them out by having your chimney cap installed and save yourself a lot of stress and hassle.

Preventing Downdrafts

Are downdrafts swooping into your home, affecting the temperature inside and causing your energy bills to skyrocket? A chimney cap helps keep those cold drafts out for good, so you stay as cozy and as comfortable as possible. This also ensures that nasty creosote-related smells won’t be sent through your home – a win-win!

Stopping Excess Debris

When your flue is left uncovered and vulnerable, it is easier than ever for leaves, twigs, dirt, and more to blow into it. Not only do these things eventually build up and cause clogs, but they could end up causing a chimney fire, as well. A cap will keep these materials out, so your airflow isn’t affected.

Serve As Spark Arrestors

Lastly, chimney caps are able to effectively stop any stray sparks or embers from sneaking up your chimney and landing on your roofing materials. If one of these would land in the wrong spot, a fire could easily ignite, putting your entire home and family at risk. Don’t take any chances – have your cap installed today!

We Can Help

The Weststar Chimney Sweeps team is ready to set you up right, so book your appointment with our CSIA certified crew today. We would love to do all we can to keep your home safer, more comfortable, and free of stressful situations. Call now!

Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney? We Can Help!

Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney? We Can Help!

Some people love the sounds of birds chirping in the spring; however, when you hear the sounds of birds coming from your chimney, you may feel the opposite emotion to love! Not many people enjoy listening to bird noises inside their homes, but if a family of birds have nested within your chimney, you will have to get used to it for a few months until they leave on their own to fly to their winter home. Since some birds like chimney swifts are protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove nesting birds, according to Chimneys.com. When they do leave, they will leave their nests behind, which can be hazardous. Weststar Chimney Sweeps has 17 years of experience with dealing with birds in chimneys across the San Diego area, and we are proud to offer nest removal services. We can also give you some advice on sharing your home with a family of birds if one has nested in your chimney, and we can prevent these birds from coming back next year to move back into your home.

Why do birds nest in chimneys? What kinds of problems do they cause?Are Birds Nesting in Your Chimney We Can Help! - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Birds like to take up residence in chimneys because so many trees have been cut down for development and construction reasons, and chimneys are the next best thing to trees for the shelter needed to build a nest. Not only can birds make loud and obnoxious noises at times, but they carry diseases, like histoplasmosis, which causes blindness. They also may become trapped and even die inside your chimney, which can be an unfortunate and smelly situation. Learning to live in a home with a family of birds for a few months can be difficult, but once your family is used to the birds, it really is not as bad as it seems at first. One of the biggest problems birds cause inside your chimney actually happens after they leave. When they fly away to their winter home, their nests will be left behind, and the nesting materials can lead to a couple of hazardous situations. The straw, leaves, sticks, and other debris used to build the nests are all very flammable and create the risk of a chimney fire. The nesting materials also block the flue, which forces the toxic gases from combustion, including carbon monoxide, back into your home. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can remove every bit of the nests that remain in your chimney once the birds have left and prevent these hazardous situations from occurring.

How can Weststar Chimney Sweeps prevent birds from getting back into my chimney next year?

Many birds will return to where they last nested, so if you have or have had a family of birds living in your chimney, you will definitely want to take action to keep them from coming back to share your home again. We recommend having a good-quality chimney cap professionally installed at the top of your chimney to prevent their return next year. You will need a cap that is equipped with mesh metal sides to keep them from entering the chimney when they come back to try to nest again. We are proud to offer a wide variety of these types of chimney caps and can help you select one for us to install on your chimney. The chimney cap will also keep water from rain from leaking into your chimney — it is an important part of your chimney!

Protect your chimney from birds getting inside to nest. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps if you are dealing with birds in your chimney as we can help.

Choosing the Best Chimney Cap to Prevent Water Leaks

One of your best defenses against water penetration and animal invasions of your chimney, a chimney cap sits on top of your chimney’s opening. With several different types of chimney caps available, how do you know which cap is the right fit for the flue of your chimney? At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we are experienced with fitting all types of chimney caps, even customized caps, and we know the importance of proper installation. We would like to tell you a bit about the different kinds of chimney caps and what you should know about selecting the right kind for your chimney to prevent damaging water leaks.


The main thing to consider when deciding which chimney cap is right for your chimney is the shape of your flue. Chimney caps come in different shapes to fit each type of flue. These shapes include:


Whether you have a clay, masonry, or metal flue, you can find a round chimney cap that can either attach the the outside of the flue or slip inside the flue. Round chimney caps are made from an assortment of materials including copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. Some round flue liners require chimney caps that must be inserted inside the chimney flue, such as round flexible flue liners and round solid pack flue liners.


The most commonly shaped flue, square and rectangular chimney caps can be attached to the flue, or, if you have a chimney crown, there are chimney caps in these sizes that can attach to the crown. Made from the same metals as the round chimney caps, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you choose a chimney cap constructed from a sturdy, durable, and rust- and corrosion-resistant material to ensure a long-lasting cap. For chimney caps that attach to a chimney crown, you will need to choose from top mounted chimney caps.


Unless you have a custom-shaped oval chimney cap made for you by our technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, you will need to look at rectangular shaped chimney caps that will cover the exterior of your flue.. When you look inside this type of cap, you can see how the corner tabs or interior ledges will accommodate oval flues.

There are other considerations other than preventing water leaks to think about when choosing a chimney cap. These include:


To prevent animals from entering your chimney to take up a new residence and to keep sparks from flying out of your chimney and possibly starting a fire, your chimney cap should be equipped with wire mesh sides. Be sure the mesh openings are between ¾ to ½ inches in size to keep animals out, to contain large pieces of hot debris and ashes, and to allow toxic gases to escape.


You can now find top sealing chimney caps that do double duty as a protective cap and as a damper. Perfect for new home constructions and for older chimneys in need of numerous repairs, the damper is located on the cap. When it is sealed closed, the air loss from your home is reduced by 90%. When the damper is opened, the wire mesh on the chimney cap protects your chimney from invading animals and prevents stray sparks from exiting.

Want to know more about the different types of chimney caps? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to talk to our expert staff about your many options.

That’s a Funny-looking Bird!

“I don’t need a chimney cap.  Why should I have a cap”.  Well…recently, I got a call about birds in the chimney. The canine friend of the family would not quit barking at the fireplace.  Not birds but a raccoon instead. Oh my.
A chimney cap that is properly-sized and installed can prevent a face like this one sticking out of your chimney.

A chimney cap that is properly-sized and installed can prevent a face like this one sticking out of your chimney.