While you are cleaning leaves out of your home's gutters, dealing with Christmas lights, or adjusting
a satellite dish, don't forget to check on your chimney caps while you're on the roof. Chimney caps are those
mesh-sided enclosures (usually made of stainless steel, copper, or galvanized steel) atop your chimney to prevent water, snow, animals, bird droppings, and leaves from entering your home.
A once-a-year check on your chimney caps can be well worth your time for protecting your house. Here are four things to check on your chimney caps:
- Are the chimney caps there?
If there have been high winds in your area, your chimney caps may
have blown off. Properly secured chimney caps withstand most high winds, but exceptional winds can do damage, including blowing
chimney caps off. Also, most homes built before the 1980's simply never had chimney caps to begin with.
- Are the chimney caps securely attached?
Time, wild animals, or high winds can degrade the security of your
chimney caps' attachment to your flues or chimneys. You can retighten screws or reapply a chimney cap sealant if your chimney caps are no longer securely attached.
- Are the chimney caps rusting through?
Galvanized steel chimney caps generally last about three to five years
before they become too rusted to serve their purposes. In salt water environments, galvanized chimney caps corrode even more quickly.
Stainless steel and copper chimney caps usually have lifetime warranties, so they are good replacement chimney cap choices for those who don't want to be replacing their chimney caps every few years.
- Are the sides of your chimney caps clogged?
The mesh or screen sides of your chimney caps may get clogged with
leaves or other detritus forced into the mesh by very high winds. More frequently, chimney caps' mesh can get clogged with soot and
creosote, especially if you are using unseasoned, green firewood. This clogging is most common in chimney caps designed with smaller
mesh holes for use in wildfire prone areas. If the mesh sides of your chimney caps are clogged, your fireplace's or woodstove's draft will
be reduced, leading to poor performance or even to a chimney fire.
When you head up to the roof, take along a metal tape measure, paper, pencil and the
FireplaceMall Chimney Cap EASY MEASURE Guide, below. In case you find you need new replacement chimney caps, you will have the tools and information at hand to measure your flues or chimney
crown for their replacement chimney caps.
Replacement chimney caps are available in a variety of styles and finishes.
We have a large selection of chimney caps for round flues, for square or rectangular flues, for oval flues, for multiple flue chimneys, and for chimneys
in California and other wildfire prone areas that require small mesh spark arrestor chimney caps. Many of our replacement chimney caps can be shipped to Canada. .