Every chimney should have a cap in order to protect it from the elements, as well as certain other environmental factors as shown below.
The necessity of a chimney cap
Does my chimney need a cap? Excess moisture from rain and snow getting inside the chimney slowly damages the chimney lining. The material between liner tiles will eventually dissolve, and elements of a corrosive nature which exist in exhaust from heating system appliances mix with excess moisture which slowly weakens the lining. The chimney's structure can be weakened by water pooling at the base. Expansion damage can be caused by repeated freeze/thaw cycles of water inside the chimney. A properly installed chimney cap decreases your chimney's exposure to this damage by keeping most of the water out.
Animals can be kept out by a cap that is fitted with a screen mesh barrier. Members of your local varmint population as well as birds choose chimneys to nest in because of the warmth they provide. The results of such creatures settling in your chimney can be both hazardous to your health and potentially dangerous in the risk of your chimney getting clogged. These animals carry infectious diseases like rabies, other harmful illnesses and bacteria as well as exposing your home to fleas, ticks and worms. Be sure your cap is fitted with a screen mesh.
Some chimneys have caps that are made of stone, concrete or brick and are on stone legs or bricks above the top of the flue. Metal caps are most common with those manufactured of copper or stainless steel offering the highest level of durability. These caps usually have the screen mesh mentioned above already incorporated into their design. Usually, mass produced chimneys have caps that are specifically designed to fit.
American Chimney Service maintains the highest standards when inspecting chimneys with regard to the condition, installation and presence of a chimney cap.
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