The biggest enemy of your chimney system whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter is water. Precipitation can wreak havoc on an uncapped chimney, but rainwater is not the only reason to cap your chimney. At Hudson Chimney we know that every chimney flue needs a cap and here are the seven biggest reasons why.
1. Caps Keep Water Out
Chimney caps are designed to keep water out of the chimney flue, preventing serious water damage and danger. No matter what brand or style you buy, it should have a metal roof on it which prevents water from falling into the chimney. The water runs off the chimney cap and onto the crown below. From the crown, water drips down to the flashing and roof.
2. Caps Keep Animals Out
Especially during spring, but also year-round, chimney caps keep animals out of the chimney system. Any critter that can make it onto the roof can make it into the chimney opening if it isn’t properly capped. If they climb back out on their own, they leave behind nesting materials, droppings, and other debris that need to be removed. Some of these animals can obstruct the chimney flue, others suffocate and die inside the system, and some, like the chimney swift, are protected under federal law and cannot even be removed from the chimney system or the home. The best way to prevent animals from gaining access to the chimney is to keep it capped.
3. Caps Keep Debris Out
During stormy periods, winds and rain may carry debris into your chimney flue, leading to obstruction, fire hazards, and even odors as these materials decompose over time.
4. Caps Keep Wind Out
In our area of Jacksonville, Florida, especially this time of year, we experience tropical weather producing high winds. At Hudson Chimney we sell and install special models of chimney caps which deflect wind to prevent damage and stop drafts from entering your chimney.
5. Caps Keep Sparks In
While your fireplace is in use, your chimney vents heat, gases, and sparks. Some of these sparks may be ignited and carried up through the flue and out while still ignited. These sparks can ignite fires on your roof and even on your yard near your house. The metal mesh on your chimney cap stops these sparks and puts them directly back into your flue and down into your fireplace.
6. Caps Protect the Liner
You chimney cap doesn’t just prevent damage to your chimney system caused by water, weather, and animals. The cap will prolong the life of your chimney liner overall by protecting it completely. Whether your liner is a clay tile, stainless steel, or another type of liner, the cap will protect it year-round.
7. Caps Can Double as Dampers
If you choose a top mount damper, it can double as a cap, closing the system from the top-down with an airtight seal. This type of cap/damper mechanism saves our customers money, provides 100 percent protection, and is long-lasting.
The chimney cap is a vital part of the chimney system that has multiple jobs. The chimney cap is often overlooked, but when it’s gone it’s missed.
The Chimney Cap Keeps Weather Out
The chimney cap is placed at the flue opening. It prevents water from rain, snow, or hail from entering the flue. When the cap is missing, the water drops right into the flue’s opening and can cause water damage throughout the entire system in just a short time.
The Chimney Cap Keeps Wildlife Out
At various times throughout the year, animals seek shelter in chimney flues because they are warm and dry. These animals can bring debris with them. Even scratching the liner, damaging the masonry, blocking airflow, and can suffocate and die resulting in foul odors. A missing chimney cap can also allow sticks and leaves to fall into the flue during fall weather.
The Chimney Cap Keeps the Fire In
At times an unruly flame can throw sparks up the chimney along with the smoke and vapors naturally produced by the fire. If sparks are allowed to escape the flue opening, a fire can result when leaves and debris on the roof are ignited. Sparks have even been known to ignite dry grasses on the ground around the home.
Diagnosing a Chimney Cap Problem
The chimney cap is one component of the chimney system that can be visually inspected quite easily. Assessing your chimney system monthly, year-round, you will notice quickly if something has changed with your chimney cap. If it is turned, shifted, crooked, or missing it should be replaced as soon as possible. Do you have sudden downdrafts that push smoke into your living space? You should take a look at your chimney cap. The cap and screening is designed in a way to allow vapors to vent properly while preventing down drafts from blowing down your chimney. Downdrafts can decrease efficiency substantially and make it difficult to heat or cool your home and keep a fire going.
The most thorough assessment you can do for your chimney? Having a CSIA inspection! This is when a certified chimney sweep inspects your chimney from top to bottom. When you schedule an inspection your technician will notice right away if there’s a problem with your chimney cap. Not only will he point it out in the report, but will check thoroughly for damage caused by the missing cap.
Give Us A Call
Hudson Chimney not only replaces standard chimney caps, but we also specialize in custom chimney caps for our customers that prefer a personalized color or shape. Our chimney experts use stainless steel or galvanized metal to create caps that are both beautiful and functional. Call a Hudson Chimney expert today and get started with your chimney cap assessment and repair!
One of the most important components of a chimney, the damper lets the byproducts of combustion escape from the fireplace into the chimney and seals out the outside air when the fireplace is not in use. Unfortunately, the traditional throat dampers found in most masonry chimneys are not very efficient as they do not form a complete seal when closed. An old damper can cost you a lot of money on both heating and cooling bills because the air from inside your home can leak through to the chimney. If your damper is old, you may want to replace it with a new top-sealing damper. At Hudson Chimney, we are proud to sell two of the most popular top-sealing dampers, the Energy Top and the Energy Top Plus from U.S. Fireplace Products. We would like to tell you a bit about these top-sealing dampers.
Courtesy of Jerry Isenhour
Top-sealing dampers serve more than one purpose.
One of Hudson Chimney’s favorite benefits of this type of damper is that it can also be a chimney cap. When the Energy Top damper is closed, it does the same job of a chimney cap. For even better protection, the Energy Top Plus damper is equipped with a stainless steel chimney cap that allows it to serve as a cap even when the damper is open. The cap has wire mesh sides that will keep out birds and animals out of your chimney at all times. This is important because this kind of damper stays open when in the default mode for maximum safety. If the damper were closed when you lit a fire, your home would be filled with smoke and carbon monoxide.
Top-sealing dampers are easy to use and economical.
Both the Energy Top and the Energy Top Plus dampers have an easily accessible handle that makes it simple to open and close the damper. This handle is mounted inside the fireplace. We also like that the price for these dampers is very economical can can fit just about any budget
Top-sealing dampers provide a better seal.
These dampers use a silicone rubber gasket that tightly seals off your fireplace from the chimney opening. Studies have found that heat loss from the chimney is responsible for eight percent of your heating costs. With an Energy Top or an Energy Top Plus damper, you will see at least an eight percent savings in your heating costs. You will also save when you are cooling your home as these dampers will prevent cooled air from escaping from the chimney.
If you have a traditional throat damper that has been used for years, it is time for a new damper. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to learn more about our amazing top-sealing dampers sales and installation services.
Does your chimney have a cap? A chimney cap may seem insignificant and maybe not that important, but it serves a variety of functions to protect your chimney and home! The Chimney Safety Institute of America suggests that all chimneys have caps as a preventative measure against damage and for safety reasons. If you do not have a chimney cap or your chimney cap needs to be replaced, it is important that you call Hudson Chimney as soon as possible to install a cap in order to prevent the damages associated with not owning one.
There are many reasons why it is important to keep your chimney capped. A chimney cap stops rain from getting into your chimney, preventing water damage to both your chimney and your home. Water damage can cost you a lot of money in repairs as well as destroy your chimney if not confronted quickly. While a chimney cap is important to preventing water from entering your chimney, water damage can also be prevented by having the professionals at Hudson Chimney apply a sealant to the exterior of your chimney.
A chimney cap also keeps animals out of your chimney, which can create noise, smells, and provide them an entrance into your home. Chimney caps prevent environmental debris, such as sticks and leaves, from entering your chimney as well, which can cause dangerous chimney fires. Having debris or animals in your chimney can also block smoke and fumes from efficiently leaving your chimney, which will lead to improper ventilation that will not allow dangerous fumes to exit your home. Because they prevent things from entering and blocking your chimney, chimney caps ensure that your chimney’s air flow runs efficiently. Chimney caps also help to eliminate downdrafts, which blow cold air as well as fumes from your fire back into your home. A chimney cap also protects your chimney liner and prevents sparks from flying out of your chimney and lighting things on fire.
If you are looking for a sturdy and durable chimney cap that doesn’t rust, Hudson Chimney can install a stainless steel cap for you. However, you also have the options of having a copper, galvanized, or aluminum cap installed. Consult with an expert at Hudson Chimney to determine the best cap for your chimney. No matter your choice, chimney caps are one of the least expensive chimney repairs that can be made as well as one of the simplest. Therefore, it makes financial sense to have a chimney cap installed rather than waiting for damages to occur that will cost you more!
So if you don’t have a chimney cap or if your chimney cap needs to be replaced, give Hudson Chimney a call as soon as possible. The professionals there will be sure that you have a cap installed that will protect your chimney and home.