One of your chimney’s most important components sits at the very top of your flue. Because of its sky-high location, your chimney cap is often out of sight and out of mind. But if your chimney cap has suffered any damage, your chimney could be susceptible to damage from water or debris. That’s why it’s important to check your chimney cap!
If you’re lucky, you might be able to check your chimney cap from the ground level or from a window that overlooks your chimney. If not, checking your chimney could take a visit to your rooftop. When you do check your chimney cap, here is what you should be looking for:
Check that your chimney cap is there.
First and foremost, check to make sure your chimney has a cap! Occasionally, chimneys are without caps altogether. This is either as an oversight by the homeowner or chimney installer, or because the chimney cap has been blown away. Without a chimney cap, water can go flowing down your chimney’s flue.
Make sure your chimney cap is in place.
Heavy winds and errant tree branches can knock your chimney cap off out of line. A tilted chimney cap can fail to protect your chimney adequately from water intrusion. Make sure that your chimney cap is standing up straight and fully covering the opening of your chimney flue.
Look for debris.
Debris, either blown in by the wind or brought in by animals or birds, can collect underneath your chimney cap. This will block the opening of your chimney flue. This damages your chimney and prevents hot air and smoke from escaping your chimney and home. Make sure you are checking your chimney cap regularly to make sure it stays clear of debris.
Watch for rust and cracks.
Chimney caps can break down over time. This is especially true if the chimney cap is a cheap, builder-grade cap. When you check on your chimney cap, watch for damaging rust or developing cracks and coals, which could allow water to seep through the chimney cap and down the chimney flue.
Be sure your chimney cap has screening.
All good chimney caps should attach to your chimney with a surround of wire screening. That screening can prevent animals, birds and debris from entering your chimney, and it can keep sparks from leaping out the top of your chimney and endangering your rooftop and other nearby buildings.
Keep branches away.
If you have trees around your home, branches can grow out over your rooftop and over your chimney. In a heavy windstorm, or when stressed by heavy snows, those tree limbs can break free and damage the chimney, your roof or your chimney cap. When you examine your chimney cap, look for any overhanging branches that could pose a danger. If branches are dangling over your chimney cap, they should be cleared away.
If you notice a problem with your chimney cap, call Environmental Chimney Service today! We can install a new chimney cap securely to keep your chimney safe from water damage, animals and debris.