Is Your Chimney Cap Working?

by | Oct 13, 2016 | Chimney Maintenance

Functioning Chimney Cap Image - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack The chimney cap is one of many parts of the chimney that work together to keep your fireplace or furnace working safely and efficiently. The chimney cap is essentially the top of the chimney. Some call it a rain cover because it is the barrier between the weather outside and your chimney flue. The chimney cap is effective at keeping weather and wildlife out, while still letting smoke and vapors escape as they should.

Many “old timers” may not see the importance of a chimney cap, but there’s really no reason not to have one topping your chimney. They are a very inexpensive way to prevent a great deal of damage.

The smallest amount of water can cause damage that allows more water, and more damage into your masonry. Water wreaks havoc on a masonry chimney because all of the materials used to construct masonry are adversely affected by moisture. The worse thing for your chimney is the freeze/thaw cycle, which can be dangerous to the chimney with even a small amount of water.

Signs of a Missing Chimney Cap

When your chimney cap or any other part of your chimney is missing or damaged you will notice. First damage occurs, and then efficiency goes down, or the other way around. It’s important to know the signs before any serious damage or loss of life occurs.

  1. Dripping in the chimney is the most obvious sign of a faulty chimney cap.
  2. Stains on ceilings and walls near the chimney indicate a leaky chimney.
  3. Evidence of animals in the chimney flue including chirping, nesting materials, and foul odors are earmarks of animals nesting or trapped in the chimney flue.
  4. Sparks visible from the top of the chimney mean the chimney cap isn’t doing it’s job and keeping the sparks contained in the chimney flue.
  5. Outside debris in the chimney is caused from the chimney cap allowing outside materials into the top of the chimney flue.

All of these signs indicate a problem with the chimney cap. While a faulty chimney cap certainly won’t keep your fire from burning, it will cause a problem with updraft, possible obstruction, and bring down the efficiency of the whole system.

Call a Certified Chimney Professional

If your chimney system indicates a leak, minor or major, or has a decline in efficiency, you should discontinue use as soon as possible and contact a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS). Only a certified chimney sweep can assess the damage, identify the source of the problem, and formulate a repair plan swiftly. The faulty chimney cap may be a theory in your mind as the homeowner, but a professional has the training and expertise to make certain it’s in working order whether it means repairing, replacing, or installing a chimney cap.

Let Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service assess your chimney system today. Call us at 919-747-1859 and schedule an appointment today!

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