Chimney Caps — Your Chimney Flue’s Only Protection Against Leaks, Squirrels & Birds

If you’ve ever had to reline or repair your chimney flue, you know how important this area of the system is and how costly damage can be to repair.

Even though I am fully capable of repairing and relining chimney flues, as chimney professionals, I know that prevention is the best thing. After all, it’s much more cost effective to keep water from entering the chimney flue than it is to deal with the aftermath. And the reality is: prevention doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

By doing a few small, simple things, you can greatly reduce your chance of experiencing a chimney leak or a bird or animal problem. It all starts with a high-quality, professionally fitted and installed chimney cap.

What Are Chimney Caps For?

Chimney caps are designed to fit over top of the chimney flue pipe or top flue tile, and to keep this vulnerable area protected against rain and other possible intruders. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and their main function is to:

#1 Prevent squirrels, birds, and other small critters from coming down into the chimney flue.

You’d be surprised how many birds and animals attempt to nest in chimneys that don’t have caps. They can’t always find their way out (especially the babies), and many often end up coming down into the fireplace looking for a way out or dying in the chimney. That’s obviously not something you want  — for yourself or for the animals.

Chimney tenants can also be destructive and noisy, and can bring parasites and mites into the chimney, posing a heath risk. Of course, nesting materials are highly flammable and could block the chimney or cause a chimney fire when you go to light up your fireplace as well.

All of this can be completely avoided by investing in a durable chimney cap. Many feature screens and animal guards designed to keep even the smallest critters out.

#2 Keep rain, snow, sleet, and ice out of the chimney flue. 

You likely already know: water is your chimneys biggest enemy. But chimney caps or rain caps can keep your flue protected. These caps feature covers which shield the flue against falling rain, snow, sleet, hail, and ice. Simply installing a rain cap can significantly prolong the service life of your chimney flue and prevent water damage. It’s well worth the investment!

#3 Prevent sparks from igniting nearby landscaping or roofing.

Red hot sparks and ash can be carried up through the chimney with the smoke, and if these were to make it out of the chimney, they could cause a fire somewhere outside. By investing in a spark arrestor chimney cap, you can be confident that sparks will be prevented from landing on your roof, trees, or anywhere else on your property where they might cause a fire.

Do You Need A Chimney Cap?

Every chimney needs a cap, regardless of whether it’s a masonry chimney or a prefab chimney. But not every chimney has one. How can you tell if you need a chimney cap?

The easiest thing to do is to head outside and look at your chimney. Even if you can’t get up on the roof, you should be able to detect a few things, even from the ground:

  1. Do you have a cap? If you see the flue tile or chimney pipe sticking up out of your chimney stack and there’s nothing covering it, you don’t have a chimney cap.
  2. Is your cap rusty and corroded? Rust stains and streaks on the sides of your chimney or down on your crown or chase cover typically indicate a rusted out chimney cap.

You can also take a look inside of your fireplace. Look for rust stains, pooling water, flaking flue tiles, or any other signs of water damage or moisture presence.

And if you’d rather not spend your time investigating, you can always call Armour Chimney Service and schedule an inspection. As a certified and experienced sweep, I am thorough, knowledgeable, and trained to inspect chimneys from top to bottom. If you don’t have a chimney cap, or if your chimney cap is in bad shape, it can be replaced with an Olympia stainless steel or copper cap that’s perfectly fitted to your chimney flue.

I have assorted style caps, flue extending caps, animal guard caps, single flue caps, top mount/multi-flue caps, rain caps, spark arrestor caps, draft enhancing caps, wind reducing caps, and just about any other specialty cap you could ever want or need.

Are Stainless Steel Or Copper Caps Worth The Extra Money?

While it’s true stainless steel and copper are more expensive than aluminum caps, they’re the only caps I install. Why is that? Because I want to offer my customers the best solutions — solutions that last and that are worth investing in.

With an aluminum cap, you’ll simply have more problems in a few years. What’s the point in spending money on a replacement part that will only need to be replaced? It’s better to go with stainless steel or copper.

And the good news is: you won’t have to worry about your new cap rusting or letting water in. Both stainless steel and copper caps are rust-resistant and designed to last a lifetime.

Ready For A New Cap? Prompt, Professional Service Is My Specialty

Do you need to have your chimney cap replaced or inspected? Let a CSIA and NFI-certified Master Hearth Professional take care of it for you. I pride myself on providing clean, professional, effective service and on being on time, every time. Like your neighbors in Coeur d’Alene, you can rely on Armour Chimney Service for a job well done. Call 208-550-8474 or request an appointment online today.


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