5 Reasons Your Chimney Cap Needs to be Repaired
Like the star at the top of a Christmas tree, a chimney cap serves more than just an aesthetic purpose. They should be treated like the vital organs of a chimney and replaced as they wear out. Unfortunately, detecting a problem with the chimney cap may not always be easy. After all, it’s a long way off, and the top of your roof is where you can see the most.
Lost chimney caps are a common thing. Chimney caps are often lost during storms because they are easily torn off or knocked off by flying debris. After a storm, especially one with damaging winds, it’s important that you check the outside of your home. Among the places to search for signs of damage is the roof.
Getting chimney caps in various styles, sizes, and materials is possible. Just picking the proper one might be a hassle sometimes. Metallic materials, including copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel, are used for their construction. Regardless of the sort of chimney cap you have, it should be checked often and replaced as needed.
You should replace your chimney cap if you notice any of the following:
Debris Accumulating in Firebox
Allowing water to accumulate or seep into your chimney is one of the primary ways to cause extensive damage to your chimney, fireplace, and other parts of your house. Additionally, water may weaken the chimney’s brickwork, making it significantly more prone to damage. In addition, if trash and water are seeping into your fireplace, gases and smoke might enter your house.
You may use a wire brush to clean the mesh screen in your chimney cap if you can access it safely. However, call professional chimney sweeps if you can’t reach your chimney safely or want a thorough cleaning.
If you experience serious difficulties, you should get your chimney inspected immediately. Sometimes the problem is the damaged chimney cap. Consequently, the cap will need to be replaced.
Your chimney is probably rusting due to prolonged exposure to moisture, old age, and lack of maintenance. Rusting occurs when ferrous metals are in prolonged contact with oxygen and moisture. Most fireplace systems include a cap, damper, chase cover, flashing, and flue liner.
And often, these components are composed of ferrous metals (steel or iron).
Rust in the firebox is conclusive evidence that your fireplace system is unsafe. The debris is flowing back from the chimney cap, or even worse, the flue liner, and accumulating in the firebox. Liners protect your house from harmful gases and extreme temperatures. Any harm to them poses a grave threat to your family and house.
It is recommended to use copper chimney caps as they are durable and resistant to rust. Although, they require regular maintenance to prevent them from turning dull and green.
Leading fire safety specialists agree that rust spots on the chimney stack may be avoided with regular inspections. In certain cases, a chimney cap’s corrosion and decay may be repaired rather than replaced.
The downdraft in a chimney is when smoke no longer climbs up the chimney as it should. This generates a backdraft of smoke into your living room, which fills the home with black smoke. Occasionally, backdraft is mistaken for a draughty fireplace, which occurs when chilly air goes down your chimney and into your house.
On draft-enhancing chimney caps (those with turbines), it is quite simple for the turbines to get obstructed and cease rotating. If so, the best option is to replace the chimney cover. The turbines may be tough to clean and get more clogged with time. If the mesh on the cap is badly blocked or detaches from the remainder of the cap, the cap should be entirely replaced.
Most chimney fires are caused by creosote accumulation or a flue block. As the heat of the fire reaches these combustible substances, the creosote or clog ignites, causing a chimney fire.
When a chimney fire occurs, the chimney cap should be replaced. Unfortunately, it will most likely be irreparably damaged and destroyed, leaving you with little alternative but to replace it.
If your chimney cap is attached to a metal chimney liner and you have a fire, you will need to repair the liner and the cap.
Cap is Damaged Due to Weather
Regardless of how securely your chimney cap is fastened, exposure to severe weather conditions (such as strong winds) might eventually loosen it. This may eventually result in your cap being blown off the chimney crown. This situation is likely to occur if your cap is not fitted properly.
For example, a cap that is the wrong size is far more likely to fly off in the rain or strong winds.
It is recommended to replace an old chimney cap with a wind-resistant cap if you live in a windy area. It generates a partial vacuum, which pulls flue gases up the chimney and prevents downdraft and the discharge of smoke and gases into the dwelling. An adapter is required to install it.
Also, hurricane and storm chimney caps are available, with two layers of solid walls that have space for airflow for better insulation. Their absence of mesh makes them more robust against very strong winds and less prone to trap organic material while allowing maximum ventilation.
How to Prevent Chimney Cap Damage?
The simplest approach to avoid costly repairs to the chimney cap is to have it cleaned frequently. Burning dry, seasoned wood is recommended to help minimize creosote accumulation, which is a major cause of chimney cap failure.
Chimneys that have been waterproofed often last longer and need less maintenance. However, waterproofing works best once cracks in bricks or masonry have been fixed. To get the greatest results, a sealer that is water-based and permeable to air is recommended for use on brickwork. Reapplying the sealant every 5–7 years is necessary to keep it waterproof.
Chimney caps are made to fit any shape or size of a chimney, and some models can accommodate numerous flues or a substantial section of the chimney. Although full-coverage chimney caps are more expensive, they save money in the long run by decreasing the risk of leaks and the consequent need for repairs.
Like the rest of your chimney, your chimney cap may accumulate creosote and become damaged if not inspected regularly. If creosote or other obstructions in the chimney prevent smoke from escaping, harmful gases like carbon monoxide might seep into your house. In addition, animals, wind, hail, and other elements may all cause damage to the chimney cover over time.
Replace a severely damaged chimney cap or get the damage fixed immediately to prevent further damage to your chimney. Missing tops, badly rusted screens, excessively thick creosote accumulation from lack of cleaning, or huge holes in the screen are all signs that your chimney cap needs to be replaced. A new cap is your best bet in such a situation.
It is advised to clean your chimney cap to reduce fire hazards, as the accumulated creosote can ignite sparks and embers. Chimney blockage can also prevent gasses like carbon monoxide and smoke from escaping your house.
Vertical has been in the chimney care business for over 35 years, and we have devoted our time and energy to bring safety to your home. We have spent all 35 years making sure we give our customers the best possible service. Take your chimney to a higher standard with Vertical and contact us today to get a free quote!