One common area of the house that often gets neglected and overlooked during repair season is the roof. Out of sight is out of mind, or so it seems to be for many homeowners, often causing serious damage and concern later on. We believe it’s advisable to inspect your roof regularly, and hire a professional chimney sweep at least once a year, to take a look at the state of your chimney. Ideally, do this at the beginning of the cold season, before you need to start fires again in your fireplace, to make sure there aren’t any risks to that.
You’ll be surprised to find how many people overlook the need of a chimney cap, and even fail to have one installed altogether, as it “doesn’t seem necessary”. In truth, a chimney cap essentially serves as a gate between the outside world and the vulnerable insides of your chimney.
- Preventing wildlife from entering the chimney. Wildlife in the chimney is dangerous, as it can also mean wildlife inside the home. Not only that, but wildlife and their nests can also act as kindling inside the chimney, which increases the risk of a full-blown fire.
- Prevents water from accumulating. It’s natural for some water to get inside your home during storms and such. But at what point does it get to be too much? An overaccumulation of water inside the chimney can weaken its overall structure and once again create the risk of fire.
- Prevents other natural debris from getting inside. Like the wildlife nests we mentioned, natural debris can also act as kindling once you start setting fires inside the fireplace.
So getting a chimney cap installed is an important, necessary step for the safety and general wellbeing of your home, by all accounts. If you’re worried about not knowing what type of chimney cap is for you, don’t be! Simply reach at mastercaps.com for custom chimney caps that are designed specifically for the needs of your home.
If you already own a chimney cap, and are unsure whether or not it’s time for a replacement, here are four ways you can tell!
1. Your cap’s beginning to rust.
During your roof inspection (which, again, you should be doing at least a couple times a year, for improved safety), take a look at your chimney cap. This will naturally begin to be worn down by the passage of time and exposure to the elements. So if you’re detecting a lot of rust on or around your chimney cap, it may be a sign that it’s time to change it.
A rusted chimney cap won’t be nearly as efficient as a brand new one, and may allow water and debris to get into your chimney. Unfortunately, sometimes, an inefficient chimney cap might be worse than no chimney cap, at all.
2. Examine your firebox.
If you’re noticing an accumulation of water and other natural debris inside the firebox, then once again, it might be time to get your chimney cap replaced. Unfortunately, one of the fastest ways to ensure serious damage to the home is to ignore this kind of accumulation.
Water inside the chimney can damage the masonry and overall structure of the chimney, and end up needing expensive repairs. Debris build-up can, similarly, increase the risk of dire, and cause dangerous fumes to enter the home.
3. There are downdrafts.
If you’ve been noticing heavy downdrafts, then it might be a sign your chimney cap is damaged (or that it may even be missing) downdrafts are basically when creosote and soot enter the home through the fireplace. Not only is this unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous, since these materials can lead to an extended fire.
4. The cap was blown off.
Hey, it happens. During extreme weather, strong wind, or storms, it’s not unusual for chimney caps to get blown off entirely, without the homeowner even being aware. If you discover that to be the case, we recommend replacing the chimney cap immediately, so as not to leave your chimney exposed and vulnerable.