Why Chimney Cap Maintenance is Important
A chimney cap is a relatively inexpensive accessory that should top every chimney. The benefits offered by a chimney cap are literally too important to be without. What many homeowners don’t realize is that, for proper chimney function, maintenance of chimney caps is also essential.
Top Benefits of a Chimney Cap
Keeps Critters Out. There are many different types of chimney caps, but every chimney should have one that is complete with a wire mesh screen. The screens serve a couple of important functions, and one is to keep animals out of the chimney. Various animals are known to gravitate to chimneys as a way of keeping warm during winter, such as raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and birds.
It can be difficult to deal with wild animals in your chimney, since they can be diseased and can die in your chimney, causing a horrible rotting odor to permeate your home. We recommend calling our experienced chimney professionals for animal removal.
There is a federally protected bird called a chimney swift that seeks out chimneys to build their nests in. If these birds nest in your chimney, it is against the law to remove them. You simply have to wait until springtime, when the baby birds are able to fly away and join in migration. There are at least a couple of weeks that get very noisy! The way to avoid dealing with chimney swifts it to prevent their making a home in your chimney in the first place, which is what a chimney cap with a mesh screen will accomplish.
Blocks Hot Embers. The second reason to get a mesh screen is that the screen serves as a spark arrester. It is not unusual for hot embers and sparks to exit through the chimney; and they can start a fire, whether on the roof or on other nearby combustible materials. With a chimney cap and screen, hot sparks are prevented from exiting the chimney.
Keep Moisture Out. Without a chimney cap, rain can easily enter your home through your chimney. Moisture is actually the single greatest cause of damage to chimneys. A chimney cap can be installed directly over the entire chimney crown or over the top of the flue, providing effective protection against moisture.
A Clogged Chimney Cap
Maintenance of chimney caps is important because the screens can become clogged. The most common culprit is creosote. You can help reduce the amount of creosote that sticks to the inside of your chimney lining and clogs up your chimney cap by burning seasoned firewood and avoiding smoldering, smoky fires. Green firewood is the worst type you can burn because a lot of pollution is created as well as an excessive amount of combustion by-products that stick to the chimney lining.
In windy or stormy weather, other debris can clog your chimney cap, such as leaves and trash. When the mesh screen becomes clogged, the chimney can’t operate properly. The draft of the chimney is obstructed, which can make the fire difficult to start and cause smoke to enter the room. Even worse, chimney obstructions can cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to enter your home.
Chimney Cap Screen Cleaning
The screen size on your wire mesh can determine how easily your chimney cap becomes clogged. The gaps in the mesh are sometimes very small and far more prone to creating problems.
It’s best not to wait and see whether the chimney cap screen is clogged. Schedule regular maintenance with our chimney professionals. Our chimney sweeps will prevent your having to climb on the roof, can determine how much creosote is in your chimney flue, and will give your chimney cap screen a good cleaning.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004