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When to Replace Your Chimney Cap

Mable Chimney Edit

Time is essential when it comes to replacing your chimney cap.

The chimney cap is one of the most fundamental parts of your chimney, and it must remain in good shape. Without a chimney cap, the open flue and crown of the structure won’t be adequately protected.

There are two primary types of chimney caps, typically depending upon the age of your home. The chimney caps on older homes often come in an open style and are constructed of leftover mortar and cement. These materials are from when the chimney was initially built. These caps are sloped, allowing them to push snow and water away from the chimney. However, the flue remains exposed.

A more modern chimney cap, on the other hand, comes with a metal mesh screen, which protects the flue opening. These caps are better at protecting homes from pests, animals, and debris. The flue is obstructed, but fumes and smoke are still able to vent.

Regardless of which kind of chimney cap you have, you will eventually need to replace it.

You likely need to replace your chimney cap if:

Debris and water are accumulating in the firebox

Allowing water to build up or leak into your chimney is one of the fastest ways to cause severe damage—whether it’s to your chimney or fireplace, or other areas of your home. In addition, water can soften the chimney’s masonry, which can make it far more susceptible to damage. Ultimately, this results in the need for expensive repairs.

Not only that, but if debris and water are getting into your fireplace, this can cause fumes and smoke to enter your home.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, make sure to have your chimney inspected as soon as possible. Sometimes, your chimney cap will be the culprit. If this is the case, the cap will need to be replaced.

Your cap was blown off by wind or weather

No matter how tightly secured your chimney cap is, exposure to harsh weather conditions (such as powerful winds) can loosen it over time. Eventually, this can lead to your cap being blown off the chimney crown. If your cap wasn’t installed correctly, this scenario is even more likely to occur. For instance, a cap that’s the incorrect size is far more likely to blow off when faced with rain or strong winds.

There is a large amount of rust

Take a look at your chimney cap, and see if you notice a significant amount of rust. If your cap has started to corrode or rust, it will need to be replaced.

If your cap is rusted, then it won’t be nearly as effective as a chimney cap that’s in good shape. This can even result in the cap being ripped apart if it becomes too heavily rusted. If the mesh is weakened in this way, it’s also possible for small animals to get inside and obstruct your chimney’s flue.

You’ve noticed downdrafts

Downdrafts can blow creosote, soot, and ash into your living space. Typically, these downdrafts occur when there is damage to your chimney cap, or your cap is missing altogether. Make sure to replace your cap as soon as possible to stop this inconvenient (and often messy) issue in its tracks.

Contact Able Roof

In need of a new chimney cap in Central Ohio? It’s time to enlist the services of Able Roof. We even offer free estimates through our website.