5 reasons to install a chimney cap

A chimney cap is important to your chimney’s integrity. If your chimney is without a cap, consider having one installed. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Dan W.)

A chimney cap is important to your chimney’s integrity. If your chimney is without a cap, consider having one installed. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Dan W.)

While you may not be intimately familiar with the anatomy of your home’s fireplace or chimney features, a chimney cap plays an important role in your home’s chimney system. Here are five reasons every chimney needs have a working chimney cap.

1. Keep moisture out – A chimney cap will keep rain water from coming down your home’s chimney. Rain water can damage chimneys with stainless steel liners, chimney dampers and chimney mortar joints. Beyond the damage from the water itself, moisture from rain water can produce mold and mildew.

2. Keep out animal invaders – Animals like birds, raccoons and squirrels often try to make their homes within chimneys. In many cases, these animals will enter the chimney but won’t be able to exit, eventually dying. This can produce maggots, flies and unpleasant odors in your home. A professionally installed chimney cap sized properly will prevent animals from entering the chimney.

3. Prevent wind-induced downdrafts – If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, it can introduce a downdraft. If you don’t have a chimney cap and  you’re using a wood-burning fireplace at the time, a wind-induced downdraft has the potential of blowing smoke back into your home. The flat-shaped top of a chimney cap is designed to help prevent wind-induced downdrafts.

4. Prevent sparks and embers – Some people refer to chimney caps as spark arrestors, which basically means that the chimney cap helps prevent lit embers or sparks that travel up the chimney from landing on roof, possibly catching it on fire.

5. Prevent debris build-up – Leaves, branches, twigs and other debris can enter a chimney and build up if a chimney cap is not in place.


Tim Laurenzi is the owner of North Coast Masonry, a Cleveland-based masonry and chimney repair company.

As of February 15, 2013 this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.


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