Wilmington Chimney Caps
Chimney caps play a major role in extending the lifespan of your chimney and can help protect it from unwanted critters. There are a number of different styles, but all provide the same valuable benefits when it comes to enhancing your chimney. On this page, we are going to explain the benefits of a chimney cap and cover some of the different styles.
A chimney cap helps prevent water and moisture from entering your chimney. This may not seem like an issue, but it can actually cause major ramifications for the structure of your chimney. Water can damage most of the materials used to build a masonry chimney. If exposed to water that then freezes and expands while in the chimney, you chimney will weaken and may need to be repaired. While stone is not really affected by water (meaning chimneys made with stone will not face the same stress from moisture), they are kept together using mortar, which means they also need to be protected from water. Water that is able to seep into your chimney can also rust or damage other parts of your home that are connected to your chimney. For example, water penetration can stain walls, ceilings, or the chimney exterior, affect the flue-lining system, or rust out fireplace accessories and damper assemblies.
Most chimney caps include some kind of mesh fencing that will prevent animals from entering the chimney from your roof. Though it may not seem like a good resting spot to you, many animals are drawn to the warmth of the chimney, especially during the colder parts of the year. They are then often trapped in the chimney, as getting out is much harder than getting in. This leaves them with two options: try to enter your home via the fireplace, or sadly die in the chimney. Neither event is good for you or your chimney. A dead animal in your fireplace will not only smell, but could block the passageway and create ventilation issues.
In addition, chimney caps prevent downdrafts of air coming down your chimney—by stopping this, you can lower your energy costs. Finally, these caps can keep sparks and embers from leaving your chimney and landing on your roof, where they can become dangerous fire starters.
Please note: Make sure your chimney cap screen is big enough that it will not get clogged, or clean it regularly. If soot or creosote begin to block it, fires in your fireplace may be unable to get the oxygen they need to light and burn properly. Similarly, leaves, snow, or other debris can have the same effect by building up around the chimney cap.