Although small and relatively inexpensive, chimney caps are an indispensable chimney accessory that can save you time, money, and stress down the road. Chimney caps are usually metal mesh covers that surround your chimney flue and work as a protective safety device.
What Are the Benefits of Chimney Caps?
Chimney caps can defend your chimney from destructive weather, including rain water (which can damage your liners, saturate your mortar joints, and produce mold) and wind (which can induce downdrafts that blow smoke back down into your home).
In addition to protecting your chimney from the elements, chimney caps also work to keep critters out of your flue. If a bird or animal manages to make its way into your chimney and becomes stuck, the body’s decomposition can encourage maggots, flies, and an undesirable stench to invade your home.
Chimney caps can also work as a barrier against lit embers that travel up your chimney, preventing them from landing on your roof and starting a fire. Finally, chimney caps keep out leaves, branches, twigs, and other natural debris from blocking your flue.
What Are Chimney Caps Made Of?
Although most chimney caps are similar in function and basic design, materials can vary.
Galvanized steel is the least expensive material used for chimney caps, but it is also the least durable. Galvanized steel will last approximately five years and is prone to corrosion and rust.
Although aluminum chimney caps are affordable and resistant to corrosion, they are less durable and sturdy than other chimney cap materials. Aluminum is light in weight, which means it is easier to bend and break during high winds or poor weather.
Copper chimney caps have a classic, stylish look and are extremely durable. Their stability, durability, and resistance to corrosion make them an excellent investment. Copper caps do require more regular maintenance to keep them from turning green and dulling.
Widely considered the best type of chimney cap material, stainless steel chimney caps balance cost and performance. Although stainless steel caps are more expensive than aluminum or galvanized steel, they are more durable and require very little maintenance.
What Are the Different Types of Chimney Caps?
In addition to material options, chimney caps also come in a variety of categories depending on your chimney’s needs.
Shelter Chimney Caps
Shelter chimney caps are a basic rectangular or square chimney cap that attaches onto the flue and protects the entire top of the chimney. For best results, shelter chimney caps can be custom-made to fit the exact integrity of your chimney.
Single-Flue/Single-Wall Chimney Caps
Single-flue chimney caps (sometimes referred to as single-wall chimney caps) are the typical category of caps for your average chimney. These caps attach with clamps, screws, legs, or brackets to fit the size of the flue externally.
Wind-Directional Chimney Caps
Designed to utilize wind to create stronger and directed updrafts, wind-directional chimney caps (sometimes referred to as draft-increasing chimney caps) force smoke upwards and out of the top of your chimney. These caps can assist with draft-heavy fireplaces and are commonly used for factory-built metal chimneys.
Wind-Resistant (High-Wind) Chimney Caps
Wind-resistant chimney caps (sometimes referred to as high-wind chimney caps), are designed for protection from wind-induced downdrafts, keeping them to a minimum by eliminating any path for outside air to flow down the chimney.
Hurricane/Storm Chimney Caps
Instead of an open metal mesh exterior, hurricane or storm chimney caps are designed with a layer of solid walls separated with space for airflow to increase insulation. The lack of mesh makes them more resistant to very high winds and less likely to get natural debris caught in them, while still providing optimal airflow.
Do you have questions about how to choose the perfect chimney cap for your home? Contact us today to set up a consultation.
Chimcare Chimney Caps provides the highest-quality chimney caps, fireplace dampers, rooftop dampers, and chase covers anywhere in the U.S. — all complete with a lifetime warranty. If you are a customer currently living in the Pacific Northwest, we will even conveniently deliver and install your new chimney cap at an affordable cost. Call or email us today!