As the chill of fall sets in, one of the first things you'll probably want to do is light a fire in the wood stove or fireplace. Especially if this is your first year in a home with one of these features, that chill in the air is likely tempting. However, if you're new to having a chimney, you may not understand the importance of having a chimney cap put on. Here are a few reasons why you should ask your chimney cleaner to install a cap as well as some tips to help you choose the right one.
Reasons to Cap Your Chimney
Although there are many different reasons to cap a chimney, there are a couple that are often more common than others.
- Weather Protection - Chimney caps provide a barrier that protects your home from the weather. An uncapped chimney usually has an open space that's pretty significant in size. That's open space for rain, strong winds and other serious weather issues to seep their way into your home. When you have the chimney capped, that blocks the top of the chimney so that there's no risk of weather getting through.
- Blocking Animals - Chimneys are a common refuge for small critters like raccoons and squirrels. That makes your home vulnerable to a potential intrusion if the rodent makes its way down the chimney. In addition, birds have often been known to build nests on the top of a chimney in search of a quiet space and some shelter. This can pose a fire hazard in your chimney which can put your home at risk.
Choosing a Cap for Your Chimney
There are many different types of chimney caps to choose from, and while even a basic style will allow you to block weather and critters from the chimney, you may want to consider something a bit more extensive. Look for a model that has a wind-resistant feature if you live in an area where high winds are a severe concern. The wind resistant features will help prevent downdrafts in the chimney. In addition, you can find models with stronger screens if you have concerns about larger rodents and other animals around your property.
You'll also want to think about the material that the chimney cap is made from. Galvanized steel can be susceptible to peeling and rust damage, though stainless steel is not. Depending on the type of climate you live in, you might find that stainless steel is a better investment.
Now that you can understand the reasons for a chimney cap and some of the features to consider, you'll be in a better position to approach the issue with your chimney cleaner the next time they arrive. Contact a business, such as The Chimney Medic for more information.