Take a look at the very top of your chimney. Typically the top is covered by a cement chimney crown with a flue venting pipe coming up in the center. Some chimneys have a flue top cap that covers the flue opening only. These are sometimes called “chimney caps”, but they really don’t cover the entire chimney – they are more aptly called a “flue top cap”. An “outside mount custom chimney cap” (shown below) covers the entire chimney including the crown. Chimney crowns will last much longer with a properly designed full width custom chimney cap. This will looks 1000% better than a small flue top cap alone, and adds an architectural element to the chimney while protecting the entire structure much better.
A flue top cap could be compared to wearing a baseball cap in a rain storm, compared to the umbrella of protection that a custom chimney cap affords. Having no flue cap cover at all is inviting damage into your chimney (and home) water leaks, debris and animals can enter your flue and leading to extensive damage.
If you don’t see any type of cap up there — an all too common occurrence — we can’t recommend enough that you have one installed by one of our CSIA-certified technicians. (Proper installation is important, too, and we have the experience to do it right. We install and repair chimney caps every day!)
While chimney leaks can be complex and originate from several sources, one of the most common sources we see is from a damaged or missing flue top cap. It makes sense: the flue cover, along with your chimney crown, is the uppermost line of defense keeping water out of your system. If there’s damage, or if the chimney cap has come off (this can happen in storms, particularly if the cap was improperly installed), your flue is being opened up to the brunt of the elements.
If you’re experiencing a leak, have an A-1 Chimney Specialist technician take a look – replacing or repairing your chimney cap might be a simple and affordable fix.
Water isn’t the only unwanted visitor trying to make its way into your chimney. Animals, from birds to squirrels and raccoons have been known to get into chimneys that don’t have caps to protect them. Birds can build nests in your flue that not only block it and limit its ability to effectively vent gases but also create a fire hazard. Certain migratory birds are protected and can’t be removed, so you end up having to wait for them to leave on their own. Animals can also bring unwanted bugs and smells into your chimney.
Then there’s debris — leaves, twigs and other bits of debris can just as easily make their way into an uncapped chimney, creating unsanitary and unsafe conditions inside your flue.
What is the best way to fight off all of those invading elements? Keep your chimney protected with an outside mount custom chimney cap that’s properly designed and professionally installed.
Flue Top Caps come in a variety of shapes, from round to rectangular, and in a variety of materials. A-1 Chimney Specialist offers a wide variety of flue covers to match your needs.
If you need to repair or replace a flue top cap, call A-1 Chimney Specialist or click here to schedule an appointment online, and have one of our CSIA-certified technicians help you find the best chimney cap for your home.
If your chimney’s damper isn’t working properly, or if your chimney doesn’t have a damper, we can guarantee your fireplace system is not working efficiently. Ask us about installing a new damper or repairing your existing one and watch your utility bills go down!