Why to use the chimney caps
Chimney caps, even though not absolutely necessary, are very much a recommended part of your chimney. They offer a couple of features you might really appreciate:
- chimney caps protect your chimney and fireplace or stove from water, without a chimney cap, if you use a straight chimney liner, you can easily experience the pleasure of a flooded living room during the first stronger rain;
- chimney caps protect your chimney from birds that very often consider a chimney the best place to build a nest (if I was a bird, I would do the same, it is a comfortable, warm place, and that view… Magnifique);
- chimney cap could be a real artwork that – if used with the right roofing shingles, gutters, downspouts, and other metallic parts of your roof – improves the overall image of your house.
Nowadays, it is easy to find chimney caps of any shape (there are even chimney cap designers, that will produce the cap based on your own design), made of any material (when choosing the chimney cap material you should prefer the same materials as when buying the gutters – copper chimney cap or zinc-titanium cap is better than the cheap zinc-coated (galvanized) steel cap, as they don´t rust, you won´t need to take any special care of them, etc…) and of any color (prefer the protective colors).
Combining the chimneys and caps from different producers
If you are buying the whole chimney system, you should buy the chimney cap as well, as it was designed for your type of chimney and serves it best.
You can, of course, buy the cap from another producer, but there´s a little higher risk that the chimney cap will be blown off your roof by the wind. Although there are companies providing chimney cap repair it usually costs the same as the new cap – if the cap falls down from 30 ft (usually it´s seriously damaged). You can try to repair it yourself, with the hammer and pair of tongs but unless you are very handy, you will just create a non-functioning piece of crap.
Reverse chimney draft and the vacuum chimney caps
If you have an open fireplace at home, at the time it is not used you might notice the so-called “reverse draft” when your chimney sucks the air from its top opening (from the roof) and exhales it in the room where the fireplace is installed. As the reverse draft brings also all the smells and exhalations from the inner part of the chimney, your starts to smell (smoke, carbon) and your floor around the fireplace is always dirty. To avoid the reverse sucking of the chimney you should consider the vacuum chimney cap installation. The draft improving vacuum chimney caps reliably stop the back sucking of your chimney.