Does your chimney have a cap? If you’re not sure, go look! Your chimney should have a cap mounted on top of the flue opening, and it has an important job to do. The cap keeps water and other precipitation from falling into the flue. It keeps animals from gaining access to the chimney (and your house). The cap even keeps sparks from escaping the chimney and causing dangerous fires to the roof or environment. The cap is essential, preventing water damage that can devastate your system.
When your cap is working properly, you shouldn’t notice it at all. When it has a problem, the problem can be noticeable right away (such as when an animal crawls or flies out of your fireplace), or it can take months to notice hidden damage. The most common signs your cap is a problem may be clearly visible to you if you pay attention:
- Rust stains run down from the top of your chimney exterior
- Cap is missing or crooked
- Gusts of wind affect your fire
- Cracks, gaps, and missing joints in masonry
- Debris in the firebox such as seed pods, leaves, sticks, and animal nesting materials
Why Replace the Cap
There may be a reason to replace your cap even if it isn’t damaged. At Black Moose Chimney & Stove we have requests periodically for new caps when drafts become a problem and homeowners notice they’re spending more and more money for heating and cooling. The reason is due to heated air being lost up the flue during winter and conditioned air being lost during summer, costing you dearly in utilities each year. The most common cause for drafts and wind gusts is due to a missing cap or a damaged or stuck damper. Instead of installing a new damper, you can kill two birds with one stone by choosing a top mount damper. A top mount damper works as a throat damper, but is installed at the top of the chimney, doubling as a cap. When opened, the top mount damper works as a cap, keeping animals and precipitation out, but when closed it has an airtight seal which prevents even a drop of water from entering, and no air gets out. No more will your flue be affected by summer humidity, wind, or rain. The top mount damper protects it completely from the top, down.
Top mount dampers save you so much money that they’re often called energy saving or energy top dampers. That’s because traditional open fireplaces can lose up to 75 percent of the heat up the flue if dampers or caps are not of the best quality and installation.
Schedule your chimney cap repair or new installation today with Black Moose Chimney & Stove. We are trained and experienced in diagnostics and installations, and can repair or replace your traditional cap, your top mount damper, or even your throat damper.
Call 603-525-7905 or request an appointment online today.