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House Needs Chimney Repointing or Capping-Guidelines

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Chimney caps are a necessary component of any fireplace. They are installed on the top of the chimney to keep animals and debris out of the chimney and clogging the fireplace flue. There is a chance that squirrels and birds will get into the chimney and clog the flue if they are not installed. Worst case scenario, they get trapped in the flue and die, creating a foul odour in the home. Check Signs Your House Needs Chimney Repointing or Capping.

Metal chimney caps and masonry chimney caps are two distinct types of chimney caps. For a metal chimney, having a cap in place is much more advantageous than it is for a masonry or brick chimney.

Chimney made of metal

Metal chimneys are also used for wood stoves or fireplaces that are not built into the wall. These types of chimneys are almost always required to be capped. The metal chimney is usually a metal tube protruding from the roof; in this case, the cap serves two purposes: it keeps animals and debris out, but it also keeps downdrafts and rain out. Metal caps are often used in this situation, and they are usually round and snug fitting. Animals are discouraged from attempting to tear through the chimney caps in order to gain access to the warmth underneath because of the form.

On metal chimneys, there are no real drawbacks to using chimney caps.

Chimneys made of bricks or masonry

Chimney caps may be used on masonry or brick chimneys, but they are not needed. They can provide the same types of security as a metal chimney, but there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Soot accumulation that lodges in the cap and runs down the side of the chimney will discolour the cap over time, discolouring the chimney. Since the cap is typically larger than the one used for a metal chimney, you run the risk of the cap being clogged as well.

On masonry chimneys, the chimney caps typically have screens around the cap that accumulate a reasonable amount of debris, which can become a hindrance over time rather than a support. Much of the time, they hold the elements out, but they have been known to accumulate ice and snow. They also have a proclivity to blow away in strong winds. There are several newer design solutions that are intended to avoid this, but they are not yet perfected. Chimney caps can be extremely useful, and as long as you are aware of the drawbacks, you can buy one without hesitation.

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