We believe traditional masonry chimneys should have chimney caps. Chimney caps are also called rain caps or spark arrestors. They serve a variety of purposes. Even though we are not troubled by, unfortunately, by lots of rain, rainwater can cause a lot of damage to insides of fireplace and flue. If no rain cap present in a wood burning fireplace, rain water can mix with the creosote and ash in flue, making a caustic slurry that leaches the lime out of mortar turning the mortar to sand. This creates damage to the flue tile joints and firebox that can be expensive to repair.
The spark arrestor, breaks up any chunks of burning material, that may come out of chimney, into smaller pieces that are less likely to become airborne and land on something combustible, like a roof, neighbors house or into vegetation.
The chimney cap, also, keeps small animals from getting into chimney. We get lots of calls to get birds, raccoons, cats and other pests out of chimney.
Further, a top mounted damper can often be put inside of a chimney cap. These are a marvelous invention. The damper is a spring loaded metal plate, operated by a cable handle from inside firebox. They do a fantastic job of closing off the chimney. They practically eliminate cold air downdrafts when closed.
And we install these to keeps bees from nesting. Once bees pick a chimney to hive in, they leave a scent that, even after bees are removed, the scent can beckon bees to return to try to hive again. The top damper provides a seal tight enough to keep bees out.
These chimney caps come in black galvanized, stainless steel and copper. For homes near the ocean, it’s recommended that stainless or copper be utilized. The stainless and copper have lifetime warranties.