Everything You Need to Know About Chimney Caps

Everything You Need to Know About Chimney Caps

To help turn your house into something amazing, or to protect the value of your home. To add a little flair to a dull feature of your property, or to make a dramatic statement of style and fashion. To keep rain, snow, leaves, squirrels, raccoons, birds, and other animals out of your house. Yes, chimney caps can do all those things. The only limit is your imagination.

For your chimney caps installation, you don’t need to worry. We have been at this for decades, and we love what we do. Chimney covers are a major piece in the puzzle of your chimney’s safety and longevity. Masonry chimneys that are covered with steel chimney caps may outlast the rest of the home. But a chimney that is exposed to the elements can start coming apart decades before the rest of the structure. The chimney can fall apart in stages, a few bricks at a time, or it can come crashing down on your roof or into the yard. At A1 Chimney, we have the many years of skill and experience to know what is best for your home.

There Are Many Types of Chimney Caps

First, there is brick or other masonry types like stone. If the top of the chimney was not designed and built properly, then there will be many small cracks and openings for water to enter. Once the water gets into the cracks, it will freeze and start to expand, pushing the bricks or stones apart. It opens up the joints so that even more water can get in. In addition to that, without a chimney cap, moss can start spreading into the cracks. This will slowly cause the mortar to turn to sand and become soft and crumbly. There are many cases where a tree seed will lodge in a crack and start to grow, further pushing the chimney bricks further and further apart. Even if you pull the young tree out, it may bring several bricks with it from the top of the chimney stack.

In some cases, the bricks will start falling into the fireplace flue, and can actually block it completely. Think about it…..water is what made the Grand Canyon! Do you have any doubt it can mess up your little chimney if you give it a chance?

On some homes you will see chimneys actually leaning, sometimes at impossible angles. Those bricks can’t stay in a leaning position forever. Eventually they will fall and crash into your attic, breaking right through the roof. If yours is already leaning too much, then you will require mortar repairs or possibly partial rebuilding before installing the chimney cover.

Custom Chimney Caps For Masonry Chimneys

There are several choices of caps or covers for stone, brick, or masonry chimney’s. You have a choice of custom made, or pre-fabricated. Which one you choose depends of what type of look you are after. Or if all you are concerned with is cost, then there are a couple of options there as well.

There are stainless steel chimney caps for endless durability. They cost more up front than sheet metal chimney caps, but they more than make up for it in longevity.

If you are interested in decorative chimney caps, there are endless possibilities if you want to get really creative and wild. We can even make round chimney caps.

There are copper chimney caps for long lasting elegance. They are the ultimate statement of quality and class in decorative chimney caps. We are all familiar with the green patina that copper acquires over time, giving your home a sense of permanence.

If you can afford it, then by far it is best to have a custom chimney cap made for your chimney. Every masonry or brick chimney is a different size. There is no standard size in chimney caps. If you want the full protection, and or a custom look, then you must have a custom chimney cap.

Chimney Rain Pans and Shrouds For Pre Fab or Metal Chimneys

If you have a prefabricated fireplace, then the top of your chimney looks very different from one made of masonry. The top has to be covered by a formed sheet metal piece. This piece is called a “chimney pan”. If you have developed a leak inside your chimney, this is most likely the place it is coming from. Over time the chimney pan will rust-out and start letting water come inside the chimney itself. Very bad for your home. When you want to dress up the top of your pre fab chimney, you add a chimney shroud. This is a vertical, decorative piece that hides the flue pipe sticking out of the top. See the gallery for some ideas. These can be very ornate and stylish.

Cost For Chimney Caps

Every custom chimney cap is different by definition. So we will have to get the measurements of your chimney and then give you a firm price. The price includes the chimney caps installation. For those with chimneys that have more than one fireplace in them, then you will need multi flue chimney caps. These cover the entire top of the fireplace chimney, so it doesn’t matter how many flue pipes come out at the top. You can keep you cost fairly low if you really don’t care what it looks like. Reasons you may not care could be:

  • The chimney is on the back of the house facing some woods or empty space. In some cases, depending on the home’s design, it’s very hard to even see the top of the chimney. In those cases you can just go for utility for your fireplace chimney cap.
  • You are only interested in preserving your chimney, and are trying so save money.

Your chimney is well built with a concrete crown and you only need to keep rain and animals out of your flue pipe. Whatever your reason, you can discuss it with us and we can come up with something together.

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