Any homeowner with a fireplace or wood-burning stove knows that a chimney is vital to fully enjoying the warmth and joys that the fire can bring. Smoke, combustible gases, and other byproducts that occur when burning are ushered safely away from the home through the chimney. This means that it is extremely important to make sure that your chimney is in working order and doing its job fully – without hindrance.

That said, your chimney is not a singular piece doing all the work by itself. There are many components that work together to make sure your home is safe and your smoke is going where it is supposed to.

Our team here at The Chimney Guys are experts at making sure all of the parts of your chimney and fireplace are functioning properly and keeping you safer. Here are some of the most important components of your chimney, what they do, and what you can keep an eye on to make sure things are running smoothly.

The Facts on Chimney Caps

Chimney caps sit on the top of your chimney and provide shelter over the opening of the exhaust flue.  Their primary function is to provide protection against debris, animals, and moisture that might come from outside. You can think of it as a barrier, preventing rain, snow, leaves, birds, and other things that should stay outside from entering your chimney and your home.

Your chimney cap does a number of important jobs for your chimney and, when properly fitted and installed, can provide you with many benefits. Benefits like…

Moisture Protection

two masonry chimneys with red chimney capsThe biggest enemy to brick and mortar chimneys is moisture. Masonry is naturally porous and will collect water over time. This water can do a lot of damage, especially as temperatures change. Freezing temperatures can trigger something called the freeze/thaw process which can wreak havoc on the integrity of your chimney structure. 

The freeze thaw process happens when water trapped in the pores of your brick and mortar freezes and expands. The pressure from the freezing water causes cracks and holes to form. If not taken care of, the freeze/thaw process can eventually lead to crumbling and structural damage. Your chimney cap prevents water from getting to the inside of your masonry.

Wildlife Prevention

Chimney caps often incorporate mesh screens or other preventative designs that keeps birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals from being able to build their nests in your chimney. Animals are on the lookout for warm and dry spaces that are protected from wind and rain. The inside of your chimney is very appealing to animals looking for a home.

If an animal is able to set up residence in your chimney it can cause damage to your flue lining and create blockages by bringing in sticks, leaves, and other nesting materials. And when the airway gets clogged it’s hard to keep a fire lit and smoke will have nowhere to go. The next thing you know, your house is filling with smoke and you’ve got a big problem on your hands.

Fire Safety 

Chimney caps include a feature known as a spark arrestor. This means it works to minimize airborne sparks from causing unwanted fires in the chimney or your rooftop. 

The chimney cap also keeps flammable debris like dry leaves, sticks, and tree bark from getting into your chimney where they can heat up and ignite. 

The Facts on Chimney Crowns

Your chimney crown is a concrete slab that sits directly on top of the brick and mortar of the chimney. Like your chimney cap, the job of the chimney crown is primarily to keep water from getting to your brick and mortar chimney. It acts as a sort of umbrella for the outside masonry of your chimney. Though it may look flat at first glance, it’s actually slightly sloped in order to direct water away from your structure. 

In addition to protection from water, your chimney crown is also an important part of the structural integrity of your chimney by maintaining stability. Ultimately, a chimney crown that is in good condition will extend the life of your chimney and prevent damage that could end up costing a lot.

The Facts on Chase Covers

a brown prefabricated chimney chase with a broken chase coverPrefabricated and factory-built chimneys have a metal piece that sits above where the chimney crown would be. This is a chase cover. In much the same way that your chimney crown deflects water, your chase cover keeps water from getting to your wooden chase that surrounds and protects the flue pipes of your factory-built chimney. It is a waterproof barrier that keeps water going out instead of in.

While its main job is to keep water from entering the chimney, it also offers a pleasing aesthetic tying together the chimney chase with a fitted top. It provides a finished and polished look to the exterior of your chimney and your home.

Trust Us for Quality Care

While these three components – the chimney cap, chimney crown, and chimney covers – all protect different parts of your chimney, they are all working together to keep water and debris out, while providing safe passage to smoke and gases coming from your fireplace or wood stove. Making sure that they are maintained and in good condition can be the difference between a properly functioning chimney and an expensive repair.

The Chimney Guys are expert technicians who are highly trained and experienced at spotting small and easily corrected problems before they become big issues. We can help you make sure your chimney cap, chimney crown, and chase covers are doing their jobs and keeping you safer.

Call us at 614-446-1221 today or book online with us for the care you deserve.