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We’ve Got Chimney Caps & Pots

Chimneys are carefully built and constructed; every component has a purpose in helping the fireplace burn safely and efficiently. One important component of the chimney is the chimney cap, which protects the fireplace system from moisture, debris, and more.

What is a chimney cap?pretty home with red chimney

A chimney cap is a fitted metal hood that sits on top of the chimney structure and protects the top of the flue. Chimney caps are designed specifically to let smoke and gas out while keeping anything else from getting in; a solid top and mesh or wire sides encourage safe venting but keep the elements out of the chimney.

The importance of a capped chimney

Chimney caps do more than just adorn the roofline; they protect the fireplace’s interior from the elements, debris, and more. The following are four ways a chimney cap helps protect your chimney system.

  1. Keeps water out. Bricks and mortar are used to build chimneys because they can withstand the elements. Interior fireplace components, however, are built to handle heat – not moisture. The chimney cap covers and protects the top of the flue against water entry.
  2. Prevents animal entry. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other small animals view a chimney as the perfect place to build a nest or hide from predators. Unfortunately, animal entry can cause significant damage to your chimney. A well-fitted, correctly installed chimney cap can prevent animal entry by leaving no space between the metal and the mortar for them to squeeze through to get into the flue.
  3. Reduces the risk of a roof fire. Stray coals and embers can sometimes make their way up the flue and out of the chimney; without a chimney cap to stop them, these sparks can ignite the roof or other nearby buildings or landscaping. The metal top and mesh sides of a chimney cap prevent embers from leaving the flue.
  4. Stops debris from causing blockages. Leaves, small branches, and other blowing debris can fall into an uncapped chimney; this often causes chimney blockages that prevent proper drafting. By protecting the top of the flue from debris, chimney caps can help prevent chimney blockages from occurring.

Do I need a new chimney cap?

There are several reasons you may need a new chimney cap.

  1. Old chimney cap has been damaged. A chimney cap that has been damaged or deteriorated beyond repair should be replaced.
  2. Changes to the chimney structure. If the chimney structure itself has been altered or changed, the old chimney cap may no longer fit.
  3. Change or alter the roofline. While chimney caps serve an important functional purpose, they can also be decorative. Custom chimney caps can be built to highlight the aesthetics of your roofline and improve the curb appeal of your home.

Check out our chimney caps at Clean Sweeps of Michigan!

The fireplace store at Clean Sweeps of Michigan offers a wide variety of chimney caps and chimney pots. Our team of fireplace experts can help you find a quality, well-fitting chimney cap that can keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently for years to come. For more information on our selection of chimney caps or to have your chimney inspected, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Keep The Cold Out With A Chimney Damper

The damper is an important part of the anatomy of the chimney. While most of us know that it must be open when the fireplace is in use, few homeowners understand the importance and purpose of this part of the chimney system.

What is a damper?Keep the cold out with a functioning chimney damper

The chimney damper is the metal barrier between the firebox and the rest of the chimney structure. The damper sits at the top of the firebox and is opened when the fireplace is in use using a lever, chain, or pulley. Dampers are designed to prevent smoke and gas from backing up into the home when the fireplace is in use and the damper is open, while also keeping moisture and unconditioned air out of the home when the damper is closed.

Two types of dampers

There are two types of dampers that are used in fireplaces in homes: throat dampers and top sealing dampers.

– Throat damper: Throat dampers are a traditional part of fireplace structure; they sit between the firebox and the flue and are opened when the fireplace is in use. Chimneys with throat dampers also require a chimney cap, or the metal hood that covers and protects the top of the flue.

– Top sealing damper: Top sealing dampers are a relatively new fireplace innovation and are beginning to be installed in more homes. These dampers are installed on the top of the flue, replacing the chimney cap; just like a throat damper, the top sealing damper is opened and closed when the fireplace is in use to allow gas and smoke to draft. Top sealing dampers are useful in helping to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs as the entire chimney are sealed from outside air.

Is my damper damaged?

Dampers are made of metal and designed to be extremely sturdy; despite this, they can become damaged from years of use or overexposure to heat or moisture. The following are three signs your damper may be damaged.

– Broken lever. A broken pulley or lever is the most common sign of damper damage. If the lever breaks while the damper is open, it can allow animals, debris, and cold air into your fireplace at all times; if it breaks when closed, it can prevent you from using your fireplace entirely.
– Loss of airtight seal. When closed, the damper should create an airtight seal between the flue and the firebox. If you can hear or feel air coming through the closed damper it may need to be replaced; this can happen from overexposure to heat or from being bent or twisted when forced open or closed.
– Rust. Rust can occur when water from a chimney leak has pooled on a damper. Rust on a chimney damper should be addressed in two ways; first, the source of the chimney leak should be identified and repaired. Second, the damaged damper should be removed and replaced.

Keep the cold out this winter!

A functioning damper can protect your fireplace and keep cold air out of your home this winter. For more information on installing a new top sealing damper or to have your damper inspected for signs of damage, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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