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Why You Need A Chimney Cap

While all chimney components serve an important purpose, few protect your chimney as well as the chimney cap. Because of its location at the top of the chimney, however, chimney caps are often overlooked. Understanding the importance of the chimney cap, especially during the spring, can help ensure yours stays in good condition and can protect your fireplace system for years to come.

What is a chimney cap?

Chimney caps are fitted hoods made out of metal such as aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. They are designed to cover and protect the top of the flue. While chimney caps have a solid top which keeps moisture out, they feature mesh or wire sides; this allows smoke, hot air, and gas to safely vent while keeping animals and debris out of the chimney.

Is my chimney cap damaged?

Few of us spend much time on our roofs; because of this, chimney cap damage may go unnoticed until signs of the damage begin to appear. Chimney cap damage is often discovered through a chimney inspection. Chimney leaks, blockages caused by leaves and branches, or animal entry can all be caused by chimney cap damage.

Repairing and replacing your chimney cap.

If your chimney cap is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced. Because chimney caps come in a variety of sizes and styles, it is important to have a chimney professional help you find the right cap for your chimney.

While chimney caps serve an important purpose in protecting your home, they can also add a decorative flair to your roofline. Different metals, sizes, and styles can create a unique look that complements your home’s exterior while still protecting your chimney system.

Why you need a chimney cap this spring.

While a chimney cap is an important part of your chimney all year long, it is especially important in the spring for two reasons:

  1. Animal entry.
    Spring is known as the season of baby animals, and an unprotected chimney is an inviting nesting spot for many animals. Birds, squirrels, roof rats, and many other animals will attempt to nest in a chimney; chimney swifts, a protected migratory bird, are known for nesting in chimneys each spring and are protected by law. While a nesting animal might not seem like a hassle, they can cause strong odors, damage to the flue and other chimney components, and chimney blockages.
  2. Water entry. April showers bring May flowers – and chimney leaks.
    Heavy spring rains can cause chimney leaks if your home has a missing or damaged chimney cap. Even small amounts of water can damage interior fireplace components; the firebox and damper, for example, are built to withstand heat but are easily damaged by moisture.

This spring, don’t let your chimney go unprotected. Have your chimney cap inspected to ensure it keeps moisture and animals out of your flue. For more information on the importance of your chimney cap or to schedule your next chimney inspection, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Types of Animals that Could Nest in Your Chimney

There you are, sitting with the family in the living room when all of a sudden you hear a noise in your chimney. Maybe it was just leaves, right? You light a fire and you hear a sound and the panic of something trying to get out…what is going on?! Well, you just may have a critter taking up residence in your flue. The real question is what type of animal can get into your chimney?

Animal in your chimney - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

First and foremost, the only way an animal can get into your chimney is if you do not have a chimney cap. All things considered, these are very inexpensive and a must have for any homeowner with a working fireplace. In addition to stopping animals, the cap also prevents debris and water from getting into the chimney and causing structural damage. But, I digress, let’s figure out what is in that chimney!

Chimney Swifts are a likely inhabitant, as they migrate and live in chimneys during the offseason. Because federal law protects these birds, you are unable to do anything to clean out the chimney until the birds leave the chimney.

In addition to chimney swifts, other flying creatures, such as bats, owls and a variety of other birds, would be more than happy to take up residence in an open chimney. If an animal entered the flue while the damper was open and it is now closed, you will more than likely hear wings’ furiously flapping as it tries to figure its way out of this entrapment.

Raccoons often use chimneys to get out of the cold and will nest in there if allowed. Unlike many other types of clawed creatures, raccoons are usually able to get up and down the chimney with relative ease. On the other hand, animals like squirrels can get into the chimney, but have a quite a challenge getting back out. You will often hear panicked scratching sounds as they try to figure their way out of this conundrum.

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