Chimney Caps, Chase Covers, and Flue Covers
Chimneys almost always have a chimney top to protect them. Chimney tops come in various designs and colors, but all serve one purpose- to protect the inside of your chimney.
What Chimney Tops Do
A chimney top is there for two primary reasons, to protect the crown of a chimney from long-term sun damage or falling objects such as a tree limb. A chimney top's other primary function is to keep things out of your chimney, and it keeps rain, hail, leaves, and debris from finding their way into the attic.
A chimney cap also keeps wildlife from making your chimney their home. Both wildlife and debris can block the airflow out of your chimney and cause dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide to enter your home. Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste, and by the time it can be felt, it's already too late.
In SoCal, all chimney tops serve another critical purpose; they keep hot embers from escaping your chimney. If a burning ember lands on a dry area, a fire is sure to follow, in that sense, a chimney top not only protects the inside of your chimney from damage, but it protects the immediate area around you from fire.
Types of Chimney Tops
As we stated, there are a variety of chimney tops in different designs and colors; here are some of the most popular types.
Custom Chimney Caps
Custom chimney caps have an explanation of what they are right in the name. It covers the entire top of the chimney in order to protect its crown and flue. It allows the gases generated in a fire to vent out of the chimney while at the same time keeping precipitation and debris from getting inside your chimney.
The main problem with chimney caps is that in older homes, many of them were made of galvanized steel which tends to rust over time and can perforate, giving access to the things it was designed to keep out. Replacements use stainless steel, which is rust resistant and will have a longer lifespan than galvanized chase covers.
Custom chimney caps also protect the crown of the chimney from long-term sun damage that leads to cracking or falling objects such as tree limbs. Once the crown of a chimney has been cracked, water can enter through the cracks and cause damage to the bricks and mortar below. A custom chimney cap that covers the entire crown and keeps debris and wildlife out of the flue will save you from expensive repair costs for years to come.
A flue cover is an object designed only to cover the flue itself. You may have seen a flue cap; it can look like a small hat or cone. A flue cap will give the same amount of protection to the flue as a custom chimney cap but won't cover its crown. It will protect from rain, debris, and wildlife from getting inside your chimney's flue and damaging its liner or causing mold or mildew to grow. A damaged chimney liner is dangerous to your home because it protects the chimney from high heat that can lead to a fire in your chimney, roof, or attic.
Top Mount Dampers
A top mount damper is much like a flue cap in that it seals only the top of the flue but is different in that it can be opened and shut with a control cable. The benefit of installing a top mount damper is not only that it protects the flue from objects getting inside of it, but it also completely seals the flue so that you can hold the hot air inside of it longer, reducing your heating costs. In order to get maximum protection for your chimney, a top mount damper should be installed along with a full-width chimney cap.
Chimney Chase Cover
If your home has a factory-built fireplace installed when the house was new, it has what is known as a chase cover.
A chase is a long narrow shaft that runs from the fireplace through the roof and contains the flue inside.
The chase cover goes over the entire top of the chimney. Its purpose is to protect the entire top of the chase from rain, debris, and wildlife.
Oliver Twist Chimney and Fireplace Is the Chimney Top Expert
If your chimney does not have a chimney cap or the existing chimney cap is damaged, we can help you. Call us today or fill out our simple contact form. One of our chimney experts will contact you about your chimney and putting a new chimney top on it. We perform chimney top installations in Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Cerritos CA, Whittier CA, Newport Beach CA, Costa Mesa CA, and other SoCal communities.