A fireplace can be a lovely, warm centerpiece for your family to gather around. In colder climes, a wood fire is often more cost-efficient than operating a furnace. However, to enjoy your fireplace safely, you must maintain your fireplace. Along with professional sweeping, capping your chimney is also essential.
For anyone who owns a home with chimneys, a chimney caps is a necessary facet of home maintenance. Capping your chimney will keep out rain water and prevent animal intrusion.
Chimney Water Damage
Water damages your chimney in two ways. First, water is absorbed by the masonry of your chimney. This can lead to mold and fungi growing in the creosote and ash that lines an unclean chimney. These spores can enter the home and cause allergic reactions and breathing difficulties.
The biggest and most visible problems are caused by the freezing and thawing of the water in the brick, which leads to cracking, crumbling masonry. Repairing such damage can cost thousands.
When water comes down the open chimney lands of a metal firebox, the steel will rust. The structural integrity of your firebox is compromised, and in severe cases of neglect, a rusted firebox can be the cause of a house fire. Such a huge fire hazard but so easily- and inexpensively- avoided.
Finally, your uncapped chimney is a haven for all kinds of unwelcome guests. While fuzzy raccoons may be cute, you do not need one descending your chimney in the middle of the night. Lured by the warmth, opossums and squirrels may also make nocturnal intrusions. Bats and birds are drawn to an open chimney as well. Be aware that many of these animals may carry lice or rabies. All animals will damage your home and possessions in their frenzied attempts to escape if they can’t get back out easily.
Capping your chimneys is not a task to delay. It is inexpensive, and especially compared to the wide-spread damage that deferring can cause. A chimney sweep should be able to cap your chimneys for you if you don’t want to climb onto your own roof. To avoid water damage to internal structures and masonry, as well as keep out animal visitors, cap your chimney today!