Usually made of copper or stainless steel, a chimney cap is a small metal apparatus that connects to the top of a chimney. Chimney caps are reasonably priced and any professional chimney sweep company can install one for at low cost. Even though chimney caps cost relatively little money and are easy to install, not all homes have them. Some homeowners do not know they need a chimney cap. Others simple do not realize how very vital a chimney cap can be for the home and fireplace. In fact, chimney caps offer protection from all types of dangers. However, the most common issue chimney caps fight is the infestation of small animals and pests.
Chimney Caps and Pests
During bitter New York winters, everyone wants to keep warm, particularly small animals that have few options in the dangerously cold weather. In an effort to see it through to the spring, birds and squirrels find the warmth of the chimney very appealing. In addition, the confines of the chimney make the animals feel safe, and it protects them from direct contact with the elements. For these reasons, birds and squirrels will not hesitate to make a cozy winter home out of your uncapped flue.
While the animals may enjoy the advantages offered by hiding away in the chimney, eventually this arrangement will have serious consequences. The only reason homes have chimneys is to prevent toxic gases in the fireplace from permeating the home by expelling them outside. Particularly with wood burning fireplaces, the chemical process of burning wood produces dangerous materials. Messy soot floats around in the smoke, burnt wood produces creosote, and combustion produces carbon dioxide. While soot only results in a messy fireplace and house, creosote and carbon monoxide can cause negative health effects and even death. It is essential for the health of everyone in the home that these gases have a way to escape. When an animal makes a nest in the chimney, the exit for the toxic gases has become obstructed. This creates a back-up in which the smoke and all the toxins in it are forced back into the home with potentially fatal consequences. Because a chimney cap is an affordable option that prevents all of this risk, the decision to install or update a chimney cap is an easy one.
Installing a Chimney Cap
Many big box retailers offer chimney caps at very low prices. Beware, however, that these chimney caps are low quality and not guaranteed to fit your chimney. They will deteriorate quickly and require replacement often. Additionally, installing a chimney cap on your own can be very dangerous. In order to avoid investing in a low quality chimney cap and putting your safety in danger by installing one yourself, contact a chimney sweep company. If you live in the Hudson Valley area, contact All Seasons Chimney for a professional consultation. Along with your next annual chimney sweep and inspection, the serviceperson will inspect your chimney and provide you with expert advice on choosing a chimney cap. All Seasons Chimney will supply you with a high quality cap with a long life span, and they will install the chimney cap safely and precisely for an affordable price.