There are multiple reasons for a chimney cap…

  1. To prevent rain from going down inside the flue(s) and destroying the inside of your chimney. Remember (as discussed earlier) the rain and moisture that gets inside your chimney and mixes with the oil soot, will form sulfuric acid (which is very corrosive) and will eat right through your flue tiles.
  2. To keep water off the top of the chimney which will soak into the crown (the layer of cement on top of the chimney) and freeze/expand and thaw/contract ultimately destroying it.
  3. To keep birds, animals, leaves, etc. out of your chimney which could result in carbon monoxide (or smoke) backing up into your house because of nests or blockages. Also, if a soot covered bird or animal gets into your house, they can cause thousands of dollars in damages or cleanup.
  4. To act as a spark arrestor so that flaming paper, etc, is contained and cannot fly out the top of the chimney and land on your roof or other combustibles.

Slate or cement tops DO NOT WORK as a chimney cap for any of the previously mentioned reasons. They do not keep rain off the top of the chimney or even from going down inside the flue because there is no drip edge. The water rolls back under the bottom side, then drips right onto the crown or down inside the flue. Also (because there is no screen on them) they do not keep out birds, animals, debris, etc. and they do not act as a spark arrestor either. Another big and dangerous problem with slate or cement caps is the columns that support them are the first things to fail because of being affected by water damage, which will eventually result in the top falling off and destroying your roof, gutters, or whatever else is below. We met some people who had theirs fall off and damage two of their vehicles. (And God forbid if one ever fell off and landed on someone, it could easily kill them.)

Galvanized caps do not work either! They may look okay at first when they are brand new… but give it a year or two and they’ll start rusting, leaving rust stains down your chimney and roof, etc. until they ultimately rust all the way through.

“Small” caps also do not work! Although this cap is stainless steel and wont rust, it is still not big enough to keep water off the top of the chimney. Every drop of water that lands on this cap will then run off directly onto the chimney.

Remember, water soaking into the chimney and freezing/thawing is what destroys them. That is why an “oversized” stainless steel (or copper) cap is the only one that will work properly.  It’s stainless steel (or copper) so it won’t rust. It has a screen to act as a spark arrestor and keep out birds/animals, leaves/debris and the oversized lid will keep water from going down inside the flue as well as off the top of the chimney. This is like an umbrella over the chimney. The lid extends out past the sides of the chimney about 4 to 6 inches. The water that lands on THIS cap will then run off outside the perimeter of the chimney.

We take measurements of your chimney and custom order these caps to fit. We’re the only ones we know of that install these oversized caps. They will also almost always stop (or greatly reduce) wind induced down draft as well. Ask us about our caps’ lifetime warranty!


CT HIC License # 610458

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