What is a Chimney Cap?
Chimney caps are essential chimney products that serve several purposes. Capping a chimney prohibits destruction on the inside from elements such as snow and rain. Using a chimney cap also prevents fire sparks from escaping from the chimney and landing on the roof and they also keep birds, squirrels and other animals from nesting inside of the chimney or entering the home through the chimney.
Chimney caps can also save you money. They are placed on the top of the chimney, on the exterior. When your heating appliance is in use, the chimney cap allows smoke and ventilation through while keeping debris like leaves and sticks from entering the chimney.
These objects are flammable but they can also be wet which creates moisture inside of the chimney. Chimney caps also keep birds, squirrels and other animals from making your chimney their home. Chimney caps are available in a large selection of sizes that are sure to keep your fireplace operating safely and efficiently.
To learn more about how chimney caps can protect your chimney from outside dangers read our article, How a Chimney Cap Protects Masonry Chimneys from Potential Damages.
Choosing a chimney cap can be an overwhelming task but fortunately, determining what size chimney cap you need isn’t as difficult as what it seems. Grab a tape measure, a pencil and paper, and a ladder. You will need to get up on your roof to physically inspect and measure your chimney.
We have created a video and article that you can view here, What to Measure before Purchasing a Chimney Cap. You can also read our transcription of the video below.
What type of chimney flue do I have?
Let’s start talking about a single flue chimney with an extended flue. This is going to be the most common chimney style. It is also going to be the easiest cap to measure for. You are simply going to measure the width and the length of your extended flue and make sure that you are measuring the outer diameter of your extended flue.
Single flue caps often mount with pressure screws and a flue size ring that it will mount to. For example, an 8” x 8” cap will fit flues made from 6.5” to 8” in both widths and lengths.
Now let’s say you have a extended flue chimney but the extended flue on the top is going to be a round or oval flue, so then you will need to use a top mount style cap. If your flue is oval or round make sure that you are measuring the total crown width and length. You will also need to measure the width of the area surrounding the flue and the height of the flue if it is extended.
Now if you have a single flue chimney but the top of your flue doesn’t extend out enough for a top mount cap or it’s flushed with the crown, you’ll want to use a flue mounted cap. You’ll just need to use a chimney cap that will allow the cap to be held from inside of the flue.
If you do live in a very windy area, we recommend that you use a top mount bracket that is going to allow it to attach directly to the crown of your chimney rather than fitting inside. It will be a stronger connection. When you are measuring for this, you will need to measure the outer length and width of your flue and then you’ll have the measurements that you need.
The last style chimney that you may have is a multi-flue chimney. If you have a multi-flue chimney this will always require a top mounted cap regardless if their flues are extended or not. The measurements that you will need for this type of chimney are the total crown width and length, the length of the area surrounding the flue as well as width and the height of the tallest flue sticking out.
The cap must be 5” taller than the tallest flue as not to interrupt the draft of your chimney.
Multi-flue caps can be sized to fit just around the flues or to cover your entire chimney crown. You can save on caps by sizing it to the minimum amount needed and cover just the flue especially if you are going to be choosing a expensive material like copper. For the best protection and best looking cap, you will want to cover your entire chimney crown and most people do choose a full-size cap.
Now that you know how determine what type of chimney flue you have and how to measure for it, you now need to decide which brand and material will suit you chimney cap install the best.
If you need a round chimney cap, you will need to select the correct diameter first and then determine which brand is best for you. You will need to make this selection based on your budget for a chimney cap and the quality of cap that you would like. We carry stainless steel caps and air-cooled caps. We do recommend that you choose a brand that is the same as your chimney pipe, as these components are made for one another.
If you need a multi flue cap, you will want to first choose the correct size that you need. Then choose between one that is already assembled or you can choose a knock-down version that you can assemble on site.
These type of caps are made to attach right to your chimney crown. We offer brands likeGelco and HY-C for your cap installation.
If you need a single-flue cap, you again will need to select the correct size and then decide on the type of finish you would like. We offer them in black, stainless steel, and copper finishes.
We also carry Gelco and HY-C brands of single flue chimney caps.
There are many options that are available to you! For example, we have decorative chimney caps and chimney surrounds. We have a extensive selection of down draft solution caps which can help control smoke that may go back into your home when burning. Another category of caps are our top sealing damper caps, which will help reduce heat loss.
We also offer animal guards, which can be installed around other vents in your home to prevent animals from nesting in them. As you are evaluating your chimney and what cap is best, you may also want to look around the rest of the exterior of your home and determine if you need to install animal guards anywhere.
Besides your chimney cap, you will also need silicone adhesive for your installation. Silicone adhesive will allow you to seal the cap in place and they are rated for high temperature, so not just any type of silicone will work.