A chimney is not an object the average homeowner pays much attention to. However, if you want to keep your fireplace in good condition, you also have to pay attention to the condition of the chimney, especially when it comes to its rain cap. Over time, this fixture is prone to damage, so it is important to be able to identify when repairs are necessary.
Importance of Repairs
The rain, or chimney cap, rests at the top of the chimney and is tasked with a vital role — keeping water out of the fireplace. If water infiltrates the chimney, it will travel directly into the fireplace. Moisture inside the fireplace will not only make it harder to start and maintain a fire, but it can damage its interior surface. For this reason, to maximize the fireplace's usage and protect it, homeowners should have the cap repaired if they recognize any signs of damage.
Pay attention to any shifts in the placement of the cap. A cap should rest perfectly atop the chimney. A shift in movement to one side means that even a tiny amount of moisture can enter the chimney. Frequent exposure and age can make the cap unstable for homes vulnerable to high winds. If you ever look up at the cap and notice it is off-center, know it is unstable and needs repair.
The chimney cap rests well away from homeowner traffic, so, for the most part, they remain intact easily. However, certain weather conditions and animals can cause damage. For example, a high windstorm can leave debris flying, or a bird could slam into the cap. Both situations could cause a crack. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to spot a crack from the ground, but you might notice small amounts of water inside the fireplace. If you spot this issue, have the cap inspected so that the crack be repaired before it grows too large.
A number of chimney caps have metal on them. As you might imagine, the constant exposure to the elements makes them prone to rusting. Fortunately, with a careful examination from the ground, you can typically spot the areas of rust, as they will be discolored. Rust will spread and eventually eat through the cap, causing a leak. It is essential the cap is repaired to avoid further damage.
Do you recognize any of these cap damage scenarios? If so, contact a chimney repairing service today.