Tag: Chimney Caps

Are Chimney Caps Important?

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Are Chimney Caps Important?

Not every house with a chimney has a chimney cap fitted. And despite the fact that chimney caps aren’t very expensive, homeowners often neglect having one installed, believing they aren’t important to the overall function of the chimney.

However, if more homeowners knew the value of chimney caps, they wouldn’t be so reluctant about getting them. The relatively low investment of getting a chimney cap, could literally save thousands of dollars down the line.

Not quite sure whether getting a chimney cap is necessary? Here’s why you should have a chimney cap installed on your home this winter.

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Keep Animals out of Your Chimney

Birds love to make their nest in your chimney. But birds aren’t even the only problem, small mammals such as raccoons and squirrels also like to investigate the space inside your chimney.

Animals are especially prone to making their home in your chimney during the cold of winter. That’s because the heat from your fireplace makes the chimney nice and warm, offering the little animals a welcoming space to build their nests. Generally it doesn’t even take too long for a squirrel or bird to build a nest in your chimney. Before you know it, your home will have some new inhabitants in the chimney!

But as you might have guessed already, the warm and cozy home your chimney offers won’t be comfortable for very long. As soon as you use your fireplace again, smoke and sparks will travel up your chimney, potentially killing the little animals who didn’t know any better than to make their home there. So obviously, getting a chimney cap is a good measure to take if you’re concerned about general animal welfare and preventing unnecessary deaths, or even just the smell these outcomes will bring.

Keeping animals out of your chimney is also important for the health and safety of you and your family. That’s because bird and squirrel nests in the chimney tend to be flammable. In fact, animal nests in chimneys is a common cause of chimney fires. But even if you’re lucky and the nest doesn’t catch fire, it will still block your chimney, preventing smoke and harmful gases from exiting your home through the chimney.

Another potential problem with animals in the chimney, is when wild animals (such as raccoons) make their way down the chimney, through the fireplace and into your home. Although raccoons aren’t always aggressive, they’re wild animals. This causes them to be very unpredictable. Once a raccoon feels threatened, it can seriously injure you or your family in an attempt to defend itself. This is especially dangerous if you have small children, as a raccoon can easily cause even fatal injuries if it should choose to attack a little child.

Keep Moisture out of Your Chimney

Moisture might not seem like such a big problem, but the truth is that rain, hail, snow and even dew entering your chimney can wreak havoc on its structure.

The moisture causes your chimney walls to deteriorate faster, meaning you’ll need to have the inside walls of your chimney repaired more often. Of course, it makes no sense to fork out extra money on more regular chimney repairs if simply fitting a chimney cap could’ve solved the problem. While some homeowners might see a chimney cap as too big an expense, the money it can save on chimney repairs will be well worthwhile.

Furthermore, a chimney that’s in a good condition is also safer to use, so getting that chimney cap to keep out water will be an investment in keeping your fireplace safer this winter.

Are Chimney Caps Necessary?

In some areas, regulations might require that all chimney have caps, however, this isn’t necessarily a requirement in your area. So the short answer to the question would have to be no – chimney caps aren’t more necessary than going to the doctor when you have cold, or putting a cover over your pool. But just like doctor appointments and pool covers, chimney caps are a relatively small investment that could potentially be life saving.

If you have home insurance, it might also be wise to get a chimney cap for insurance purposes. That’s because your insurance provider might not even pay out for a chimney fire if you didn’t have a chimney cap fitted. This might not necessarily be the case, but it’s worth asking.

So to summarize, chimney caps aren’t entirely necessary in order for your to use your fireplace. But the mesh blocking animals from entering your chimney, and the chimney cap itself (which keeps moisture out) can go a long way in improving the overall safety of your fireplace. Getting a chimney cap is a small modification to your home which can prevent some of the most common causes of chimney fires. In the same way you wouldn’t want to drive your car if it didn’t have insurance, using your fireplace if you don’t have a chimney cap simply isn’t a good idea. A chimney cap saves money and prevents problems, so there’s really no reason not to get one.

If you don’t have a chimney cap and you’re concerned about using your fireplace this winter, please give Chimney Sweeps West a call. We can help inspect your chimney for existing damage, and fit a chimney cap. Fireplace and chimney safety is something all homeowners should pay attention to over the holiday season. So before the worst of the Christmas rush begins, check your chimney safety so you can enjoy the holidays without having to stress about the safety of your family.

The Importance of Chimney Caps

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The Importance of Chimney Caps

Is it safe to say that you are another mortgage holder with an old chimney? Assuming this is the case, you may not see that it’s feeling the loss of a chimney cap. A few property holders in the past didn’t perceive their significance, and frequently they weren’t added to their chimney. Chimney caps are likewise regularly dismissed in light of the fact that they are low support and “out of the picture, therefore irrelevant”.

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The Chimney Cap Keeps Wildlife Out

Amid the an ordinary winter, there are various little creatures that may look for shield in a warm and dry condition like a chimney such as chipmunks, squirrels, and even raccoons. In the spring, you will probably discover winged animals settling in your fireplace. These creatures can leave combustible flotsam and jetsam, make blockages, and even suffocate and die. It can be hard to expel creatures from the fireplace humanely. In this manner it’s less demanding and regularly less expensive to keep this event at bay by introducing a chimney cap!

The Chimney Cap Keeps Sparks In

Amid an especially hot fire, sparks and coals can rise rapidly up the vent alongside vapors and a solid updraft. The standard chimney cap plan highlights both a cover and a screen that holds these stray particles into the flue. Without the top, these sparks can get away from the stack’s opening and touch dry leaves and garbage on the rooftop. This can cause both loss of property and life.

What are the distinctive sorts of stack tops?

Diverse chimney cap varieties have their own individual advantages. How about we take a gander at a couple of the most well known tops:

Standard Chimney Cap – This top incorporates screening on all sides to keep creatures from settling in your stack. It likewise traps vast sparks that advance up your vent when your chimney or wood stove is being used.

Draft-Increasing Chimney Cap – This sort of top uses outside breeze to make more grounded updrafts. This kind is best for chimneys that have existing issues with drafts. Its drawback is that it utilizes turning turbines that can progress toward becoming built up with smoke and ash after some time.

Lock Top Damper Chimney Cap – Damper caps come furnished with a stainless-steel cover appended to the casing. A long link drops down the smokestack, which is worked by a handle that is mounted in the firebox. This takes into account brisk and secure shutting of the bolt top at the property holder’s comfort. The damper can likewise be secured in the vacant position amid a fire.

Contract a Professional

Having a chimney cap introduced is perhaps the best thing you can improve the situation of your stack. It’s one preventive advance that has a major effect, and ought to be joined with proficient establishment and also routine upkeep like smokestack assessments and ranges. When you procure an expert like Chimney Sweeps West, you get an expert assurance, as well as fit you with the best top for your particular stack.

Why You Should Install a Chimney Cap

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While you may not be personally acquainted with the life systems of your home’s chimney or fireplace, a chimney cap assumes a critical part in your home’s chimney framework. In the event that your home doesn’t as of now have one, here are five reasons why you ought to consider introducing a chimney cap.

What’s Causing My Chimney Odor?

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Having a nasty smell coming from your chimney is NOT something you want to wake up to on a warm summer day. Even when you aren’t using it, your chimney can cause your house to smell. The main culprit is usually creosote buildup, but there are a few things to consider when it comes to foul chimney odors.

Different Types of Chimney Odor

Most chimney odor simply smells a bit like smoke. That’s because the smoke leaving your chimney causes buildup of creosote and soot over time. This residue will have a tendency to buildup faster if you use woods in your chimney that don’t burn as well.

To delay creosote buildup in your chimney, it’s always best to stick to well-seasoned hard woods. But even when using the right kinds of firewood, your chimney will still need a cleaning from time to time.

Apart from creosote and soot buildup, however, there are things that can cause your chimney to smell bad. And in some cases it won’t smell like smoke at all.

Cases where your chimney might smell bad for reasons other than creosote buildup include:

  • Mold: This isn’t a problem that should normally be present in chimneys, but if your chimney smells moldy, it might be because you have a roof leak. The wetness of the leak creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow in your chimney. This problem can be fixed by having your roof checked. Only once the leak is fixed, have your chimney cleaned. After all, there’s no use in cleaning your chimney without fixing the underlying problem first.
  • Animals: There are precautions you can take to keep animals out of your chimney. However, homeowners often don’t realize how easily animals try to get into the home through a chimney. Birds also like to make their nests there. If the smell coming from your chimney smells more like animal scats, there’s a good chance you’ve got guests. Unfortunately, animals also get stuck in the chimney occasionally, meaning that if your chimney smells like something died in there, that might very well be the case.
  • Debris: Once again, there are ways to keep leaves and other debris from entering your chimney, but many homeowners don’t know about this. Once again, this can smell moldy, rotten or perhaps even as if an animal died in your chimney.

Those are the main chimney odor problems you can expect that don’t have anything to do with creosote buildup. However, by keeping your chimney safer, even these problems can be eliminated.

It’s worthwhile to mention that keeping your chimney as dry as possible can go a long way in preventing bad odors. Anything from debris to creosote will smell worse if it gets wet.

The best way to fix your chimney odor problems is by first identifying the cause. You can do this by calling a professional chimney sweep to do an inspection. Here at Chimney Sweeps West, we have many years of experience in helping our customers fix and prevent chimney problems, so be sure to call us if you’re in Knoxville and you need help with your chimney.

How to Prevent Chimney Odor

Preventing chimney odor is actually surprisingly easy. One of the first things you can do to prevent bad odors from entering your home through your fireplace is to ensure that your chimney stays clean. You can do this by having you chimney cleaned and inspected once a year, preferably before winter so you know that it’s safe to use before making a fire.

Apart from this, you should do your best to keep debris and animals out of your chimney. Anything that gets into your chimney is not only likely to cause bad chimney odors, it’s also a fire hazard. Debris or bird’s nests in your chimney can light on fire easily, causing a problem that’s way worse than just a foul smell.

To prevent anything from getting into your chimney, you should have a proper chimney cap installed. The chimney cap will prevent some debris from getting into your chimney, but more importantly, it’s meant to keep water out. Keeping water out of your chimney will help so that any creosote buildup that might be present doesn’t get wet. This helps mainly because creosote smells worse when it’s wet. Apart from that, the cap will help keep water out to prevent mold from growing in your chimney.

To keep animals out, you should go for a chimney cap with a net.

What if My Chimney Still Smells?

Your chimney might smell because of drafts coming into your home through the chimney. Ideally, air should actually move out of your home through the chimney rather than entering your home. But sometimes the drafts don’t flow right, causing air to enter your home through the chimney.

Keeping the windows open might help for this problem somewhat. Other than that, having your chimney cleaned regularly can help a lot for this problem too.

If you recently repainted your burning stove, allowing the fireplace to burn for short intervals of time while keeping the windows open can help with chimney odors. Freshly painted or polished burning stoves have a tendency to smell rather bad for a while after being repainted, which might be another cause of foul odors from your fireplace.

Diagnosing Chimney Odors

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With a hotter climate in the forecast, your chimney is most likely one of the last things at the forefront of your thoughts at the present time. In any case, the warmth and dampness of summer can make certain things inside your smokestack discharge strong and unsavory scents, which can wind up inside your home through the chimney.

Get Your Chimney Waterproofed

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Like any other part of your home, your chimney needs care every once in a while. Many homeowners don’t give their chimney much thought. They just allow it to deteriorate and accumulate dirt. But eventually this kind of neglect can prove to be a serious health hazard. Your chimney can get damaged in a variety of ways – one of the more common ways being cracks in the chimney. But you should also have your chimney checked for water damage. As water damage can be very harmful to your chimney.

How Can Water Damage Your Chimney?

If your chimney isn’t properly waterproofed, it won’t be safe to use. Water damage can cause a lot of problems with your chimney. That’s because large parts of your chimney are made from materials like steel, which will rust if it’s exposed to water.

If you never have your chimney inspected, now would be a great time to get in touch with a local chimney sweep service. Professional chimney sweeps will be able to check for any water damage in your chimney. If there’s damage, it’s always best to locate the source of the problem and have it fixed. Once you’ve fixed the source of the problem, you can have your chimney fixed without having to worry about your fixed chimney getting damaged again by the same source of water damage.

Water damage to your chimney can cause your damper to rust, as well as potentially causing problems with water penetration in your walls. If that’s the case, you might even see mold grow on your walls near the fireplace, and the wallpaper of paint might lift because of the dampness in the wall.

Mold in your house is terrible for your health, so it’s always best to have any problems fixed that can cause your walls to rot.

Mold and Your Health

Mold is primarily linked to respiratory problems. So if you or one of your loved ones suffer from asthma, or if you tend to have other problems, like coughs, wheezing or a stuffy nose, mold is a likely culprit in your home.

For people who are more allergic to it, mold can also cause skin problems like rashes. Needless to say, the health problems associated with mold in your home is no fun.

To prevent mold from growing in your home, you should have any leaks – like roof leaks or broken pipes fixed as soon as possible. If your chimney is the problem, then you’ll be able to fix the problem by calling a chimney sweep and having your chimney fixed.

It’s important that you have any leaks fixed as soon as possible, as leaving them could cause your walls to get soaked, leading to more water damage than if you had the problem fixed soon after it was discovered. Once you walls, chimney and roof have water damage, the wet parts (or the badly rusted bits) will all have to be replaced. You can’t leave any area of your walls wet and hope that it will dry out, as you’re leaving a potential breeding ground for more mold to grow. And once the mold starts to grow again, it can be very difficult to control.

Things you can do to prevent mold from growing in your home include:

  • Keeping humidity levels low.
  • Thoroughly drying out any areas, like carpets, after they got wet.
  • Properly ventilating areas that are often humid, like the shower and the area above the stove or kettle in your kitchen.

The health problems associated with mold might seem insignificant to you, but mold-related allergies shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your respiratory system is a vital part of your health, and chronic exposure to mold can take its toll on your health.

Apart from this, your house is likely to smell damp and unpleasant if you leave water damaged areas without fixing them promptly.

Staying Safe Next Winter

Let’s face it, you don’t want to think about winter yet. It feels like things are only just starting to heat up, so why worry about the winter? There’s still a lot of time before then.

Fact is, springtime is great for getting your chimney inspected before winter this year. That’s because it’s the ideal season to do all kinds of outdoor maintenance tasks. The temperature isn’t too extreme, which often helps for certain parts of the maintenance work.

Getting your chimney inspected in spring also allows a lot of time before winter, so if there are still problems after your chimney is fixed, there will be time to get your chimney ready before winter.

Remember to use a chimney cap to avoid water damage through your chimney. Chimney caps are also great for preventing birds from making nests in your chimney. This is very important because the nests can actually catch fire whenever you use your chimney, and this can lead to a chimney fire.

Apart from this, you should have your chimney inspected annually to see that it’s still ready for each coming winter. Chimney inspections from professional sweeps aren’t cheap, but your chimney has a very important role to play in keeping your house safe. Without the proper care, it’s better to refrain from using your chimney, as you can never be too safe when working with any area in your house that uses fire.

Chimney Caps

You might wonder why your chimney has a cap, isn’t cap another word for lid? And how is a lid helping your chimney ventilate? Read this article to answer these and other simple questions.

A chimney cap serves many functions. A decent chimney or stove will have its own protection against some of these things, but they all still leave a gaping hole into your home that allows anything from bats and mice to rain and wind to get through. Rather than having a flue guard too low in your chimney, it of course makes sense to have a cap on top.
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Wet Weather and Your Chimney: Preparing for Rain, Snow, and Humidity

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The weather in middle Tennessee is only one motivation behind why numerous families cherish living here — with four strong seasons and for the most part warm weather year-round, Knoxville and the encompassing rural areas are awesome spots to locate your home. In any case, if that home has a chimney, be set up to keep up it amid times of rain, snow, and high humidity. With yearly moistness midpoints running from 53% to 84%, the center Tennessee territory is inclined to rain, dew, haze, and the incidental cluster of ice or snow — all of which can affect your chimney.

Introduction to dampness can change the state and structure of your chimney, particularly if the water presentation happens amid a period of to a great degree high or low temperatures and for a drawn out timeframe. Probably the most well-known aftereffects of chimney dampness presentation include:

Rust: Rust can happen on any metal some portion of your chimney, and is a typical issue among chimney proprietors. After some time, it can disintegrate your chimney if not tended to appropriately. Watch out for rust happening on your chimney’s outside, particularly on the top and the blazing. Additionally check for rust inside the chimney pipe and firebox, and on any metal chimney embellishments. On the off chance that you spot indications of rust, call a chimney investigator to deal with it promptly.

Creosote development: Creosote is a blackish-chestnut, tar-like substance that can develop inside your chimney vent with expanded presentation to dampness, particularly amid the winter months. Cold air outside of your chimney makes buildup inside the chimney when warm air from your fire is discharged through the vent. Like how your warm breath makes buildup in cold air, the hot pipe air consolidates and makes particles that border to the inside of your chimney. After some time, creosote can improve the probability of a chimney fire. Check to ensure your pipe is spotless and without creosote, particularly amid cold and moist seasons.

Masonry damage: If your chimney has a brick exterior, be careful of dampness harm to the brick work. Introduction to dampness can make blocks split or spall (flat chipping), or even drop out inside and out. Tragically, once a block is harmed it turns out to be much more powerless against dampness — implying that you ought to cure stone work breaks and spalling when you see them to avoid additionally harm.

Spilling: Obviously, a broken chimney is not protected or compelling with regards to making a warm, comfortable fire in your fireplace. On the off chance that you hear hints of dribbling water originating from your chimney, see dampness in your firebox, or feel drafty, smelly air leaving your chimney amid warm, muggy days, then call an assessor to evaluate whether there is a hole. The sooner you can address a hole and reseal your chimney as required, the less extra harm and risk your home will confront.