Home Improvement

When To Replace A Chimney Cap?

Having a fireplace in your house means your chimney needs to be in perfect condition. There is no doubt that a chimney is one of the most important components considering it is an outlet for toxic gasses that are a by-product wood-burning. A chimney comprises different parts including the chimney cap. As subtle as it may seem, a chimney cap plays a crucial role in the performance and lifespan of the chimney and also help reduce the frequency of chimney repairs. However, when it is time to change it, not many people know the signs & symptoms. So, let’s take a look to see how chimneys often do; chimney caps need replacement.

Reasons To Replace Your Chimney Cap

You Don’t Have A Chimney Cap

As mentioned earlier, a chimney cap is a small but important part of a chimney. Considering its importance, it’s surprising to see that the majority of the chimneys do not come with a chimney cap. The problem is that homeowners either completely ignore or decline the significance of the chimney cap just to save a few hundred dollars.

The chimney cap is designed to stop external factors from entering the chimney. You might have wondered what could go wrong if dead leaves, shrubs, and animals end up inside the chimney. The issue is that such factors result in littering of the chimney which could result in fire in the future.

Chimneys need to be clean and clear, which is exactly why professional maintenance is needed. If there are objects or items in the chimney, they could catch fire, which might spread throughout the entire house. They can also obstruct the toxic gasses from escaping. There have been many incidents in the past, where homeowners ignored cleaning and maintenance of the chimneys until their houses caught fire.

So, firstly, you must ensure that your chimney has a chimney cap. If you have recently purchased a new or used house, you should look out for the chimney cap. Fortunately, chimney caps are not that expensive but will save you from a lot of trouble and risks down the road.

Your Chimney Cap Doesn’t Have Key Features

Chimney caps like other household appliances have evolved over the years. Modern chimney caps are designed and manufactured considering weather conditions and other external factors. This way, not only does the chimney but also the entire house receive protection.

That said, if you have an old house, you will need to check the chimney cap. If it’s an older chimney, it might have a chimney cap with wire mesh on the sides. Some older chimneys don’t. Although such chimney caps still come with a cover to keep precipitation out, still, the animals can access it and enter the chimney.

So, if your chimney cap does not come with a wire mesh, we will advise you to get a new one with wire mesh. Some modern chimney caps also come with a removable hood on them. This helps make the cleaning and maintenance process easier.

Keep in mind that cleaning and maintaining a chimney can be a tough job if your mobility is limited. Plus, climbing the roof each time is a risk on its own. Therefore, you need to make things easier for yourself by opting for features that protect and make the overall process easier.

Your Chimney Cap Is Rusty

Another noteworthy sign of replacing your chimney cap is if it’s rusty. Back in the day, chimney caps were made of materials that would catch rust and corrosion. However, today’s chimney caps are made of durable materials such as stainless steel or copper. These materials are moisture and water-resistant. So, they don’t corrode easily.

Even though these chimney caps are relatively expensive but come with a decade’s worth of lifespan. You don’t need to change them every year. This is also because they are made to withstand extreme weather conditions. That said, if your chimney happens to be old, it is most likely that the chimney cap is made of old materials as well.

A tell-tale sign that the chimney cap is made of old materials is rust. A rusty cap means you will need to replace it immediately because it may be cracked.

Your Chimney Cap Is Damaged

A chimney cap may become damaged due to various reasons. It could be due to extreme weather conditions, broken tree limbs, animals chewing through them, or general wear and tear. If the chimney cap happens to be smashed or bent, it should be replaced right away.

Plus, the hood of the chimney cap must be high so that there is enough space for a good draft. If it isn’t, the fireplace gasses could flow back into your house. Additionally, if the chimney cap’s mesh is bent or broken, the cap will need to be replaced.

Keep in mind that birds, rats, and other animals will force their way inside. During the process, the chimney cap will most likely be damaged. So, even a slight deformity means that the chimney is accessible for them. It would be smart to replace the cap as soon as possible.

You have to do chimney inspection Upper Marlboro once a month or two to look for chimney cap damage among other things.

How To Find A New Chimney Cap?

When it comes to finding or choosing the perfect chimney cap, you will need to consider a few things.

From the outside, all chimney caps might look the same but the features, size, and type differ. The best way to opt for a chimney cap is to measure the dimensions of the chimney.

If your chimney is designed in a certain way, you can place an order for a custom chimney cap. However, you should make sure the chimney cap is made using high-quality materials. The prime objective of the chimney cap is to shield the chimney from intruders, debris, and water.

Once you have purchased a chimney cap, it will need to be installed. For someone who does not possess the tools or experience to climb the roof, it is better to consult an expert. You will have to spend some money but it will ensure your safety.

Plus, the chimney cap installation process may get tricky as well if some changes to the chimney need to be made. For instance, if the chimney itself has cracks, damage, etc. you will need to fix them first before installing the cap. So, you should hire a professional for the job so they inspect the chimney as well and suggest repairs if required.

And when you want to hire a chimney expert, choose someone who specializes in building or repairing chimneys. You might think of it as an expense but consider it an investment.


Chimney cap replacement timing depends on the material and how well the chimney is maintained. Even though modern chimney caps can last years, certain external factors can still defeat them. So, if you don’t have a chimney cap to begin with or one that is showing signs of rust and corrosion, you should buy a new one. Plus, make sure the chimney is maintained by an expert chimney contractor Bowie to reduce the probability of frequent chimney cap replacements and chimney repairs.

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