Your chimney cap is likely the single most important add-on to a standard chimney. The little device can prevent rain from entering your chimney, stop birds and other animals from entering, block leaves and debris, protect your chimney from hard winds, and much more. As such an important part of you and your chimney’s safety, it can be pretty important to ensure that you don’t need to repair or replace your chimney cap. Even still, there are many times in which you might need to do so, and it’s important you do so quickly. So, here are some signs you need to repair or replace your chimney cap.

chimney cap

  • Your Chimney Cap is Gone or Missing

This is an obvious sign; if your chimney cap is no longer on your chimney, you need to get a replacement immediately. While it might seem a little weird to put this as the first sign, it’s not too uncommon. Birds, squirrels, bats, and even strong breezes can slowly wear down your chimney cap’s support, inevitably taking it away. 

Storms are a major cause, as the mixture of heavy rains, hails, and strong wind erodes and eventually captures many people’s chimney caps. Of course, they’re not the only explanation, as animals may pry at it to get within your chimney. A single squirrel isn’t likely the culprit, although a bunch of them may be. Either way, it’s incredibly important to either find, repair, and reinstall your existing chimney cap, or invest in a sturdier one that should last a while.

  • Your Chimney is Clogged

Chimney caps are designed to protect your chimney and property from outside sources, especially from clogging and assorted issues. If your chimney is clogged or your chimney cap won’t operate as intended, then it’s likely time to remove the cap and clean your chimney. Afterward, if you determine that the cap isn’t operating as it’s meant to, then it might be time to move towards replacing, rather than repairing.

If things are getting into your chimney, then it likely means that your chimney cap is damaged and is letting in debris. Over time, the debris will stack and clog your chimney, a sign that you need to repair or entirely replace your chimney cap. Again, as mentioned, depending on the extent to which your chimney cap isn’t working, you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace your chimney cap.

  • You Notice a Buildup of Creosote or Other Chemicals

For many chimneys, the base of the area is home to a fire-pit. Fire Pits are, well, burned, resulting in the upward release of a chemical called creosote. Creosote is generally created in industries concerning tar, as the “heavy oil” part of coal tar. The thing is, fire-pits release creosote as well. Burning wood or fossil fuels releases the same chemical, which can coat the inside of your chimney if not properly released.

While chimney caps are usually thought of as protection measures (i.e., keeping things out, not letting things out), they often work to push out chemicals. Creosote is an example, as it results from smoke or ash not being aptly removed. If a chimney cap isn’t working or is improperly placed, it might not aerate well enough, trapping creosote and other chemicals inside. If you notice a buildup of these chemicals, usually in the form of a black, oil-like substance, then it’s time to replace your chimney cap, and clean up afterwards.

  • You Find Water Leakage or Debris Inside

Of course, chimney caps are built with two major things in mind: protecting you and your chimney from water (or other precipitations) and debris. If you notice one of these two within your property, then there’s a problem. It’s likely just an improperly seated or wrongly sized cap, although it can be worse. Either way, it’s obviously important to immediately repair or replace your chimney cap if you find the outside, inside.

We recommend when it comes to major issues, like finding water or debris inside, to contact the professionals. Master Cap offers chimney cap-related services, including with custom-made caps. Our team is standing by for any questions, concerns, or quote requests, and we’re ready to help you. Master Cap offers eight styles of custom-designed caps, which are individually crafted to ensure that they safely, and adequately, protect you and your chimney.

Any of these issues can turn out to be bigger than just a misplaced chimney cap, with the potential for there to be serious health concerns or potential danger. Master Cap will take care of many issues, although many others may be routed to trusted teams within other businesses. Whether you’re dealing with any of these issues or think you may be at risk, definitely contact the professionals, whether Master Cap or otherwise. We’re standing by, just a phone call or message away!