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There are many reasons that chimneys have caps. They act as the finishing bond for the brickwork underneath and extend the life of the whole structure. They keep cinders and hot ash in the chimney so they do not escape and raise risk of a fire outdoors. They control the heat from your fire or insert so it can pass through your home and dissipate without raising heat spots in your walls that could catch fire. They also prevent small birds and insects from invading your home too. When you need chimney cap repair it is something that should never be put off for long.
The role of the chimney in keeping your home safe
Everyone knows that keeping your chimney clear of creosote buildup reduces risk of fire, but the chimney cap serves to keep out materials that are also flammable as well. It also keeps out small animals and insects that can destroy the inside lining in order to nest in the chimney. If they do that, they remove the protective heat barrier that allows fire heat or heat from your insert to pass out of the house without increasing risk on your upper floors of an incident.
The role of the chimney in keeping your home healthy
More is known about how a chimney serves to keep your home healthy than ever before. The chimney is the key source of drafts in a home. The flue needs to be in good working order to prevent a loss of heating and cooling in the home, and to reduce the amount of allergens that can enter the home in this way. If you don't use your chimney don't think that makes it OK to not have it cleaned. The chimney cap keeps birds, small animals and insects out. If it isn't in good repair you can have a buildup of waste from the animals and insect nests that can then affect the air quality of your home.
Common repairs to chimney caps
Most Chimney Cap Repair is simple, but time consuming. It can take a while for the contractor to get set up with the cap so it is safe to work on. Common repairs are simple tuck pointing, where the mortar that is failing between the joints of the brick supporting the cap is replaced. Replacement of the crowing cap and replacement of the cap itself is also common. Many of the newer styles of caps are inserts that provide protection from birds and other animals entering your chimney, as well as keeping hot ash and cinder in too.
Making sure the cap is inspected
The most common reason that people wind up needing extensive repair or replacement work on their chimney caps is that they did not make it a habit to inspect the cap frequently. The cap is up and out of the way. It is hard to see its condition close enough to really see when the beginnings of a repair need to be done. You don't have to always pay someone to come out and inspect your chimney cap. You also shouldn't risk climbing out on the roof alone. The purchase of a small and cheap pair of binoculars while developing the habit of walking around with them so you can see as many sides of the cap as closely as possible can help you spot when repairs are needed while the jobs are small.
To rebuild or repair?
One decision you need to make after talking with your contractor is whether you want to have chimney cap repair done, or whether the cap should be completely replaced. Listen to what the contractor says. There are times when repair is appropriate, and times when it can make matters worse. If the condition of the cap is too bad, then repairing it may not work. Not only could the cap need more repair sooner because it won't really take, but it can also be allowing for more damage to occur to the full chimney structure. If your cap does need to be replaced, make sure you also have the contractor assess the integrity of the lining and the rest of the chimney. If your cap has been in disrepair for a long time, damage can occur to both of these and that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
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