Defective chimney caps will create all sorts of problems. What are these defects like and what are the solutions to them? This article seeks to cover all such details.
If you suspect your chimney cap to be defective, the information here should give you a better idea of what they are and how to fix them.
Chimney rain caps are essential components of the chimney system that help keep out rain, moisture, and debris from getting into the chimney. These are also useful in keeping out wildlife from nesting within this structure.
However, only functional chimney caps give such benefits.
Basic Functions of the Chimney Rain Cap
Before we get into details about chimney rain cap defects, it’s proper to first discuss its uses. As the name suggests, a chimney rain cap serves to keep out rain from getting into the chimney flue.
Moisture tends to easily destroy not only the chimney flue but also the appliances its vents.
This chimney component typically sits atop the chimney and must cover the chimney flue adequately enough to be reliable. Beyond keeping out moisture, the chimney rain cap helps with wind down-draft regulation.
Depending on the chimney rain cap design, some types come with screens that serve as spark arrestors.
This added function ensures that the chance of combustion sparks leaving or escaping the chimney is significantly reduced.
Chimney Rain Cap Defects and Malfunctions
A chimney cap might have a defect from the point of purchase or such defects might develop later on. Defects affect the smooth operation of this chimney component, thus affecting its functionality.
Such defects come in the form of rusts, improper drip edge, being too thin, and also leaky rain caps.
Each of these problems negatively impacts the functionality of your chimney rain cap. Some issues may arise from misuse of these caps or the design material used.
In a nutshell, your chimney cap is likely to get affected by several factors that may be related to using or the condition of your surroundings.
Rust is an enemy of chimney rain caps. The mere fact that it was built to keep out rain and moisture from penetrating your chimney means that it’s always in contact with the moisture.
Now, the type of material your chimney rain cap is made of will determine whether it deteriorates or not.
Some of the common materials used include copper, galvanized steel, stainless steel as well as aluminum. Not all of these have the same reaction to moisture.
Chimney rain caps made from galvanized steel tend to succumb easily to rust. Those made of copper tend to have the most resilience.
With this factor, it’s easy to see why you’ll need to choose a more durable chimney rain cap. Durability in this sense refers to the type of material such cap is made from.
Copper chimney rain caps will serve the longest. You may not need to have these changed anytime soon.
The opposite is quite common with chimney rain caps made from galvanized steel. So, if you notice rust, you may have to replace the cap with one made from a more durable material.
Replacement will need to be done faster to prevent leaks from happening.
Improper Drip Edge
The drip edge is basically the projection of the chimney rain cap beyond the face of the masonry surround.
A proper drip edge must be maintained to prevent rainwater from running or flowing down directly down the face of the masonry brickwork.
In a nutshell, a chimney rain cap with an insufficient drip edge will do a lot of harm to your chimney structure. Such a defective rain cap needs to be replaced with one having an adequate drip edge.
Only then will your chimney be safe and rainwater properly redirected away from the flue and chimney brickwork.
Being Too Thin
How thick is your chimney rain cap?
Thickness here applies to the material used in chimney rain cap construction. The thinner the material, the less likely it’s going to hold.
Consider the fact that this cap will be exposed to extreme weather conditions. During storms, thin caps will likely get blown out.
You want to get a cap that’s made from the right type of material. You may want to ask for expert help in getting the cap with the perfect thickness irrespective of the material used in construction.
The key consideration should be whether the cap will hold up during strong weather conditions like storms.
Leaky Rain Caps
Leaky chimney rain caps are among the problems you’re likely to deal with.
With chimney leaks, the whole aim of keeping out moisture and regulating the draft within is defeated. This is because rain and moisture easily leak through the rain cap and into the chimney.
This must be discovered earlier to prevent significant damage to your chimney structure.
Most times, leaks could result from rust.
So, even when a rusty chimney rain cap isn’t leaking currently, it’s important to have it replaced as it’s only a matter of time before it begins to leak.
Scheduled Inspections are Important
For chimney rain caps to be functional, your chimney must be regularly inspected. How frequently should this inspection take place? Most chimney maintenance companies will advise a yearly inspection.
During an inspection, the general functionality of the chimney is considered.
All components of the chimney are checked and defective ones fixed. It’s important to keep or maintain such schedules to ensure that components such as the rain cap do not malfunction.
Who you hire for inspection matters as well.
Only Hire Reputable Chimney Technicians or Companies
The chimney marketplace is regulated.
This greatly helps in terms of the availability of skilled professionals. While this is true, there are times when services provided by a technician may not be satisfactory.
The best way to avoid this is by researching the best service providers.
Customer reviews provide a more comprehensive measurement of the professionalism of service providers. With verified customer reviews, you’re able to get a fair idea of who performs the job best.
These are common chimney rain cap defects and solutions. If you’re having a rain cap issue, your best bet is to follow the above guidelines to fix such defects.