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Why Chimney Caps Are an Important Part of the Chimney System

Chimney caps are a very important part of your chimney system in several ways.

Advantages of Capping a Chimney

  • They keep rain water out of the flue
  • Screened properly, they keep small animals and birds out of the flue
  • A screened cap also acts as a spark arrestor keeping sparks from flying out of the top of the flue
  • They keep unwanted debris such as leaves and small twigs from getting into the flue

Caps for the Chimney - Jackson MS - Santas FriendThree out of the four uses for caps are keeping things out of the system while one is keeping what needs to be kept in the system, in it. So with all these great uses, why do so many chimneys not have a cap?

Reasons This Can Happen

  • The original contractor didn’t know the importance of a capped chimney
  • The original cap has rusted or wasn’t installed correctly and has been blown off

Some Disadvantages to Using a Cap

  • If screen is too fine, it can get clogged with soot and creosote and that can cause serious draft issues with the function of your fireplace or woodstove
  • Creosote, soot and tar can discolor the cap and happens more often than not when burning unseasoned wood
  • During high wind storms, caps can blow off and need replacing

Trained chimney professionals understand the need to put the proper sized screen around the cap. It will not keep out insects because it has to be large enough to let soot, creosote and smoke through but small enough to block most sparks and small animals and birds. This has to be done correctly so the draft issues discussed above don’t happen or you will have a very difficult time starting and maintaining a fire in your fireplace or stove.

The staining from creosote, soot and tar is lessened considerably if you burn the right type of seasoned wood. This means you need to become educated about what to do if you cut your own firewood and what to purchase if you buy it.

Most properly-installed chimney caps can withstand most common storms. However, there are times that even the best and sturdiest chimneys are damaged by tornadoes and hurricanes.

Chimney Cap Types

Copper Caps - Jackson MS - Santas Friend

While we recommend stainless steel or copper caps for lifespan and durability, caps are available in aluminum, electrolytically- painted galvanized iron and clay, sometimes referred to as pot toppers or chimney pots. Caps can be screened or not, so make sure you get what you want the first time. We also make custom caps, so ask us about that option as well.

While placing a cap or topper on your chimney is a great idea and helps keep your chimney system clean on the inside, it does not take the place of having your chimney professionally swept or inspected. What it will do is protect your system from larger repairs down the road.

Call Santa’s Friend Chimney Service and let us help you get your chimney system in tip-top shape for the years to come.


You can improve the performance and efficiency of your fireplace system with a top mount damper which is just one of the many chimney products we can install.

Chimney Safety Institute of America National Chimney Sweeps Guild Regency Fireplaces Authorized Dealer

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