The winter months will be here before you know it. When the temperature outside gets chilly, there’s nothing like relaxing by the cozy, warm fireplace. Your chimney system not only adds charm to your home, but it also plays an important role in ensuring that you can enjoy a safe fire.

Unfortunately, your chimney can also be an open invitation for critters to enter your home. Fortunately, closing off your chimney with a chimney cap can help prevent these unwanted visitors from entering your living space and clogging up your system.  This can prevent costly problems from occurring down the line and help safeguard against a potentially devastating chimney fire.

What is a chimney cap?

A chimney cap is made up of steel wire mesh that covers the chimney’s exposed areas at the top. It has a small “hat” to help keep out rain, critters, and debris. The top-mounted damper has an airtight seal that can be closed to keep conditioned air inside of your home, and unwanted creatures out.

Why invest in a chimney cap


  • Prevent dangerous diseases from entering your home 

Squirrels, bats, and other animals that get inside of your chimney can eventually end up inside of your home. It’s bad enough that they wreak havoc and cause damage to your property. Worst of all, some of these critters carry fleas and diseases that can be harmful to your pets and family.

  • Smelly odors from droppings

As small animals like raccoons and other mammals go in and out of your home, they leave droppings that can become a major health hazard. You may begin to notice a foul smell coming from the chimney on humid or warm days. As the moisture levels and heat begin to rise, the smell becomes more potent. If you decide to start a fire in your fireplace, this can intensify the unpleasant smell and make it difficult for you to enjoy the comforts of your home.

  • Dead creatures in your chimney system

Sometimes animals can get into your chimney and cannot escape. These animals usually end up getting stuck and dying, leaving you to deal with an unpleasant odor.

Generally, only birds and raccoons can get out of a chimney once they’ve traveled into your system. Other animals have trouble escaping, and the decaying body of an animal in your chimney can leave your system filled with maggots. Cleanup can be messy, invasive, and expensive. It’s best to keep the animals out in the first place with a chimney cap.

  • Protect your home from water damage

Rain that gets into your chimney system can cause a lot more damage than you realize. The acidity from the rain can deteriorate the cement in the mortar joints located between  the tiles of the flue. Once the cement starts to crumble, it will take on the consistency of sand.

During rainy weather, storms will wash away the degraded cement, leaving you with an unsafe chimney. Installing a chimney can keep water from getting into the chimney liner or flue by directing it away from the center and off the chimney sides.

  • Keep out debris

A chimney cap will help keep debris out of your chimney system like leaves, twigs, and trash that gets blown in by the wind. This is especially important if your home is surrounded by a lot of trees. Debris in your chimney can increase your risk of experiencing a chimney fire. A chimney cap with metal grating or mesh around the outside of the structure will stop debris from clogging up your system.

  • Increase the draft within your chimney

Your standard chimney cap can help increase the draft in your chimney system. However, you might still consider investing in a draft-enhancing chimney cap that uses a turbine to increase the draft inside of your chimney. Draft ensures that your chimney functions properly.  What’s more, draft-enhancing chimney caps may even increase the lifespan of your chimney liner.

Homeowners will be pleased to know that chimney caps can be purchased at a fairly reasonable price. The important thing to remember is that investing in protecting your home’s chimney system now can save you from spending money on repairing or replacing a chimney liner later.

Chimney Maintenance

Even If you already have a chimney cap installed on your home, you will need to have it inspected periodically to ensure it is still in good condition. Chimney caps can rust over time, creating holes that critters can squeeze through. In some cases the chimney cap may need to be replaced.

If this applies to you and you’re located in Central Indianapolis, contact Brick + Ember Outfitters today to schedule your appointment!