Chimney Caps & Dampers:
The Best Add-On’s to Your Chimney
When you build or buy a home, it’s natural to think that you are taking possession of a house in tip-top shape, especially if you paid for a home inspection. But most home inspectors never really look at the entire chimney and fireplace system and they easily overlook the fact that a chimney cap might be missing or the throat damper may be off its track. These are two of the most common things that can happen to a chimney system that no one ever thinks about until there is a problem.
Elements of Water & Wind
Water & wind are two of the peskiest elements that can easily damage parts of a chimney. The great thing about a chimney cap is it can help tame the draft that wind can cause as well as keep water out of the system. It’s also a relatively inexpensive repair or add-on.
Wear & Tear
The other thing that happens a lot with chimneys is we don’t realize how much wear and tear is going on in the system. A throat damper sits right above the firebox and is opened and closed by a handle that is on a track. That track can get really dirty and worn over time and can warp due to the excessive heat causing the handle to be able to easily jump the track.
When the handle is no longer gliding in the track, you will have a heck of a time getting the damper to properly open and close. This can just be a nuisance or it can be a real hazard depending on the severity of the problem. Making sure your unit is swept and inspected every year cuts down on this happening and we can let you know when we believe it’s time to address the damper issue.
Killing Two Birds with One Stone
A very popular damper that has been developed is called a top damper or top down damper and it acts as a chimney cap as well as a damper. It’s different because it is positioned at the top of the flue and not internally in the system. A readily-accessible handle along the side of the firebox allows you to open and close the damper just like the old style. However, the flow of air is cut off at the top of the flue, sealing off the entrance altogether. This also serves as a chimney cap and will not let air or water into the system until you are ready to use it again.
What Magic Sweeps loves about the chimney service business is all the new and inventive products that are available for our sweeps to better serve our clients as well as products that really help the chimneys and fireplaces function more efficiently. We stay on top of these by making sure we attend training and certification classes as well as annual regional and national conventions to see what is on the horizon. It’s just another reason we are considered the #1 choice in Hampton Roads!