Apr 222013
 

A single flue cap on a masonry chimney with terra cotta flue liner.

A good chimney cap will protect the flue from water entry as well as from entry by animals and debris. It can help improve draft by reducing the effect of wind at the top of the chimney. A chimney cap may also reduce the chance that embers rising out of the chimney will land on the roof. If you hear dripping in your chimney, find water on the walls, or find birds or animals in your chimney, you may need a chimney cap.

A single flue cap and chase cover, part of a prefabricated chimney system in a masonry chase.

There are many kinds of chimney caps. A single flue cap, as its name implies, covers the end of a single chimney flue. This protects the chimney flue itself from water and animal entry, and does not cover any of the chimney crown. Single flue caps of different types can work with masonry flues (above) or prefabricated chimneys (right). On prefabricated chimneys, single flue caps are often used in combination with chase covers to form a complete coverage solution. On masonry chimneys, single flue caps can be a cost-effective alternative to multi-flue caps or can cover flues which cannot fit under a larger, full-size cap.

Multi-flue caps cover more than one flue at once. They can be used in situations where multiple flues do not all accept the same style/size of chimney cap or where multiple single flue caps would interfere with each other’s draft. They can give the top of a chimney a uniform, “polished” look.

A top mount cap on a masonry chimney.

Caps adhere to the chimney in many ways. Most single-flue caps clip, bolt, or snap directly to the end of the chimney flue (which generally extends a little bit above the crown of the chimney). A top-mount cap is attached directly to the masonry chimney crown. It provides protection for the flues beneath it, and some protection for the crown.

An outside mount cap covers the entire top of the chimney chase — including the masonry crown. It covers even the corners of the chimney with metal, protecting the masonry structure of the chimney as well as the flue area from water entry.

A stainless steel, outside mount multi-flue cap.

There are other kinds of chimney caps as well. Chimney pots are sometimes made of terra-cotta, like chimney flue tiles are, and can be formed into unusual and beautiful shapes. They are often just decorative, but they can sometimes help with draft problems by extending the height of the flue. Shrouds are caps which have partially solid metal sides instead of a screen. They can sometimes help with drafting problems caused by high winds.

A stainless steel, outside mount multi-flue cap.

Single-flue caps come in a number of standard sizes to fit standard-sized chimney flues. Multi-flue caps must be custom made for each chimney, because every chimney is different. All chimney caps are designed to be removed during annual cleaning of the chimney and be easily replaced afterward.

Barnhill Chimney’s chimney caps are hand-made in our metal shop out of stainless steel or copper and will not rust. All our chimney caps come with a lifetime warranty.