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Keeping Water Out of Your Chimney and Your Home

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It looks like it’s going to be a wet week in Houston… again. According to KHOU, There's a 40 percent rain chance on Tuesday and it will climb to 50 percent through the rest of the week. The good news is that with all of the clouds, temperatures will stay in the mid-80s for daytime highs instead of the 90s.

The bad news is when it rains your roof and chimney will get wet. If you have masonry chimney that leaks, water ends up in your home. Why does a masonry chimney leak in the first place? Over time as brick chimneys are exposed to the elements (rain, wind and water), bricks and mortar chip and deteriorate allowing water to enter the chimney. Another reason that chimneys leak is because the flashing which is attached to the chimney and roof gets lifted up or rusts. Water can enter directly through the opening of the chimney gradually seeping into the roof joints and into your house, ruining drywall, causing wood rot and mold growth.

As a homeowner, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen? You can fix or replace the worn out bricks and mortar. You can also change the metal chimney flashing. But if you want to prevent water from entering through the opening of the chimney you’ll need a chimney cap or a masonry chimney crown.

By installing a chimney cap you’ll save yourself the expense of chimney water damage and eventual chimney replacement. Water damage causes over $1 Billion in damages every year. This damage can be avoided in the first place by a little preventative maintenance once every 5-10 years. A chimney cap can keep your fireplace safe from the elements and prevent animals from nesting in your chimney. So what are the different types of chimney caps and how are they different

By now you’re probably wondering what are your options?  In his article I’ll try to break down the most common chimney caps

#1: Standard Chimney Cap

The best thing about standard chimney caps is that the side screening prevents birds and other animals from nesting in your chimney. It also keeps sparks in the chimney structure preventing them from getting into your yard and causing fires.

#2: Draft Increasing Chimney Cap

Using the wind to create stronger updrafts A draft increasing chimney cap can help if your fireplace has problems with drafts. The major drawback is that soot tends to stick to the spinning turbines.

#3: Integral Damper Mechanisms

If you have an older fireplaces that does not have a damper mechanism (which keeps air conditioning in and cold air from coming in), you might need an Integral Damper Mechanism. Not only does it keep the cold air out but water too.

#4: Electric Draft Increasing Chimney Cap

They aren’t cheap ($900-$2000 +) but if you need more draft then you might need a chimney cap that acts as a draft inducer. They come with electric fans that allow you to control the right amount of draft for your fireplace.

When picking a chimney cap always be sure to consider your needs and the design of your chimney, and choose the one that is right for your chimney.

There are many different chimney caps single flue, multi-flue as well as decorative chimney caps, chimney pots etc… made out of galvanized steel, copper etc… You have to know what you’re shopping for based on the dimensions of your chimney and your needs. And if you’re overwhelmed by all of these choices; we’d be pleased to help you make the right purchase.

With more than 20 years of experience we know which chimney cap will do the job and which one won’t. Don’t let it rain on your parade; call us today at 1-855-497-2446 to book an appointment.

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