Chimneys are sturdy and built to withstand the test of time. However, there is one thing that can wreak havoc on both the interior and exterior of your fireplace system – water. Water damage is one of the primary causes of chimney deterioration. From exterior bricks crumbling to rusting interior fireplace components, water can affect every part of your chimney system. However, all water damage can be prevented through preemptive maintenance such as installing a rain cover for your chimney. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we offer rain cover to protect your chimney fully.
What is a rain cover?
A rain cover is a metal cap with mesh or wire sides that covers the top of the flue and protects the top of the chimney. While chimney caps cover just the flue, rain covers are full size and protect the chimney crown as well the flue.
They are made of sturdy, corrosion-resistant metal such as stainless steel or copper. Rain covers can protect your chimney from the elements and prevent both interior and exterior water damage. Installing a quality rain cover is also important. Those made of aluminum or other lesser metals can rust over time, creating ugly stains that are difficult to remove. Likewise, poorly constructed rain covers can weaken over time, allowing animal entry or moisture and debris to get into your system to wreck all kinds of havoc.
Reasons to install a rain cover
While most chimneys have a chimney cap, a rain cover is an additional protection that can help reduce moisture damage to your fireplace. The following are five reasons to consider installing a rain cover on your chimney.
- Reduce water damage. Rain covers reduce water damage in two ways. First, it covers the top of the flue and prevents water from entering the fireplace to damage delicate interior components including the chimney liner, damper, firebox, and more. Secondly, full-size rain covers protect the chimney crown. The sloped top and overhanging sides of a rain cover direct water away from the chimney and safely onto the roof.
- Prevent animal entry. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals have all been known to seek shelter – or nest in – unprotected chimneys. A rain cover help prevent animal entry and the debris, odors, parasites, and damage they can bring.
- Avoid downdrafts. The slanted sides pf a rain cover prevent down drafts from affecting fireplace use. This encourages a good draft and keeps strong winds from blowing smoke and gas back down the chimney, when your fireplace is in use.
- Block sparks. Stray sparks and embers from a roaring fire can travel up the chimney. Rain covers serve as a spark arrestor, preventing sparks from leaving the chimney. This helps to prevent accidental fires caused by sparks from the fireplace landing on roofs, trees, garages, or other structures.
- Keep debris out. Falling leaves, twigs, trash, and other debris can fall into an uncapped chimney to create blockages. In addition to increasing the risk of chimney fire, blockages in the flue can prevent smoke and gas from properly drafting when your fireplace is in use. Rain covers help prevent debris from falling into your chimney in the first place.
Rain covers protect your entire chimney system – both inside and out. For more information on the importance of a capped chimney or to schedule your chimney inspection, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!