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Learn All About Chimney Cap Replacement In This Guide

Posted on : March 15, 2024

Learn All About Chimney Cap Replacement In This Guide

Chimney caps are prone to damage, as they are at the peak of the roof, providing the final cover to the chimney itself. Due to their location, environmental conditions and neglected maintenance often accelerate the deterioration of chimney caps.

In this blog post, we will answer some crucial questions about chimney cap replacement to help homeowners make the right decisions for their roof.

How Do Chimney Caps Get Damaged?

Chimney caps are susceptible to damage from various causes, including:

  • Normal wear and tear: Exposure to weather elements like rain, snow, and UV radiation can lead to rust or corrosion on metal chimney caps over time.
  • Hidden defects: Flaws in installation or manufacturing can weaken the chimney cap's integrity and durability.
  • Unforeseen events: Incidents like high winds, lightning strikes, or fires can unexpectedly damage or dislodge chimney caps.
  • Moisture: Cracks or missing mortar joints make way for water to seep in, causing damage to both the chimney cap and surrounding masonry.
  • Creosote buildup: Residue from burnt wood, known as creosote, can accumulate on the chimney cap, furthering its deterioration.
  • Debris accumulation: Stormy weather can deposit debris like twigs, leaves, and dirt onto the roof, potentially obstructing the chimney cap.

It’s important to replace the chimney cap before the damage spreads to your home’s interior. 

Signs You Need Chimney Cap Replacement

You need to replace the chimney cap if you spot these signs of damage:

  • Your chimney cap is broken, bent, or has visible damage.
  • Rust or corrosion has compromised the cap's functionality.
  • Water and debris are collecting in the fireplace.
  • Your chimney cap has been dislodged or loosened by storms or strong winds.
  • After significant exterior changes, if your chimney cap no longer matches your home's style.
  • Your chimney cap is reaching its expected lifespan and is showing signs of deterioration over time.
  • Creosote buildup or holes in your chimney cap are letting birds and animals inside.
  • Your chimney cap has suffered damage from a chimney fire.

How Often Should You Replace The Chimney Cap?

chimney cap replacement

Stainless steel and copper chimney caps are renowned for their durability, offering a potential lifespan of over 10 years when correctly installed. On the other hand, galvanized steel chimney caps, while more affordable, have a shorter lifespan, averaging up to 5 years. Aluminum chimney caps, though budget-friendly, are the least durable option, typically lasting only 1 to 3 years.

So, you need to replace the cap depending on its lifespan. Most people opt for chimney cap replacement every 5 to 7 years.

The Importance Of Replacing The Chimney Cap On Time

When you replace an old or damaged chimney cap, it protects your home from several types of problems. Let’s look at the importance of a timely chimney cap replacement.

Water Damage

Water Damage

A new cap with proper design and flashing will provide a better cover for the chimney, preventing rainwater from entering it. This will prevent water damage to the chimney flue, interior walls, and surrounding masonry.

Animal Intrusion

A sturdy and properly fitted cap acts as a barrier to keep animals such as rodents, raccoons, and birds out of your chimney. By replacing the cap, you maintain this protective barrier, preventing animal intrusion and the nesting and blockage issues that come with it.

Debris Blockage

A properly designed and installed chimney cap will prevent leaves, gravel, grime, and other debris from entering the chimney flue. This way, you reduce the risk of blockages and airflow restrictions, which often lead to inefficient burning and safety hazards.

Ember Protection

A replacement chimney cap with spark arrestors effectively prevents hot embers from escaping the chimney, so that they don’t land on your roof or adjacent combustible materials, reducing the risk of fire.

Creosote Buildup

A properly functioning cap will prevent rainwater from mixing with combustion byproducts inside the chimney. This helps minimize creosote buildup and reduces the risk of chimney fires.

Structural Damage

By replacing the old or damaged chimney cap, you maintain the integrity of the chimney structure by preventing moisture intrusion, which can lead to cracks, rust, and corrosion over time.

To ensure correct installation and the use of a good-quality cap, you need to hire a certified professional specializing in chimney cap installation and replacement.

Who Provides Chimney Cap Replacement Services?

A certified roofing contractor should be your first choice for chimney cap installation as the chimney is a part of the roofing system. A roofer who specializes in chimney cap repairs will ensure efficient, safe, and detail-oriented work, which is necessary for avoiding damage to the roofing materials. So, evaluate local roofing contractors thoroughly based on licensing, certifications, experience, and referrals. A qualified roofer will provide long-term benefits in functionality, aesthetics, and overall project satisfaction.

Cost Of Replacing A Chimney Cap

The cost of replacing a chimney cap can vary based on elements like material, size, and installation. Here is a breakdown of the costs involved:

Chimney Cap Materials and Costs:

  • Galvanized steel: $15 to $200
  • Stainless steel: $50 to $500
  • Copper: $150 to $900

Labor Cost Of Chimney Cap Installation:

Labor typically makes up about half of the total cost. The average labor cost of chimney cap replacement or installation is generally around $50 to $150 per hour. Keep in mind that the cost of labor varies depending on your location, the expertise of the contractor, and other factors. 

Factors Affecting The Total Cost

  • Flue size determines the cost of the chimney cap.
  • Labor costs depend on the complexity of the replacement work.
  • Additional features like wind resistance or dampers can increase costs.

If you need a new chimney cap in Pittsburgh, let us help you select the best one and install it for you!

Roofing Contractor In Pittsburgh For Chimney Cap Replacement!

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we specialize in chimney cap replacement and all kinds of chimney repairs. We are the most trusted home and roofing contractor in Pittsburgh, providing a wide range of exterior and interior services for our fellow homeowners. If you need chimney cap replacement services, call us at (412) 353-5660 and discuss your requirements with our experts.

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