Should you install a chimney cap on your house?

Chimney Cap
Chimney Cap
Photo by Ben Lagow on Flickr

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing outside a house my clients were considering purchasing. We were giving the house a close visual inspection, from top to bottom. I directed my clients’ attention to the chimney and commented that the seller had made the wise decision to install a chimney cap, one less thing for them to do after closing.

A chimney cap serves several important purposes:

  1. Closing a chimney with a chimney cap shuts the door to unwanted animals, cutting off access to your house.
  2. The cap prevents water and moisture from entering the chimney.
  3. A chimney cap serves as a spark deflector, helping protect your home from burning embers.

After reviewing the virtues of chimney caps, the conversation with my clients took a turn as I began to describe all of the amazing, esthetically pleasing chimney caps that I have observed while strolling through my neighborhood and showing houses across the county. From gorgeous clay chimney pots to elaborate custom works of art constructed out of copper to functional galvanized or stainless steel, I have seen them all. I jokingly said that I was considering hosting a “Chimney Cap Tour of Alta Vista,” just so I could point out my favorites.

I am unsure of the roots of my intrigue with chimneys. It may have started after watching the movie Mary Poppins and seeing happy-go-lucky Dick Van Dyke touting the good fortune that comes from a handshake with a chimney sweep. More likely it was learning at an early age that Santa Claus makes his deliveries of toys via a home’s chimney. Whether I am actually hoping for a glimpse of Santa or Dick Van Dyke, I am always delighted when my rooftop scouting spots a chimney with cap atop it.

If your chimney is missing a cap, I encourage you to remedy that. And I invite you to look up with me. In no time you will find several varieties of chimney protection to admire. Let me know your favorites so I can get a look at them as well! Maybe, just maybe, one day you will find me at a book signing of Chimney Caps of Greenville in a book store near you.

If you’re looking to buy, sell, or build, contact me for more information.

Susie White, Realtor Associate

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