It is easy to ignore chimneys and other home drainage equipment, but do so at your own peril. If you don’t use Chimney Caps and Rainpans you are risking chimney damage from water, animal infestation and build up of other contaminants in your chimney. A good Chimney cap can also help prevent lightning or other spark damage to your chimney and roof area. If you have a good fire going in the fireplace at night and go outside, you will see sparks from the fire shooting into the air if you have an unprotected chimney.
Another important thing to consider is having your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected to prevent creosote build up and undetected damage to chimney liner and cap. Remember, you have a fire in your fireplace that needs to vent out the chimney safely. You also have all the weather elements affecting the outside of the chimney including the top opening. A good chimney cap will allow the smoke to vent safely while preventing rain and snow from going down the chimney. A good cap will also prevent small animals like birds and squirrels from falling down the chimney and becoming trapped. Dead animals can block your chimney, causing fireplace operating problems, get into your home to reek havok or just die and smell bad.
A quality chimney cap and rain pan will not only help your fireplace operate more efficiently and safely, but will make the chimney look more attractive. Chimney caps and their screening come in different metals and finishes as well as different price points to meet more home design styles and owner budgets. You can have a brass look, wrought iron or polished or brushed steel or aluminum look depending on your homes style nad color scheme. You can find a local contractor to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney, just make sure they are qualified and a certified chimney sweep. It would be good if they were a member of NFI (National Fireplace Institute).