Copper Chimney Caps
A warm fire on a icy cold winters night is a relaxing and appealing treat for anyone fortunate enough to have a fireplace and fuel. In many places a wood burning fire is one of the most economical and easy ways to heat a cabin retreat or backwoods home, but more and more often it is used in the cities and towns burning natural gas as well as wood. On some homes, the chimney is almost decoration, with past remodels rendering the fireplace useless. Nonetheless, every chimney should be capped to prevent rain and wind from entering, and hot ash and debris from exiting, even if the chimney isn't used at all.
In the past decorative chimney caps were complex pieces that were often custom built with the chimney and fitting the style of the house, building, or castle. Some are pure and beautiful artwork, adding a fabulous cap to the highest point of the structure. While most of the caps of yore were built from stone, todays caps are often metal with copper chimney caps taking the number one spot for beauty, long life, relatively low cost, and easy maintenance.
Copper chimney caps are produced in a wide variety of styles and sizes to fit any home, building, or structure. They are fashionable perched on top of a victorian manor, an A frame cabin in the woods, and the most modern hotels and museums. Styles range from art deco to gothic to post-modern and classical. There are caps that mimic lighthouses, caps that are so elaborate they are considered art, and caps that purely functional. They can be simple and functional, elaborate and almost useless, or anywhere in between. Copper is favored for its instant good looks and shine as well as the way it ages. Over time the copper oxidizes which creates a rich green patina that will eventually cover the entire surface. Unlike rust, this patina protects the metal from further decay.
Decorative chimney caps can be found through many retailers, construction suppliers, and even custom manufacturers. Just remember, if the cap is to be used for more than just decoration it should be installed by a knowledgeable chimney and fireplace installer. The cap should be able to stop rain and debris from entering the chimney and in some environments, especially marine environments, this can be difficult for many of the highly decorative caps. A more functional and sleek one may be necessary. The cap also has the task of preventing hot ash and debris from exiting and landing on the roof. That is the leading cause of house fires in the world. This can be prevented with a simple screen mounted below the cap. Often the cap will also prevent downdrafts which can send smoke inside the room instead of outside.
Whatever your uses are, a decorative chimney cap increases a homes curb appeal, and plays a crucial part of roof protection for fireplaces that are used from time to time, or everyday.