It is widely known that critters love chimneys. They provide excellent protection and shelter, especially in harsh climates. Birds, squirrels, and raccoons are just a few residents that regularly visit the oasis that is the chimney. Although they have good reasons to reside in your home, the animals can endanger you, your family, and themselves. However, removing critters from your chimney is a risky business. Not only do you risk contracting diseases from them, but in some cases, it is even illegal for you to remove certain animals – for instance, chimney swifts.

The best way to avoid harm to yourself and to the animal is to prevent the critter from crawling into the chimney in the first place. Fortunately, chimney caps are an easy and highly-preventive solution for this common issue. Not to mention, they can aid in making your chimney liner last longer. There are many different types of chimney caps, so your options may be overwhelming. However, this guide will help you decide which chimney cap will work best for you!

Types of Chimney Caps

Single-Flue Cap

The standard chimney cap is the single-flue cap. As the name suggests, this type of cap works best for chimneys that do not have more than one flue. This kind is great for those who like to keep things simple. Typically, the square or round chimney cap easily attaches to the top of the chimney with screws or slides on and securely sits on top of it. 

Multi-Flue Cap

The multi-flue chimney cap is much like the single-flue cap, except it is designed for chimneys that have more than one flue. Although the critters may be happy about the extra flue they can call home, you will need to cover this type of chimney with a multi-flue cap. They attach in the same way as the single-flue cap, but the multi-flue cap is larger to allow for maximal coverage

Tile Mount

Tile mount caps are also referred to as outside-mount chimney caps. This type of cap works best for single-flue chimneys. When it comes to simplicity, these rank number one. Not only are they easy to mount with vertical anchors, but they are also one of the least expensive types of chimney caps. On the downside, they are less durable compared to other types of chimney caps.

Surface Mount

Surface mount chimney caps are great for multi-flue chimneys, but can also be used for single-flue chimneys. They are similar to tile mount caps but are generally larger because they are protecting the complete surface of the top of the chimney. However, due to their larger size and efficiency, they tend to be more costly than tile mounts.

High-Wind Caps

For homes located in breezy areas, it is best to cover your chimney with a high-wind cap, also known as an anti-wind cap. This type of chimney cap overlaps upon itself with many flaps, hindering any harsh winds from damaging your chimney. High-wind caps are somewhat versatile due to their slender design that can conveniently attach to vent piping.

Pre-Fabricated Pipe Caps

Similar to high-wind caps, pre-fabricated chimney caps are slender and easily attach to piping vents. However, due to their design, pre-fabricated pipe caps must match the pipe and wall thickness they are securing in order to adequately slide onto it. On the plus side, pre-fabricated pipe caps are not only compatible with wood-burning fireplaces but also, conveniently, with gas fireplaces.

Custom Caps

If you are unsatisfied with the above options of chimney caps, consider purchasing a custom cap. This will ensure the greatest amount of satisfaction as you decide on what works best for you. You can have a say in size, material, and color. This is an especially great option for those with homes that require unique fittings and structures.