Does my chimney need a rain cap? well, rain caps really are essential, they stop rain from entering your chimney and outer brick, they will keep out unwanted animals, and also can help prevent downdraft just to name a few of the benefits.

Do I need a fireplace chimney cap?

The simple answer is yes, every chimney needs a rain cap, for the same reasons stated above.

Fireplace chimney caps are really designed to be used as a preventative measure but are also functional and add style and value to your home.

Stainless steel rain cap with built-in spark arrestor

Stainless Steel Chimney Cap

 8″ x 8″ Bolt On Single Flue Chimney Rain Cap made with 304 Stainless Steel

During this post we will talk about different types of rain caps, the cost to replace yours or buy a new rain cap, the cost of a fireplace chimney cap installation by a chimney sweep, also I will talk about the benefits of a spark arrestor, known as a chimney cap screen.

So please continue reading to understand all there is to know about chimney rain caps, and if you find this information useful please leave a comment or share it with friends by touching the buttons on the side or bottom of your screen.

How much does a rain cap installation cost?

The average price for installing a chimney rain cap is around $150 for the cap, and $150 for labor and materials a total of $300, now if the cap is larger than normal or you would like one that covers more than one flue the price can range from $600 to $1000 plus, and if the cap is made of copper the rain cap installation cost can jump significantly.

The rain cap installation cost is not out of this world, even if you got a handyman or chimney sweep to install it for you.

Are stainless steel chimney caps worth it?

Your chimney cap cost will go up a bit depending on the materials and metal used, stainless steel rain caps are probably the best material for a cap other than copper because they won’t rust like traditional galvanized or steel rain caps, and as the saying goes “Set it and forget it” in other words if you put a stainless steel cap on your chimney you won’t need to touch it again for the life of the chimney.

So, Are stainless steel chimney caps worth it? Yes, a big Yes! and it really comes down to their longevity.

When buying a Stainless steel rain cap try to buy one that is made with 304-grade stainless steel, and try and get one with a stainless steel mesh to keep out those unwanted animals and leaves, buying 304 steel will give you a cap that will last for a long time.

Do copper chimney caps rust?

Copper rain caps are really good, and no they don’t rust, but they do corrode and change to a greenish-blue color on copper when it ages.

Copper capPin
The Statue of Liberty is made of copper and is an excellent representation of copper tarnish

Many people make the mistake with copper thinking that it will always have that shiny copper look but the reality is that it loses its shine over time and looks almost tarnished not rusty most people like this look, this look is perfect for any older stone or brick home it will give it a classic look.

Copper Rain Cap

Copper Fireplace Chimney Cap, Single Flue, Mesh Spark Arrestor with Removable Lid,

9” x 9” inch

beware copper rain caps are often more expensive than stainless steel because it is a more costly metal to buy.

Can aluminum be used as a chimney rain cap?

So when we ask the question does my chimney need a rain cap? and find out that you do need one then what some people will want to do is find the cheapest one possible or make their own if they are handy.

Aluminum is cheap but is not rated for use with a wood-burning fireplace or wood-burning stove, so stay far away from aluminum, and don’t use it to build an aluminum rain cap.

How do you know what size chimney cap to buy?

Some of the most common sizes of masonry chimney caps are 8*8, 8*13, 13*13, 8*17, and 13*17, they come in square, rectangular, and round shapes.

The only real way for a homeowner to know the size of the chimney cap you need is to climb up on the roof and measure and remember the measurement is taken from the outside of the clay tile, not the inside edge.

Some installers prefer to eliminate the cap that comes with a Stainless Steel Chimney Liner and install one that fits right on the clay tile.

Jonathan A.

the reason for measuring is that some clay tiles, for example, are 12*12, and others can be 13*13 and look similar so always take the proper measurement to get the best fit, most rain caps will have a lip that sits over the edge of the clay chimney tile.

If you hire a chimney sweep to do this job they will know the exact size just by looking at it.

Rain cap spark arrestor

When buying a chimney cap always make sure it has a rain cap spark arrestor or in other words, a mesh screen around the rain cap, if you don’t have one you should be able to buy a metal roll of mesh at your local hardware store, this is easy to install but use caution because you will probably be going on the roof to do this.

Stainless Steel Wire Mesh

Sturdy Metal Mesh Sheets for DIY Projects 304 Stainless Steel No Rust Mesh Screen

This wire mesh chimney screen will keep out unwanted animals like raccoons and birds, so if your chimney doesn’t already have one then it is smart to have one installed.

Can I install my own chimney cap?

You will definitely be able to install your own cap but you will need a few basic tools and a lot of precautions if you decide to climb up on your roof.

If you do this DIY task on your own it probably will make your chimney cap cost lower because you can cut out any labor or reseller costs.

Below are some useful indications to install your chimney cap so let’s get at it!

YouTube video
This is a great video that makes it easy to understand the installation process.

How do chimney caps attach?

Most fireplace chimney caps are easy to install and most homeowners can do this on their own, caps come with a set of screws that you screw into the sides of the clay tile or concrete chimney crown, so if you have a drill and some DIY skills you have no trouble with this.

the part that can be difficult or stop you from doing it yourself is if you have a steep pitch roof or your chimney is too tall to reach with a ladder, in this case, I highly recommend hiring a professional to do the job.

below is a list of things you will need to install your cap.

  • You will need a ladder high enough to reach your roof or chimney
  • A screwdriver or drill to tighten the screws and a concrete bit if your cap mounts into the concrete crown.
  • High-temperature silicone to put on the top edge of the chimney where the cap will sit for stability.

If you would rather have a chimney professional install your rain cap for you you can touch on the links below to find a certified professional close to you in Canada or the USA.

For the USA, the Chimney safety institute of America CSIA

For Canada, Wood energy technology transfer WETT

Fireplace chimney rain capPin

Do fireplace chimney cap dampers really work?

If you ask any chimney specialist the question is, does my chimney need a rain cap? They will say that Top sealing chimney dampers work very well, what they do is close at the top and seal the chimney completely from top to bottom keeping your house warmer, this method also stops unwanted animals from entering your home through the chimney flue, it also stops birds from making nests with its outer mesh, this stopping them before they start.

How does a fireplace top closing damper work?

Inside your fireplace box, a handle is installed with a cable or chain, this cable travels all the way up the inside of the chimney and is connected to a flat plate in the top mounted damper that when pulled down seals the top of your chimney when you are not having a fire, then when you are ready to have a fire you just need to release the cable and the top mounted damper pops up on its springs.

This type of damper is generally installed as a replacement for a damper that is warped or damaged but can be installed at any time, and if you do it will make your whole home more energy efficient.

They come as just a top mounted damper or damper and cap together like the picture below, touch the button to see the different sizes and options.

Top mounted Damper Rain Cap

Stainless Steel Top Sealing Damper 8″ x 13″

What is the difference between a chimney crown and a chimney cap? or rain cap

So this can be kind of confusing at times because they sound like the same thing but a chimney cap is very different from a chimney crown, let me explain below.

Does my chimney need a rain cap?

A fireplace chimney cap or fireplace rain cap is a cap that goes directly on top of your chimney generally sitting on top of the clay tile or stainless steel liner or chimney and as I have mentioned above it is made of metal.

Does my chimney need a chimney crown?

A chimney crown or also sometimes called a chimney cap can be confusing because some people will use this same name for both, a chimney crown is a flat cap of concrete that is formed on top of the brick if you have a masonry chimney or a flat metal cap that fits over the top and edges of your chimney chase.

A chimney crowns purpose is to protect the top of your chimney from water entering the structure and causing damage, one that is properly built will protect your chimney for many years if not the lifetime of the house.

So remember if you ask this question Does my chimney need a rain cap? you may need to specify what you are talking about with a chimney professional if you call it a chimney cap.


Does my chimney need a rain cap? as a chimney sweep, I would say definitely every home with a fireplace should have one as a preventative measure.

If your damper is giving you any trouble as it sticks in place or is rusted then you may want to think about getting a top mounted damper to remedy the problem.

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Thank you for reading.

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