If your home has a chimney, the early fall is the perfect time to have it inspected and cleaned. While your chimney sweep is doing the work, you should also consider asking about a chimney cap. If you're not familiar with them, here's a look at some of the things that you should know.

Why Should You Consider a Chimney Cap?

There are many reasons to consider a chimney cap for your home. For example, they serve as a great barrier against inclement weather. After all, most chimney openings are close to a square foot or larger. This means that your home is vulnerable to heavy rains, severe weather and strong wind conditions. A chimney cap covers the top of the chimney to block wind and rain and other weather conditions.

Chimney caps also help to keep rodents and other wild animals at bay. Chimneys are often inviting to squirrels, birds, raccoons and other creatures because they offer shelter. Animals and their nests can actually lead to fire hazards in the chimney, because they can block air ventilation. In addition, any animals that settle into your chimney have direct access to the inside of your home.

How Do You Choose a Chimney Cap?

A standard chimney cap is great for blocking most weather and other issues. However, if you live in an area where there's severe storms and other weather, you might want to invest in a wind-resistant model for extra protection. If you're concerned about pests, look for a cap with a protective screen barrier.

The material that the cap is made from is important as well. Opt for stainless steel if you want a chimney cap that will last. Stainless steel resists rust and other weathering, which leads to a longer lifespan than you'd get from galvanized steel or anything similar.

You'll also need to know the flue size. Ask your chimney sweep for the flue size measurements or have him or her help you narrow down the right chimney cap size. You can even have your chimney sweep install it. It's important to ensure that you have it installed correctly, because it needs a proper airtight seal to keep it in place.

When you book your chimney cleaning this year, talk with the chimney sweep about the possibility of adding a chimney cap afterward. By investing in one now, you'll be able to protect your chimney and your home for many years to come. For more information, you can also go to this site.