As a fireplace owner, you know the importance of keeping your chimney and system in the best shape possible. In fact, not doing so can invite some serious hazards, like increased risk of chimney/house fires, smoke in your home, carbon monoxide exposure, and more. But there’s good news – making sure your chimney cap is in good shape and doing what it’s supposed to is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to keep your chimney working at its best.

Having a properly-fitted and functioning chimney cap is essential to chimney maintenance, but – believe it or not – there are many different types of chimney caps, and they all serve slightly different purposes.

Learn about 5 types of chimney caps and their pros and cons, then let the team here at Ashbusters Milwaukee help you find the perfect chimney cap for your needs.

1. Single-Flue Capsa dark purple umbrella with rain falling on it

The single-flue cap is designed to cover the opening of a single chimney flue. Since this is the design and setup of most homes with a fireplace in tow, these styles are probably the most common ones you’ll see atop the houses in your neighborhood. They are often made of a rust-resistant metal and provide a high level of protection from the elements for the single flue that they cover.


  • Single-flue caps are affordable and readily available. They are common and easily installed.
  • Single-flue caps provide adequate protection against rain, snow, and debris, preventing outside elements from entering the exhaust flue.
  • When properly installed, they help prevent downdrafts and promote proper airflow up, out, and away from the home.
  • When fitted correctly, the single-flue cap acts as a barrier against birds, squirrels, and other animals.
  • Single-flue caps are easy to maintain and affordable to replace.


  • Single-flue caps provide limited coverage as they are specifically designed to protect only one flue.
  • Single-flue caps are not suitable for chimneys with multiple flues or unconventional shaped openings.

2. Multi-Flue Caps

The multi-flue cap is designed for chimneys with more than one flue opening. Multi-flue caps exist to cover a plethora of various chimney flue configurations and sizes. The multi-flue cap is larger and covers a wide area above the chimney flue exhausts.


  • Multi-flue caps are built for chimneys with two or more flues, eliminating the need for multiple single-flue caps.
  • Because of their size, multi-flue caps are often able to provide an extra measure of protection against rain, snow, debris, and animals.
  • The multi-flue cap promotes proper airflow and reduces the risk of downdrafts.
  • Multi-flue caps can be customized to fit a wide range of chimneys no matter how unconventional they may be.


  • Because multi-flue caps are larger in size, and often need to be customized to a specific chimney, they usually carry with them a higher cost.
  • The multi-flue cap often requires a chimney professional to install, due to their size and sometimes awkward shape.

3. Outside Mount Caps

Outside mount caps are designed to be installed directly over the top of the chimney and slide on like a shoebox lid to the exterior of the chimney (on the masonry), rather than to the chimney flue.This provides complete coverage over the chimney.


  • The outside mount cap covers the entire chimney, including multiple flues.
  • Outside mount caps provide a high amount of protection against rain, snow, and debris.
  • Due to their large size and unique installation, the outside mount cap provides additional shielding against wind and downdrafts.
  • The outside mount cap is highly customizable and will fit almost every possible chimney size and shape.


  • Outside mount caps are almost always unique, meaning that it is custom-made and trained experts are needed for measurement and for installation.
  • Due to its size and shape, the outside mount cap can dramatically alter the look of the chimney.
  • Outside mount caps can require a larger investment than other types of chimney caps.

4. Specialty Caps

If you take a look around on your next drive through town, you’ll quickly note that not all chimneys are created equal. There are many reasons a chimney may become a unique structural masterpiece, whether it’s due personal preferences or specific design needs.

Fortunately, we have speciality caps just for the situations. Specialty caps are designed to protect specific chimneys based on their own needs and challenges, catering to many unique situations – including chimneys with unusual shapes, excessive downdrafts, or oddly placed architectural positions.


  • Specialty caps are built specifically for an individual and unique chimney. 
  • Specialty caps can be designed with the specific problems in mind, solving issues that other chimney caps can’t solve.
  • The specialty cap can be designed to provide both protection while also addressing other chimney or architecturally related problems.


  • Specialty caps are generally more expensive due to their bespoke nature.
  • Because they are specially designed, installation can take longer and require unique professional assessments.
  • The specialty cap may include parts that are limited in availability.

5. Full-Coverage Cap

two stone chimneys with large chimney capsAs the name suggests, full-coverage caps provide complete protection for the entire chimney. The full-coverage cap’s design extends beyond the chimney structure and pushes water away from the chimney, providing a maximum amount of security to the chimney itself.


  • Full-coverage caps provide chimney owners with a maximum amount of protection from the elements, debris, and animals – all at a lower price than other types of caps.
  • The full-coverage cap provides an additional layer of insulation, helping to prevent heat loss and increase energy efficiency.
  • Full-coverage caps help extend the lifespan of the chimney by nearly eliminating exposure to moisture and other damaging elements.
  • The full-coverage cap’s design enhances the look of the entire chimney, giving it a polished and finished look.
  • It is possible to customize the full-coverage cap to match the architecture of the building.


  • Installation of the full-coverage cap may require additional professional expertise and specialized tools.

Need Guidance? We’re Here to Help

So what is the best chimney cap for your needs? Call us at Ashbusters Milwaukee today or reach out online and let our experienced and knowledgable team help you get your chimney exactly what it needs. Thanks for trusting us.