Chimney Caps

Chimney Caps and Other Products That Solve Water Problems

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 Posted by Stephanie H.

Chimney caps can be used to prevent and even eliminate water infiltration. A well known home improvement specialist has a saying that I’ve always remembered -

“Water always wins!”

Ask any contractor, inspector, or builder what is the biggest enemy of the home. The wise ones will tell you - hands down - its water. Water is able to enter a home through the chimney in one of several ways.

Water can enter directly into the flue. It can creep into fractures or cracks in the crown, chase cover, or mortar joints. And finally, water can slowly absorb into the porous materials used to finish the tops Chimney_Saverand sides of a chimney. There are ways to stop all of of these things from happening, hence curbing the destruction that water does to your home.

The first step in making your chimney air tight is making sure that there are no obvious ways for water to enter via a crack or fracture. Check mortar joints for broken or crumbling mortar. You can use mix your own mortar, buy premixed, or use a mortar substitute. Break out the old fill in the gaps. If your crown is a metal chase, check the joints and reseal if needed. If the top of your chimney is cement, you may have to bust it out and replace it if it’s in really bad shape. Most cement crowns need only a little attention from one of a variety of water repellants & cleaners. Even if the bricks and cements are in good conditions, don’t forget to seal them with water repellant. This will prevent any future premature aging of your chimney.

Once you have made sure that crown and sides of your chimney are sound and water tight, the last measure of defense lies in your chimney cap. There are several options and varying degrees of protection. Because there are several types of chimney crowns and flue styles, there are an even greater number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a chimney cap.

There are specific caps for metal chimneys. If you have a round metal flue, you need to determine whether your flue pipe requires aTuret_Style_Chimney_Cap metal chimney solid pack termination cap or a metal chimney air insulated termination cap.
Square or rectangular flue tiles require a completely different kind of cap. Adequate, but minimal coverage would be a single flue chimney cap, or a multi-flue chimney cap that is just big enough to cover the flue tile. Better coverage is a top mounted multi-flue cap that is big enough to cover most of the crown or the entire crown. The best possible protection is a custom made outside mounted chimn ey cap. These are designed to completely cover a chimney crown and overlap the sides, fitting like a shoe box cover on a shoe box.

Each of these options comes in a variety of styles and finishes. You can choose a simple black galvanized top or have an ornate cap custom crafted to your specific taste. Regardless of which cap is right for you and your budget, the most simple of caps will possibly save you thousands in repair work.

No comments:

Post a Comment