Chimney Rain Cap Installation: Increased Demand for by Our Customers

  • July 30, 2018

A spark arresting chimney rain cap installation is a smart move for several reasons. These caps are tight-fitting metal chimney caps that reduce spark output into the environment. They are made of galvanized steel, stainless steel, copper, etc. This year I have received more requests than any of the previous 20 years for spark arrestors. The exact term used was “spark arrestor.” This tells me that people are concerned more than ever about preventing wildfires. Let’s go over these advantages from my vantage point, that of having cleaned several thousand chimneys and that of having repaired several hundred chimneys in my career.

Getting the obvious out of the way first- water and animals.

Water can break a chimney apart. Specifically, freezing water can break a chimney apart over time. This phenomenon is a form of “frost wedging”. Think of the ice tray in your freezer. The ideal scene for a chimney during freezing temperatures is that it is dry on the inside and that moisture cannot penetrate the outside. Siloxane can be applied to the exterior of the chimney to waterproof it. Siloxane allows moisture to breathe out of the chimney and will not allow moisture to penetrate it.

Water can also rust out metal chimney dampers, causing a spendy fireplace damper repair.  Chimney swifts, which are a federally protected species, frequently have their babies in the deep chambers of fireplace chimneys. These birds cannot be removed while the babies are growing strong enough to leave the chimney. As a matter of fact, you have to wait until they leave before you can put a rain cap on the chimney that would prevent them from coming and going.

When do chimney swifts leave

They start leaving around October-November. See the video below of a chimney full of chirping baby swifts:

The list of dead animals I have pulled out of a chimney with no rain cap is birds, squirrels, and a duck! Homeowners complained about the odor.  And then there is this regarding raccoons:

”Because raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyanis, a roundworm that can harm people, and the roundworm eggs may be present in raccoon feces, their latrines should be removed and cleaned up whenever they might pose a health hazard.  This the task requires extreme caution.” (Humanesociety.org) 

Raccoons in the attic or chimney are bad news. We leave it to the pros to remove them.

If you have a fireplace damper that needs to be replaced, you can have a top-closing damper/rain cap combination installed on top of the chimney to replace the worn or missing fireplace damper.

Multi-flue chimneys: points to consider when installing a chimney rain cap

One potential problem with a multi-flue chimney is smoke coming out of one flue and being pulled down another flue, thus smoking out the room that is pulling the smoke down. This does not always happen, but when it does the problem is that all of the flue tiles on top of the chimney are level with each other. One way to handle this problem is to have the various flue tiles staggered in height so that they are not even with each other.

Mass-produced rain caps can be installed (usually….) on the individual flue tiles. Another option, that provides a more attractive appearance is to have a multi-flue rain cap custom made that has dividers within the cap. The dividers solve the problem of equilateral smoke transfer from one flue down another.

You may need to have some repairs made to your chimney before a chimney cap can be installed. Rain caps can be blown off if their foundation is weak. I have seen a rain cap installed on a flue tile that was not cemented properly to the top of the chimney. A windstorm hit and the rain cap (remaining screwed to the flue tile) and flue tile as one unit blew off of the top of the chimney.

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Cliff and his crew wear amazing. Quality work for an affordable price. We had 6 estimates and Rooftop Chimney came in better than the rest. Highly recommend for honesty, explaining things well and fair price. Thank you Rooftop Chimney!

Angela Grissom

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Leaving this review for my parents, who recently hired Cliff from Rooftop Chimney for a chimney repair, back in June. They were quick with an estimate, at a fair price and the work was scheduled promptly. They did an excellent job and we would definitely hire them again in the future or recommend them to friends!

Glenn Loontjens

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I’m selling my house and needed the wood stove insert removed. With the closing date approaching, Rooftop Chimney was able to work me in their schedule and get the job done quickly and professionally. I got the DEQ certificate much faster than I thought I would. Thanks to Justin and his crew!!! I would highly recommend Rooftop Chimney.

Iain Mackintosh

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Arrived on time – worked very hard to remove our very heavy fireplace insert and took extreme care to do the job well. Completed their work by cleaning our two chimneys and got it all done in good time. We would recommend their services to all.

Cynthia Keene

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After selling our home, the inspection indicated that there was some work that needed to be done on our chimney including repairing some mortar as well as putting a top cap on the chimney. I contacted Rooftop Chimney and Roof Services. They were very knowledgeable answering all of my questions. That along with prompt professional service I would recommend them for any chimney needs you may need!

Gloria Cettina

Experiencing some Chimney Pain?Send Us Your Chimney Photos

We do give free estimates, but we have found over the years that getting photos ahead of time can speed things up dramatically. Heck, we have talked ourselves out of work by seeing photos and telling the customer “No, you do not need a several-thousand dollar rebuild; it looks like you only need a…”. It has happened.