Chimney caps near the beach tend to rust out very fast due to the moist salt air that is prevalent there in the evenings. These types of caps are on most houses built since the early 1980’s.. They are called zero-clearance or factory built chimneys or laughingly called temporary fireplaces, because they tend to rust out after a few years, and are not as durable as masonry chimneys. The rusting you can see in the pictures poses quite a problem for homeowners. If and when it ever rains, the holes in the chimney caps caused by rusting will now come down inside the chimney and often will get the walls above and around the fireplace wet. I get calls, regularly, where people hear water dripping on metal. That is a sure sign of something wrong. Notice in the second picture that the neighbor’s chimney cap is severely rusted. These caps are custom caps and can be manufactured in different materials. Copper will last the longest and will product that lovely patination. Also, available are stainless steel and a paint grade “galvanized” material.
While most homeowners are aware of the need to clean and inspect their flue if they use a wood burning fireplace or stove, many are not aware of the importance of cleaning and inspecting their flue when gas furnaces and other gas heating appliances are involved.
Many homeowners are unaware that an annual professional chimney inspection and cleaning is essential in order to ensure the safe operation of their fireplace, even if the fireplace is rarely used. Employing the services of a knowledgeable and experienced chimney sweep is not always as easy as it sounds, however. Since all chimney sweep services are not created equally, there are some questions that you can ask to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality of services.
How does it get in the chimney and why is it dangerous?
When you burn wood in your fireplace or wood burning stove, it creates pollutants- often in the form of gases and small particles. The gases are expelled from the burning wood with the smoke. When the gases cool to a temperature that is below 250˚ F, they will begin to liquefy, combine and condense. When they combine and condense they create what is commonly referred to as creosote- a foul smelling corrosive that is extremely combustible. Continue reading
Here is a minor repair to the top of a chimney of a house we did in orange County.
This is a stainless steel chimney cap and top damper. Top dampers are a way of effectively handling cold air down drafts that occur on masonry chimneys in the winter. the plate fits snugly against the fiberglass gasket.
We also use top dampers to prevent bees from making hives in chimneys, which is a common occurrence.
This chimney repair is a repair we did as a result of the La Habra earthquake.