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Metal Chimneys


Metal chimneys are used for many wood stove and pre-fab fireplace installations, as well as in gas venting. Most all metal
chimneys need to have a cap or termination. This is for a number of reasons including:

1. There is nowhere for rain to go in these chimneys. Without a cap, the rain will run into your stove, fireplace or heater and/or
ruin your walls and ceilings.
2. Birds and other animals will enjoy the warmth of your chimney and possibly clog it with nests. The cap helps keep them out.
3. Metal chimneys are made of two or three layers of metal with air or insulation between them. Without a cap, water and
moisture can get into these layers and cause premature failure of the chimney and other problems.

Most metal chimneys are sold and installed with a termination cap that is manufactured by the maker of the chimney parts. This
is often the best and safest cap to use because it is designed specifically for the exact brand. There are times when you may
need to install a generic retrofit onto a metal chimney, such as when:
1. You have draft or wind problems.
2. Your cap has worn out and you cannot locate the manufacturer of your chimney.





If you have draft problems you can use "draft increasing" or vacuum chimney caps which are designed to use the wind to
create a stronger updraft.

Please check with the manufacturers and your chimney professional to determine if these devices will work on your metal
chimney.
If you don't have draft problems and just need a replacement cap, first try to find the same brand as the existing termination. If
that fails,(often the case) you can often use a cap from a similar brand, but make certain you confirm this with the store where
you are purchasing. Another option is a "generic" metal chimney termination such as the WeatherShield cap. Which is usually
the best choice aftermarket caps are generally constructed out of better quality stainless steel and include animal guards.

Note: Some metal chimneys are "air cooled" by venting that is on the top. If your chimney is of this type, be certain not to close
off the venting slots on the top. A HOUSE FIRE COULD RESULT FROM CLOSING THESE VENTILATION SLOTS!
Special caps are available for these chimneys to assure proper cooling.

Masonry Chimneys and Fireplaces

There are advantages and disadvantages of capping a masonry chimney or fireplace. Let's list negative and positive points
and then we'll discuss the different models that are available.

Possible Disadvantages:
1. Draft Restriction - An improperly designed or installed chimney cap can possibly reduce the draft of a chimney.
2. Clogging of Screen in Cap - Some chimney caps have small screening which can become clogged with soot and creosote
after heavy use. This will cause draft reductions and poor performance of your stove/fireplace.
3. Discoloration of chimney exterior - In some cases, creosote and tar can collect on the chimney cap and then run down the
outside of the chimney structure. This can discolor the stucco or brick. This is usually a problem only with older woodstoves
and/or the use of green (unseasoned) wood.
4. Replacement/Reinstallation - Chimney caps can blow off in high winds. This can destroy the cap or at the very least require
another trip on top of the home to reinstall it.

Possible Advantages:
1. Keeps Animals, especially Raccoons and Birds, from setting up home in your chimney or fireplace.
2. Keeps Rain and moisture from building up inside chimney. This can help reduce the chimney smell that often invades homes
in the warmer weather.
3. Sheds ice and rain from the chimney crown, which is the cement cover on the top of the chimney structure. This will extend
the life of the crown and eliminate some causes of cracking of the flue tile.
4. Increase draft of chimney, especially in areas with constant wind.

Note about chimney sizes - The three most popular sizes for masonry chimneys are 8" x 8", 8" x 12" and 12" x 12". Many other
stock sizes are available. Custom sizes and styles are also produced by many manufacturers.

Cap Types for Masonry Flues

Standard Cap with screen - Black or Stainless Steel Draft Increasing Caps Caps with integral Damper Mechanisms Custom
Caps - Metal and Masonry

Standard Caps

Standard caps are made from a number of materials including steel, stainless steel, copper or aluminum. The most popular
styles are stainless steel and black painted steel. Most models feature side screening which keeps most birds and small
animals out of the chimney and also keeps larger sparks from existing the chimney.

These caps are mounted onto the chimney in various ways, the most popular being screws which are spaced around the base
angle of the cap and tightened against the flue tile. If the chimney is unlined or the flue does not protrude far enough out the
top, inside mounting models can be used. If neither of these methods work, manufacturers also provide mounting angles or
other fasteners which can be lag bolted or cemented down to theta of the chimney structure




Standard Stainless Cap

Stainless Steel is a preferable material since it can better handle constant exposure to rain, wind, smoke and the other nasty
conditions on top of your chimney. It also is less susceptible to rust, which will reduce the chance of getting stains on your
chimney from cap runoff.

According to wind tunnel studies, standard caps have good properties for increasing draft in windy situations. In fact, standard
caps can often function as well as, if not better than, certain models marketed as "draft increasing".

If you have draft problems you can use "draft increasing" or vacuum chimney caps which are designed to use the wind to
create a stronger updraft.  

These are the same caps mentioned earlier on this page for use with metal chimneys. The manufacturers also make adapters
which allow use on masonry chimneys. When considering a draft increasing cap for bout chimney, keep the following point in
mind:

* Some draft increasing caps cut down on the effective cross sectional area of the chimney. This may have less importance if
you have a stove hooked up to the fireplace, but might cause problems with an open fire. * Do not use mechanical caps which
rely on spinning turbines or windvanes. The smoke and creosote from your stoves or fireplace will quickly gum up the
workings of such caps.











Lock Top Damper

Older fireplaces often have missing or loose-fitting damper mechanisms. This can result in wasted energy as well as a cold
draft in the home when the fireplace is not in use. In these cases, the answer is often a top-sealing damper, which can easily be
retrofitted to the chimney top. These dampers are avaialble with an integral cap. The damper is controlled by means of a cable
which runs down inside the flue and is activated with a lever on the fireplace wall. Three well known manufacturers of these
damper/cap combinations are: CHIM-A-LATOR, Lock-top and Seal-Tight:

Custom or Deluxe Cap

Many cap manufacturers also produce custom caps to fit odd-sized flues or multiple flues. You can also find custom caps in
copper, brass, aluminum and other finishes which compliment the style of your chimney structure.








Another category of caps contains units which function as a cap AND as an electric draft inducer. If you have draft problems
that are not able to be solved by other methods, this may be the ticket. These caps have electric fans built into them which are
variable speed, thereby allowing you to effectively "dial a draft" on problem chimneys. Expect to spend $1000 to $2000+
installed for one of these caps. The most popular models are the Exhausto and field models.
air insulated chimney cap
This page contains information regarding different styles and types of chimney caps.Also some
information about what different types of caps are used for. Captain Soot Specialises in installation
of all types of standard,custom, and draft inducing chimney caps and covers. We guarentee to meet
or beat anyones price on chimney cap installation on long island new york in nassau and suffolk
counties.Call us today for a free estimate!