How to Repair a Chimney Cap

A chimney cap prevents debris, rain, and snow from falling down your chimney. Over time, a chimney cap can become damaged, or require some basic maintenance. If you’re comfortable working on your roof, most homeowners can complete this task without aid. Just remember to pay a professional for a cleaning and inspection once a year if you use your fireplace.

Repairing Dents

Fix dents on a chimney cap by using a pair of pliers to bend the cap back to its proper shape. If necessary, you can also use a hammer to help fix the shape. If the damage cannot be fixed by one of these methods, you’ll have to accept the dent or replace the cap. Keep in mind, if your chimney cap is not made of stainless steel, copper, or another rust proof alloy, the cap may rust in the area of the dent. To prevent this from occurring, you can prime and paint the cap using spray paints that prevent rust.

Removing Debris

A chimney cap often comes with a screen used to catch debris that may get under the cap. It can also be a depository for bird nests in the off season. For this reason, if the draft in your chimney seems to be reduced, you should remove the screen or cap, depending on the type of chimney cap, and remove any debris.

Loose Chimney Caps

Repairing a loose chimney cap is fairly straightforward: most are attached to the chimney using screws. Tighten existing screws and replace any missing screws. If your chimney cap is attached with adhesive, check with the manufacturer for recommended products that will withstand the heat. Once you have purchased the adhesive, you should be able to glue it back into place.

Preventing Leaks

Sometimes there is a gap between the chimney cap and flue which can allow water to flood your attic. For this reason, you should caulk any gap between the flue and cap that you find. You should also replace any crumbling mortar by chipping it away carefully and removing it. Then replace any mortar you removed with new mortar, making sure to angle any mortar near the flue away from the flue to prevent leaks.

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