The neighborhood I grew up in was built in the 1950’s, so just about every house had a fireplace. I remember when my dad used to build fires and we would sit around watching The Walton’s or some other show and it would be merrily burning away. One of my favorite memories of growing up is when my mom and I would take long walks around our neighborhood. I can still remember that during the fall and winter, we would step outside and immediately smell the smoke from people using their fireplaces and see the smoke rising from their chimneys. To this day, whenever I smell that smell (say that fast three times), it brings back fond memories.
The one thing that I never really thought about was the fact that none of the chimneys in our neighborhood had a cap on them. Granted, I was a kid so why would I think about something like that? But, even as an adult, the thought just never entered my mind. I mean, who thinks about those things? Why would something like a chimney cap be important? Well, a few years ago, my mom and dad woke up and heard a loud quacking sound coming from their chimney. Naturally, they went outside and looked on their roof, fully expecting to see a duck perched on their chimney. However, when they looked up, they couldn’t see anything, yet the quacking continued. Next, my dad grabbed a ladder and a flashlight and ventured onto the roof. When he shined the flashlight into the chimney, there was the duck, stuck.
Well, the first thing my dad thought to do was to call the fire department. You know, the old adage of when a cat is stuck up a tree, you call the fire department and they will come out and get it down. So, he calls them and they promptly tell him that, “we don’t do that sort of thing. Why don’t you call Animal Control?” He gives Animal Control a call and informs them of the stuck duck; they tell him to call the fire department. Sound familiar? Anyway, the only thing left to do is try to get it out himself. Grabbing two sticks, some cloth and netting, and using a whole lot of patience, he was able to get the netting under the duck (imagine a hammock) and eventually get it out of the chimney. Making sure the duck was okay, he took it to a park and let it go.
Now, they have lived in this house for well over forty years and nothing like this had ever happened before. To make sure something like this didn’t happen again, my dad started looking into ways to cover the opening of the chimney. After doing some research, he eventually found a chimney cap and attached it to the flue. From now on, my mom and dad don’t have to worry about any more wayward ducks or other creatures venturing into their chimney and getting stuck or making nests. They also do not have to be concerned about rain entering the chimney and possibly causing damage to the walls or ceiling.
If you have an older home and happen to have a fireplace, why not step outside and see if you have a cap on your chimney. If you don’t, you may want to think about getting one. The place I found that sells them, gives you all the information you will need to choose one. This company not only gives you detailed instructions on how to choose a your chimney cap, they also tell you how measure and install it. Also, if you’re concerned about sparks escaping from your chimney (for example, you have a wooden roof or live close to the woods or a grassland) or if you live in California, you may want to get a chimney cap that has a 5/8" mesh, rather than the more common 3/4".
Like most of us, this is subject will be new and unfamiliar to you, but try not to get overwhelmed. If you find that you need a chimney cap, the next step would be to visit the site in the links and find the chimney cap for you. The site is very well designed and extremely easy to navigate. I had no trouble finding the information I needed. No matter what type of chimney and flue you have, even if you have more than one, they will be able to provide the information and chimney cap you need. If you have further questions, you can contact them directly and they will be more than happy to assist you.
disclosure...Oh, in case you didn't know, I received compensation for this post
12 April 2011
Choosing a Chimney Cap
I am currently a stay at home father/teacher to two wonderful children. I have also authored two books: The Farm House The Farm House and Building Your Retaining Wall, which are both available through Kindle. I like to cook and experiment with new recipes.I also currently have a blog where I write about everything ranging from weight loss to landscaping and just about everything in between.