One of the most dangerous traps for wildlife is the little known chimney. Contrary to public belief, only raccoons, chimney swifts and bats can extricate themselves from a chimney flue. This means that chimneys are a death trap for all the other animals. Countless starlings, pigeons, gray squirrels and other wildlife, die an agonizing death from falling into chimney's. Protect wildlife by capping your chimney.
If the life of an animal doesn't move you, then we suggest, you look at how a chimney cap protects your chimney's crown from rain damage. A proper chimney can add years to your chimney by deflecting the damaging rain which cracks the crown.
Can you still use the chimney after capping? Absolutely! Capping still allows dangerous gasses to escape.
1. Cap all chimney flues with Stainless Steel Caps. Don't think that because you capped your chimney years ago that it is still protected. Take a look at the image on the right. Note the brown dinge to it? That is rust. You see for years, chimney caps were made of galvanized steel. As I understand it, stainless steel caps are a relatively recent invention. Note how the cover of this cap was completely rusted away.
Caution: chimneys may have more than one flue. Be sure that all flues are properly screened with a professionally manufactured chimney cap.
2. Do not cover chimney flue with hardware cloth. Hardware cloth not only rusts but it runs the risk of catching snow which could block the upward movement of gasses and thereby force the gases back into your home. This is especially true for gas furnaces. Gas furnaces throw off a great deal of water vapor which could freeze on the mesh and force the Carbon monoxide back into the house. To learn more, obtain a copy of the National Fire Protection Associations, NFPA 211 Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances 1992 edition and look at chapter 1-11. Their address is NFPA 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101
We recommend and install Hy-C brand chimney caps. The one featured below is called a single-flue cap because it only covers one flue.
If you would like to order a Hy-C brand stainless steel chimney cap then click Order Cap
3. Measure your chimney flue (The flue is the orange tile that sticks out of the chimney) at the external sides. Your flue will need to rise at least one inch above the surrounding chimney crown in order for these caps to be installed. If you don't have a one inch high flue lip, then you will need to purchase legs, which will hold the cap in place by inserting the legs into the chimney. The figures don't have to be exact. For example if the external sides of your chimney flue are 8.5" x 8.5" then you will order 9"x9" cap. There are three standard size chimney caps 9x9; 9x13 and 13x13 When you get to the web page pick which one you want.
If you have two flues side by side and they are closer than 6 inches apart, you will need to install a multi-flue cap (see gif image at the right). Only with a multi-flue cap can you prevent the roof's of the caps from clashing with each other. To measure for this type of cap, you must a. make sure the concrete portion around your flues is secure (this portion of the chimney is called the crown). b. you must measure the width and length of the chimney's crown before it tapers off to the side of the chimney proper. This measurement will be the maximum size of the cap as you need at least one inch wide perimeter to anchor the cap down. Multi-flue caps are secured with concrete screws and adhesive. The chimney can be cleaned by unscrewing the roof portion of the cap.
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Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.