temporary chimney cap

Old 09-30-09, 02:31 AM
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temporary chimney cap

How can i temporarily cover 100 yr. old unlined chimney to keep wind/cold air from coming into house? Existing vintage non-working gas fireplace front fell off/out and there is gaping hole. Found tin "summer- front" to prop in front of hole, but wind just knocks it over. Don't want to alter or damage original glass tile surround, or original glass tile on floor. Current budget won't pay for new gas insert, so we need a temporary fix for year or two. Gorgeous (original finished - never been painted) 2-tiered tiger- maple mantle is now covered over with blankets and propped-up pillows to block the wind; wife not happy!! Please help!! Thanks for any advice!
Old 09-30-09, 04:59 AM
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Greetings Jim and Char,
I'm going to write this with the assumption that you do not have an aluminum break for bending metal or the knowledge of sheet metal work in general.

I personally would suggest you get a piece of whats called Coil Stock, which is the aluminum sheeting used for covering exterior door and window trim.(unless you have an alternative that you dont mind basically destroying, such as a sheet of roofing tin or even interior decorative tin) Take it to the top of the chimney lay it on top with equal overhang on each side trace around the chimney onto the metal sheet this is to let you know exactly where to bend the aluminum to create a cap for the chimney.

Take the sheet back to the ground and and use tin snips if you have them to cut from the corners of the sheet in a straight line into the corners of your traced mark if you do not have a set of tin snips, with a utility knife score the aluminum from each corner of your trace mark out to the corner (end) of the sheet it does not take very much pressure at all to create the score line that will break easily when ready.

Now with just a slight bending of the sheet while holding it on each side of the score mark you will find it very easy to have those score lines break and leave you with basically 4 flaps around the trace lines you created. you can now use any scrap piece of wood that is relatively straight and long enough to lay along one of the trace lines on the inside of the line and while standing on this board to hold it secure lift up on the flap and create as strong a bend as you can get. Repeat this step for each line being sure to bend all 4 flaps in the same direction.

Take the sheet back to the chimney lay it on top with flaps pointing down, Hold it in place and finish making the bends of the flaps using the edges of the chimney as your bend support. Once one flap is bent down completely, bend the overhang of that flap around the corner of the upright portion of the chimney. repeat this for each flap. Depending on the chimney design you may need to secure this in place with something as simple as some duct tape wrapped around the buttom of the flap ends pulled very tight as to apply pressure to the metal making it hug the chimney. If your chimney has a top cap of brick or stone that sticks out slightly further than the rest of the chimney just the bending of the ends of the flaps around the side walls of the chimney will be enough to hold it in place.

Sorry so much to read. I tend to get in to far to much detail when explaining things. This is most definately a temporary fix and will stop the wind from blowing down the chimney and ultimately into your home.
Not to mention a chimney that is not in use tends to attract small animals looking for a place to nest. This will of course also stop their access to your chimney.

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