Fireplace Chimney Cap Installation Made Easy Fireplace Chimney Cap Installation Made Easy

What You'll Need
Replacement cap
Extension cords
Electric drill with a brick drill bit
Manual screwdrivers
Wire cutters
An assistant to spot you and support the ladder

Installing a fireplace chimney cap requires some careful planning. However, with the right how-to information, it can be done without hiring a professional installer. If you make safety and proper procedure your primary concerns, it will go off without a hitch.

Why Install a Chimney Cap?

The reasons for a chimney cap are twofold: it keeps things from flying out through the chimney and from climbing into your home. Fireplaces and woodstoves used for heating emit gases through the chimney, keeping the fumes out of your home. Sometimes hot cinder escapes through the chimney as well. You may have seen a chimney with small blackish particles jetting out along with smoke. Chances are that chimney wasn’t capped.

Step 1-Decide on the Type of Chimney Cap

Plain black steel models are the cheapest and will probably last about 10 years. For coal burning stoves, that might decrease the life a bit. Stainless steel caps are more expensive, but they won’t be worn down by the weather nearly as fast, lasting longer.

Step 2-Determine the Ladder You Need for the Job

If your roof is at a low angle, you may be able to scale the chimney from there; otherwise you will have to go from the ground up. Either way, you absolutely need an assistant to support the ladder, helping you keep your balance. For extremely angled roofs or very high chimneys, a professional might be a safer choice. A safety belt, much like an arborist wears, is a good idea as well. Strap yourself to the chimney while you’re working for added protection.

Step 3-Install the Chimney Cap

Once the chimney top is within comfortable reach, have your tools on hand. A work belt will free up your hands and keep tools out of the way. Run the extension cord through a few rungs of the ladder to lessen the downward pull on the power cord of the drill. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the chimney cap installation. When you drill into the chimney to affix the cap, make sure you do not drill into mortar. Mortar crumbles whereas brick is solid. If you have to measure the flue opening and cut a screen to size, do so off of the ladder. Take the measurements and step down to make the cuts before you install it. Do as much preparatory work off of the ladder as you can.

Safety needs to be your first concern when installing a chimney cap yourself. If you have any doubts, you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a professional. That being said, you can do it yourself with the right preparation, a helper, and some common sense.


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