Monday, October 27, 2014

Capping the Chimney

Ok. So in case you're new around here, we live in a pretty old house... especially for Florida standards. Ninety years old means that certain things aren't in the best shape anymore and the chimney is the best example of this. We've known for years that the fireplaces are not real fire worthy, but we have hopes of installing a gas fireplace at some point. 

The immediate issue is that with Florida's heavy storms, we get back drafts down the chimney as well as a good amount of rain. It can stink pretty badly and we've had a temporary cap on the bottom to try to minimize the airflow but it hasn't been the best. Also, it hasn't helped with the rain situation and so we finally decided to cap the top of the chimney.

There are a lot of fancy chimney caps out there but since we aren't planning on using the fireplace and we wanted to protect the chimney as much as possible, we decided to make a simple cap out of non-rusting metal. Nate took a trip up to the top of the chimney to take some measurements and after some looking around we determined that we wouldn't be finding a single sheet of metal big enough to make the cap. What we did find was flashing (it comes in rolls) and after combining two strips we had  a piece wide enough to cover the top of the chimney.

Nate used a board to bend the metal, tin snips to cut it and used a rivet set to attach the pieces together. He also caulked seams so we wouldn't have to worry about water seeping through.

Once the cap was formed, the next step was getting it up to the two stories to the roof.

We have a pretty tall house with a really steep roof but Nate has a path to get himself up there surprisingly easily and apparently, seeing daddy go up the ladder was just too appealing for our little guy.

Within just a couple of seconds, he had made it up three rungs and he would have kept on going if I didn't pull him off.

Anyway, once I wrangled Will and Nate climbed up to the chimney, he threw a rope down and I tied it to the cap. It got caught up a couple of times in the corner of bricks but after a little shaking and pulling, it made it up to the roof.

Then it was just the matter of placing the cap on the chimney and making sure it was pushed all the way down.

We haven't had a major rainstorm since we put it up, but we've had absolutely no backdrafting which has been amazing to the nose. We're excited to see how it works when it rains. 

We're thinking about putting a ventless gas fireplace in eventually and leaving the chimney capped so if you have one, we've love to hear what you love and hate about it!


  1. Great idea!
    this will help save on the heating bill for sure! Where there is back draft there is heat being pulled right out the top... I like how it turned out!
    Where there is a Will... there is a clever little daddy's helper! ;)

    1. Thanks! I am excited to see if it has a major affect on the electricity bill. It would be awesome if it does!

  2. My sister did Will's trick at 2.5, but no one knew until dad heard a small voice behind him exclaim that she could see the park from here! Luckily our roof is relatively flat - not so much for her sake, but from his. He always said he was so shocked he almost fell over.