Most chimneys require some form of upkeep. Typically, most homeowners can perform chimney maintenance themselves as long as they have the right chimney supplies to do the job. Hiring professionals to do the work can be another option. Either way, it is helpful to know the chimney supplies that are available to keep chimneys in tip-top shape.
A chimney cap covers the top of a chimney to prevent birds and other animals from getting into the structure. It also can stop rain from coming in through the chimney opening. Chimney caps vary in shapes and sizes to accommodate the difference in chimneys. They can be mounted from the outside to offer the most protection, mounted at the top, or simply attached just above the top flue tile. Caps can be bought from the store or custom made, and also are often referred to as chimney crowns.
Chimney dampers work similarly to a cap. In fact, the two are often combined into one product. A damper is an adjustable plate meant to stop or slow the flow of conditioned or heated air through the flue. Like a cap, it is placed at the top of the chimney, and can be opened or closed as needed. Unlike a cap, a chimney damper is placed inside the flue rather than being mounted around the top.
A list of chimney supplies wouldn't be complete without mentioning a chimney liner which helps protect homes from the heat generated by the fireplace. A clay liner is common as it is inexpensive and durable, but it is not recommended for use with gas fireplaces. A cast-in-place liner is made mostly of cement and is permanently installed in a chimney, helping to improve a structure's durability. A metal chimney liner that is made of aluminum can be used only with some gas fireplaces, while stainless steel liners can be used with any type. Metal liners shouldn't be used with open fireplaces and often need to be insulated for increased safety.
Chimney supplies can be decorative as well as functional. A chimney pot is an example of this, as it reduces smoke, blocks rain, and increases ventilation to the fireplace while looking appealing. Chimney pots are often found on Medieval structures, but many homeowners who want an antique twist on their modern house choose this earthenware pot over a typical cap or damper.
Most chimney supplies not only help keep out wildlife and inclement weather, but also retain expensive conditioned or heated air. Choosing a particular product can even change the look of a chimney. For this reason, knowing the products available generally is a good idea.