Keeping the Chimney Caps Screen Clean by ert554898


									        the         Screen
  Keeping Chimney        Clean
                                                                    By lim GiIIam
                                                            Illustrations bu Laura Zerzan

     Chimney aredesirable nearly
                     caps                     for          all                                                ground canseedaylight
                                                                                                                         and                         through   the
metal     chimneys mostmasonry
                          and                          chim-                                                  screen, airflowthrough capmay
                                                                                                                         then                       the
neys thepurpose keeping
       for                     of              precipitation                                                  notbetoorestricted.
outofthechimney.                                                                                                   However,you lookup at top of the
     Many       chimney come caps          equipped     with                                                  chimney thecapappears
                                                                                                                          and                        opaque, is
a wire     mesh     screen              the
                              around outside.             The                                                 likely creosote collected thecap
                                                                                                                     that              has             on
mesh      screen               two
                      serves functions.              First,   it                                              screen theflowof smoke restricted.
                                                                                                                        and                        is
keeps      leaves,     birds,  squirrels raccoons
fromentering chimney stillallow-
                       the              while                                                                 IF YOURCAPIS CLOGGED
ing the chimney exhaust        to                  properly.                                                                               get
                                                                                                                   lf you cansafely to yourcap,you
Secondly, serves a sparkarrestor,as                                                                           maybeable brush thescreen a
                                                                                                                              to           off             with
blocking       sparks embers
                          and              above mini-
                                                     a                                                        wirebrush.At thesame              time,it'sa good
mumsize          fromescaping chimney the               onto                                                        to        a
                                                                                                              idea take lookat theconditions                inside
theroof into environment they
              or         the                     where               Mesh  attributes typically
                                                                                     are         spelled out theflue.lf there a builduo creosote.
                                                                                                                                    is             of            or
could     potentially a fire.
                          cause                                  in building       or
                                                                             codes local  ordinances.         if thewalls thechimney coated a
                                                                                                                            of                  are         with
     lf thescreen         becomes     clogged soot with
                                                                                                              shiny   black                (no
                                                                                                                             substance matter thick     how
or creosote,           your combustion            appliance
venting that into chimney - whetherisflue                 it
                                                                 BURNTNG          TECHNTQUES                  thebuildup it istime call profession-
                                                                                                                            is),             to     a
a fireplace,         woodstove,     furnace,       boiler   or       Burning  wood  createsheat.Theportion al chimney       sweep.
                     -                                           of the woodthat doesnot turn into heat            But if you do not have         safeaccess     to
water     heater willnotperform                well. lt may
                                                                                                                               cap, your               profession-
become         moredifficult ignite fireand
                                   to             a              energy transformed ashandmostly your
                                                                        is              into                        chimney call                 local
                                                                         whichincludes    hydrocarbon  parti- al chimney              for
                                                                                                                            sweep service. competent A
when do getit going mayburn
          you                         it                slug- smoke,                                          professional
                                                                           gases  suchas carbon   monoxide.                   chimney               will
                                                                                                                                            sweep have         the
gishlyand not throw off as muchheat. clesand
                                                                 Whenhydrocarbon      particlesfrom smoke equipment         needed getto thetopof your
Carbon       monoxide       fumes   and/or      smoke    mav                                                                                         life limb.
                                                                                                                                             risking and
                 o l
s p i l l i n tyo u ri v i na r e a .
                               g                                 condense thechimney
                                                                            in             system, are chimney
                                                                                                   they                   without  unduly
                                                                 known creosote.
                                                                     Factors result less
                                                                             that      in    complete  c0m- FINDING CAPABLE     A
SIZES SCREEN   of                                                bustion to more
                                                                         lead          smoke more
                                                                                              and       cre- CHIMNEY
     Chimney aresold  caps              witha wide      vari- osote your                                                          PROFESSIONAL
                                                                       in,      chimney onyour
                                                                                        and        chimney
etyof mesh                                  lt
                    types sizes. is important cao.These
                            and                                                include air-starved and
                                                                                                  fires            Because   proper     chimney   maintenance
to choosemesh andsize willper- burning
                a           type               that                      wood   withhigh moisture content. canhelp        protect people thedangers
                                                                                                                                            from                of
form desired              functionskeeping
                                       of             leaves,        Burninglot0f paper
                                                                              a            generatesash house and
                                                                                                     fly              fires carbon          monoxide    poison-
birds animals of theflueandfunc- thatmay
         and                 out                                          stick thecapscreen.
                                                                                to                            ings, is importantchoose chimney
                                                                                                                     it                 to          your
tioning a spark                           -
                               arrestor whileat the                                                           professional Before hire chim-
                                                                                                                             wisely.             you      a
sametime allowing free passage   the                         of
                                                                 HOW TO TELLIF THE CAP                        ney           find
                                                                                                                   sweep, outwhether              chimney
                                                                                                              sweeps required have license the
                                                                                                                         are             to       a        in
     lf a mesh toosmall willbe
                       is              it           prone    to  IS CLOGGED                                   community youlive.lf they then
                                                                                                                            where                        are,
clogging,       particularly cold
                                invery weather               or      Step outside   during daylight
                                                                                          the         hours your                is            that
                                                                                                                    firststep to verify anycompa-
under       sluggish      burning   conditions. the andlf            take look thetopof your
                                                                          a      at              chimney. lf        you're
                                                                                                              nies          considering validhave       licenses.
mesh too large,
           is                          or
                               birds other           animals you canseeyourchimney fromthe    cap
                              their in.                                                                           Ask around        in   your community a    for
may able find
       be            to
     Commercially             manufa0tured          chimney                                                   chimney     sweep   witha goodreputation.           A
caps    usually mesh openings
                      have          with                f rom                                                                good
                                                                                                              well-earned reputation the public's  is
1/2to oneinch              across.     Mesh      larger  than                                                 "seal approval."
one-inch        square not keep
                           may                  critters  out.                                                     Chimney    professionals demonstrate
As a rule thumb, youarehaving
                of             if                       clog-                                                 their competency       through   certificationbythe
g i n g p r o b l e mw i t h a 1 " s q u a r e e s h
                           s                           m                                                      Chimney     Safety   Institute America
                                                                                                                                              of           (CSIA),
screen, is likely besome        to               other prob-                                                  the WoodEnergy          Technology     Transfer pro-
lemcausing deposit excess
                     the            of             creosote.                                                  gramin Canada, somestateand                 chimney
Mesh      smaller 1/2inch
                       than               across,    window                                                   sweep                        A list
                                                                                                                        organizations. of CSIA            Certified
screen example, prone clogging
             for                 is             to                                                            Chimney Sweeps is available at
           the          of
under best circumstances.                                                                           

                          Reprinted, permission, theMarch
                                  with         from        2007      of
                                                                issue TheChimney      News,
         anindependent magazine chimney
                   trade     for             professionals.Gillam,
                                       service         Jim       editor/publisher.

To top