the Screen Cap's 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 if Many chimney come caps equipped with chimney thecapappears and opaque, is it 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 and fromentering chimney stillallow- the while IF YOURCAPIS CLOGGED ing the chimney exhaust to properly. get lf you cansafely to yourcap,you it 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 to 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 as 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 the 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 as tioning a spark - arrestor whileat the professional Before hire chim- wisely. you a sametime allowing free passage the of sm0Ke. 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 way 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." of one-inch square not keep may critters out. Chimney professionals demonstrate also 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), there 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. www.csia.org. Reprinted, permission, theMarch with from 2007 of issue TheChimney News, Sweep anindependent magazine chimney trade for professionals.Gillam, service Jim editor/publisher. www.ChimneySweepNews.com 541-882-5196.
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