We Are Chimney Pots, Cowls & Bird Guard Suppliers
We can supply chimney pots, cowls and bird guards to suit your every need. From preventing birds and squirrels from entering your chimney and making a nest or worst still, finding their way down the chimney and entering your living space resulting in much unnecessary mess and damage.
We can supply chimney caps to seal unused chimneys, helping keep out, rain, wind birds and squirrels whilst helping to keep some of the heat in your house which would otherwise be lost out through an open chimney flue.
We can supply cowls which can help cure ‘down-draught’ which could otherwise prevent you from using the chimney and fireplace, by filling the room with smoke, fumes and dangerous Carbon Monoxide (Co).
In many cases we can help with fitting these cowls and terminals but due to ‘Health & Safety ‘ issues, this is not always the case.
It is always best to carry out a full chimney sweep before fitting any cowls or birdguards to the chimney outlet whether the chimney is one that is being used or not.
More About Chimney Pots
There are hundreds of different designs of chimney pots. Round ones, square ones, rectangular ones and even octagonal ones, as well as very tall ones (called traditionally Long Toms) and short ones and in the majority of cases an open chimney pot is the best type of chimney termination available.
However, there are occasions when people wish to keep birds, squirrels and rain out of a chimney flue, on these occasions people usually fit a chimney cowl.
To begin with, the most common fault that I come across on a day to day basis is the wrong chimney cowl (insert) being fitted when a fireplace is in use. There are many inserts designed to be fitted to ‘redundant’ chimney flues (those which are no longer intended for use) these cowls are often mistaken by builders and roofers as being suitable for use with a working fireplace, they are not. Please see below a sample of such inserts which can be fitted to chimney pots which are not suitable for use with any working fireplace, no matter which fuel is in use.
These cowls are usually fitted to an open chimney pot (as below) although sometimes they are just cemented straight on top of the chimney itself.
As well as incorrect chimney cowls being fitted we often find ‘ridge tiles’ covering the chimney flue outlet. A ‘ridge’ tile is a roofing tile designed to sit on the ridge of a roofline, they are not intended as a chimney terminal at all, see examples below.
Again, these have often been fitted by roofers and builders in years gone by and are now often found to be fitted to chimneys with working fireplaces. To use a working fireplace with any of these inserts or ‘ridge’ tiles fitted, would put the house holders and their families in great danger.
There are other types of chimney cowls made from terra cotta which are designed to fit into a chimney pot which are suitable for ‘certain’ types of gas appliance. In every case at the point of installation of the gas fire, the installer must check to ensure that the correct terminal is fitted for the appliance being fitted. The manufacturers installation instructions will state exactly what type of terminal is and is not suitable. See some examples below of some of the different types gas terminals and there are many, many others.
The terminals above must never be used when burning coal, smokeless coal or wood, nor even with some types of gas fires.
There are chimney cowls that can be fitted to working fireplaces to help keep birds and squirrels and rain out of the flues, below are two examples, but, not every cowl is suitable for every situation or fuel type, make sure you get expert advice before using a fireplace for the first time or before fitting chimney cowls. In both of the pictures below the chimneys terminate in an area which contravenes Building Regulations (too close to the roof).
When Apex Chimney Sweeps come to sweep your chimney we will ensure that you have the correct termination in place for the type of fire that you intend to use. If you do not then you will be notified in writing.
Another issue which we find during sweeping some chimneys is when round chimney pots are fitted on top of square chimney flues. Traditionally older chimney flues in Victorian, Georgian and even 1930’s properties are usually square. Often, when builders fit new chimney pots onto these square flues they use round chimney pots and place strips of slate or even metal bars across the flue. They then seat the chimney pot on to these whilst they await the cement / mortar to set. Left like this, it can lead to the chimney sweeps brush ‘jamming’ in this area directly beneath the chimney pot, with a risk of the chimney pot becoming dislodged if the sweep pushes too hard. See examples below (looking down through the chimney pots – see the slates beneath).
So, best practice when fitting a chimney pot to a square flue is to fit a chimney pot which has a square base, thus avoiding any future problems when the flue is swept in the future.
If in doubt don’t take a chance, get it checked by a professional, Apex Chimney Sweeps carry out complete safety inspections and a full sweeping service.
Contact Apex Chimney Sweeps to book a professional chimney sweeping company!
Apex Chimney Sweeps is a Proud Member of Checkatrade.com