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Cowl fitting.
  • I fit a variety of cowls and will only fit a cowl I think is suitable for your particular application be it solid fuel, gas, oil or a situation where a downdraft might occur.
  • Really a pre fit survey is required to determine the type of cowl that is suitable.
  • I always try to fit a high quality cowl; I think if you are paying for someone to go on your roof to fit a cowl then it is a false economy to fit a cheap poor quality cowl which may not last long. On numerous occasions I have had to remove balloon type bird guards from inside flues with a nest in the flue above it. I have also had quite a few calls from customers who have in the past had a cone top or balloon guard fitted by someone else only to find it on the lawn a few years later, dislodged by birds or the wind.
  • I usually do not fit a cowl when I am sweeping the chimney. I need at least one other man  with me to go on the roof and a set of ladders (obviously), I cannot afford to have another person with me whilst I sweep the chimney and do not carry ladders when I am chimney sweeping. Also I need to check the access for the ladders.

Bird guards.

  • Bird guards that are suitable for gas are not suitable for solid fuel and vice versa, this is because the rules concerning mesh size are different for each situation.
  • Our cowls are generally held in place with a stainless steel strap which in turn helps hold the chimney pot together by putting the pot into compression. So it can help stop cracks in the pot opening up.
  • In addition cowls that are fitted above solid fuel appliances should be either painted or manufactured from stainless steel because of the corrosive nature of the products of combustion.
  • Most of the bird guards we fit are made from high quality aluminum alloy (some are stainless steel) and are protected with a powder coating. They also have a rain cap  as standard.

 

Cowls for Redundant Chimneys.

  • Older properties often have a fireplace in every room and now most of these are redundant. In some cases these fireplaces have been removed and the builders opening bricked up. If the job was done properly a vent would have been fitted to at the bottom of the flue to allow air to circulate through the chimney. Without this vent you can experience falling damp.
  • Besides taking care of the flue by putting a vent in you should ideally take care of the top of the chimney. This is where the ventilation terminal comes in. It allows a reduced amount of air to flow through the flue to keep it dry but prevents water getting in through the chimney pot. Every year a surprisingly large amount of water gets into a UK chimney. In the winter this water can freeze leading to structural problems in chimney.
  • Of course if you have a bricked up chimney and a bird nests in the flue then it is impossible to remove the nest, since it has to be removed by sweeping it out from the bottom. The nest will prevent air flow though the flue and lead to damp problems. The largest nest I have removed filled 4 bin sacks!!
  • An additional benefit of fitting a ventilation terminal is that they can significantly reduce heat loss from the house due to the draw of the flue.
  • Unlike a lot of ventilation terminals the ones I use do not require sealing with mastic. Over time the mastic will deteriorate causing ingress of water as it tracks down the body of the cowl. They are basically maintenance free and can be easily removed should the flue need to be brought back into use in the future.

Stainless Steel Anti downdraft cowls.

  • We have recently started to fit stainless steel anti downdraft cowls that are particularly heavily shrouded this also has the added benefit reducing water ingress Obviously these cowls are more expensive than the other anti downdraft cowls we fit. These cowls are also strap fixed.
     

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