Exclusions and Chimney Cap Instalation
If you are having problems with animals living under your porch, shed or other raised structure the best way to keep them out is to seal off the area with wire mesh. The mesh will not only allow for air circulation but will also keep organic material such as plants and tree leaves from accumulating under the structure. Using cheap "chicken wire" will only work temporarily as the wire is thin and is subject to destruction by large animals such as skunks or raccoons. In my experience I believe that the best mesh to use for this application is 16 gauge, 1/2" X 1/2" galvanized, vinyl coated wire. Installation of this type of wire mesh requires a trench to be dug around the perimeter of the structure. Location and ground/soil conditions will dictate how deep the trench should be dug. After securing the mesh vertically to a sound structure the bottom portion is bent out and spread horizontally. The bottom portion is then buried and allowed to be overgrown with grass or plant material. Any animal that attempts to dig under the structure will come across the wire mesh and will soon abandon his or her endeavors.
Below are 5 pictures showing a long deck that required sealing to prevent skunks from nesting underneath.
The next 3 pictures also show a sunroom that needed some rodent exclusion work.
Before we can install a chimney cap we must make sure that the chimney itself is in good solid conditions. Here is a video showing a chimney in need of repair before the installation of a chimney cap.
((Video of chimney repair))
Flue and Chimney Cap Installations
***Caps are an important part of any chimney. They prevent leaves, snow and rain from entering and interfering with the safety and performance of your chimney. Installation of a chimney cap is considered to be a pest control measure because it prevents unwanted guests from entering and starting a nest within your chimney or fireplace. This installation also provides protection against unwanted noises and nauseating smells which could develop, should a pest enter or fall into the chimney. But the most important reasons for installing a chimney cap is to extent the life of your chimney by preventing damage to the flue pipes themselves.
Flue/chimney caps are made out of many materials including galvanized steel, stainless steel or copper. The cheapest caps are made out of galvanized steel and their life expectancy is minimal (3-5 years). They also begin to rust almost immediately after installation. I do not advise installing galvanized caps unless the customer is interested in a cheap temporary solution to an immediate problem. Stainless steel and copper caps last 20-30 years and are worth the extra initial investment.
Flue caps are usually installed and attached directly to each flue coming out of the chimney top. Chimney caps cover the entire chimney, encompassing all (single, double, triple) flues including the whole top of the chimney. The best protection for your chimney is a full chimney cap. Cap stiles include the simple “flat” tops, “hip and Ridge” tops or “gable” tops.
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