- When a chimney does not have to be beautiful, wrapping it up with a rubber membrane is the most cost-effective method to seal it
- There are few roofing contractors who would offer this service, but anyone that knows how to perform a torch down roofing system should be able to do so- this article is a good resource
- Here’s a video of how to do it:
My friend’s house is in a similar situation as mine. We both had new vinyl siding installed about 6 months ago, but he has been having problems with ice dams. I told him about my plan to wrap my chimney in insulation, and he asked me to help him figure out if he should do the same.
We did some research online and found a few contractors who could do the job, but we weren’t sure which was the best option. We eventually decided to go with a contractor who was recommended by a friend. He came over to inspect the house and gave us a quote for the job.
The total cost was a bit more than we were hoping to spend, but we decided it was worth it to have the peace of mind that our houses would be warm and draft-free all winter long. The contractor was able to start the job right away, and it only took a few hours to complete.
The results have been amazing. We haven’t had any problems with ice dams since the insulation was installed, and we’re much more comfortable in our homes now. I would definitely recommend wrapping your chimney if you’re having problems with ice dams!
A chimney is a pipe, which is built inside and outside your home, that exhausts smoke from the fireplace. The purpose of a chimney is to prevent fire from spreading into the rest of your house.
For a chimney to function properly and safely, it must be sealed at its base so that the combustion gases have nowhere to go but up through the flue, thus cooling them down.
In addition, the chimney should be sealed at the top so that rain and snow cannot enter. Furthermore, it should be leak-proof at all its joints. An unlined chimney can be a major fire hazard, not just to your home but to your family as well. It is estimated that nearly 65% of all house fires today are caused by unsafe chimneys. That makes for a scary statistic.
The good news is that you can stop a chimney from leaking and insulate it to prevent drafts from entering your home by wrapping it in corrugated metal, also known as chimney liners.
What to Use to Wrap a Chimney?
1. You can wrap it in plain old aluminum foil, but this is not recommended because it is only a temporary fix. It’s better to install metal chimney liners made specifically for that purpose.
2. You could use some paint and spray it on the inside and outside of the chimney but this would mostly be a temporary fix as well, again. It’s better to use metal chimney liners made specifically for that purpose.
3. You can wrap a chimney with durable fabric and seal it with clear caulk. This is an excellent option and it will last longer than foil.
4. You can also wrap a chimney with metal flashing. This is done by bending a small piece of metal into the shape of the chimney. The large, flat sides are then shoved up against the sides of the chimney and stapled in place with regular old staples. If you choose to use plastic staples make sure they will be able to withstand outdoor weather conditions since they will be exposed to rain and snow regularly.
Steps in wrapping a chimney
1. Clear away all the debris from around the chimney. By debris, I mean pine needles, leaves, dirt clods, or anything that may damage your work or prevent it from being done properly (such as loose rocks).
2. Measure the length and width of your chimney and add 6″ to each dimension. The extra 6″ will allow you some wiggle room as well as allow you to wrap a chimney in metal that is slightly larger than the actual size of your chimney.
3. If you have a metal chimney liner, cut it to size so that it will slip over the entire circumference of your chimney and wrap the sides of the liner with aluminum foil and staple it in place.
4. Wrap the bottom half of your chimney with a long piece of corrugated metal and staple it in place.
5. Wrap the top of your chimney with corrugated metal and staple it in place.
6. Cut out some plastic guttering to fit around the top corners and caulk it in place, then staple it into position as well. The plastic will keep water from entering the chimney and a gutter will help direct water away from the sides of your flue so that it does not collect too much, causing a lot of pressure on them and possibly leaking or cracking.
7. Pop some plastic caps at the top and bottom of your chimney. Plastic caps should be installed first because they can be a bit tricky to install, especially on the top of the chimney. However, once you get these done your installation should go smoothly from thereon out.
8. Fill any empty gaps between the corrugated metal and the sides of your chimney with more corrugated metal sheeting, then staple these in place as well.
9. Now you’re ready to install your chimney liner. You can install it by hand if you wish, though this is a little bit difficult because the corrugated metal you just put on is pretty stiff and it could put a lot of strain on fingers, wrists, etc.
10. If you’re installing a metal chimney liner check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how long to leave the sheeting in place so that it will have time to properly expand and shrink when heated and cooled by heat loss over time.
Wrapping a chimney is a fairly simple and easy task to accomplish and with a little care and diligence, it can be completed in an hour or so. An hour spent on something you’ll use every day for years to come will not seem like such a chore.