Installing Chimney Pots

What You'll Need
Wire mesh (optional)
Silicone caulk (optional)

Chimney pots are pipes made from clay or ceramic and are installed on top of chimneys to improve their draft. Though other heating options are available today, chimneys and chimney pots still continue to be popular due to their architectural and aesthetic characteristics.  Clay chimney pots have a rustic appearance and are ideal for Victorian style buildings. However, they are somewhat brittle compared to ceramic chimney pots. Carefully choose an appropriate chimney pot after taking into consideration the design of your home and other factors. These pots are available in rectangular, round, square, octagonal, and many more shapes. The shape of the pots is irrelevant as it only serves an aesthetic purpose. However, size does matter when it comes to chimney pots.

Before You Install 

Irrespective of the intended purpose, certain things need to be considered while installing chimney pots. The most important among these is the ratio of the fireplace opening to that of the top opening of the chimney pot. Ideally, this ratio should be in the range of 1:15 to 1:20. Further, the base dimension of the chimney pot should always be equal to or greater than the opening dimension of the flue. After considering your options, purchase a suitable chimney pot and get started with the installation procedure. 

Installing a chimney pot is very easy and will take up just a few hours of your time. If the pot is heavy, it is best to ask somebody to help you with the installation. 

Step 1 – Use a Wire Mesh

Wire mesh and silicone caulk are optional as far as chimney pot installation is concerned. Pests such as raccoons, squirrels, and birds often use the chimney flue to gain access to the house. Dried leaves, twigs, or branches also tend to fall off from trees and into your house through the openings. To avoid this, all you need to do is cover the opening of the chimney pot with wire mesh and secure it using a silicone caulk. 

Step 2 – Prepare the Chimney

Chimney pots cannot be directly placed atop the chimneys. Get rid of any extra tile or cement above the chimney top, and cut the extended part with a circular saw or masonry blade to prevent the seepage of water between the tile and the chimney. Water seepage of any kind may damage the chimney in the long run. 

Step 3 – Where to Place the Pot

Place the chimney pot on the flue after covering it with 3 inches of mortar. For a better hold, push the pot deeper down into the mortar. Taper the mortar evenly from all sides so that rain water does not get accumulated in it. This completes the installation process; however, the chimney pot would require a little more care and attention for a few more days. Water the mortar twice a day for some days to avoid the formation of cracks. 

Care Tips

  • The mortar on which the chimney pot has been based can develop cracks due to extremes in temperatures. If this is the case, change the mortar to prevent further damage.
  • If plants start growing in and around chimney pots, immediately remove them as their roots can crack the mortar.
  • If it snows heavily in your area, cover the chimney pots with cones. These are readily available in the market; if not, you can get them made to order.