Chimney pots are a wonderful addition for the already-beautiful masonry of a chimney. They can add grandeur to the chimney that just needs a little extra touch. They are also a helpful addition that will enhance the draft within the chimney by increasing the chimney’s height. A chimney pot, however, can be susceptible to problems if it is not installed correctly.
The installation of a chimney pot is a great project for the do-it-yourselfers out there that enjoy doing home projects. With some simple tools and materials and the help of a friend or two, you can add a chimney pot to your chimney easily. The first thing you need to do is get the correct measurements. The chimney pot will be mounted directly onto the chimney crown. There should be plenty of space for mortar on all sides of the chimney pot, for this is how the pot will be mounted. There must also be room for the mortar to be slanted downward in order to allow water to flow off of it and not toward the center.
After selecting the correct chimney pot, you will need to get the right tools and materials ready for the installation. You will need: type N mortar, a trowel, a ladder, wire mesh, silicone caulk, caulk gun and some extra help. Depending on their size, chimney pots can get very heavy and should not be handled alone. If you are installing a simple chimney pot, less than five feet tall, then it may be possible to install without enlisting the help of anyone else. However, even the short chimney pots can be heavy and hard to handle without someone else there.
Step 1: First, if you have chosen to put a wire mesh around the top of the chimney pot, you will want to install that first. It is recommended to have this, for it acts as a barrier to animals that may want to use your chimney as a home. Cut the wire mesh so that it will fit over the top of the chimney pot and have some left over to fold down the sides a couple of inches. Secure the wire mesh in place using the silicone caulk.
Step 2: Be sure that the chimney crown is clear of any debris and that the chimney liner does not extend above it. If the extra chimney liner is not removed, then there is a chance that water can become trapped in the extra space and cause problems. Remove extra chimney liner using a circular saw with a masonry blade. Once the chimney top is clear and ready, apply at least three inches of mortar on the chimney top.
Step 3: Place the chimney pot into the mortar and push it all the way down. When you are sure that the chimney pot is sitting level and being held securely, use the trowel and taper the mortar up to the chimney pot. Be sure that the mortar is tapered down away from the chimney pot as this will ensure that rainwater will run off of the chimney and not puddle in the middle.
Step 4: Keep a close eye on the chimney pot for the next few days and to make sure that it does not start leaning. Also, be sure that the mortar does not dry too fast and start developing cracks. Depending on the outside weather, you may need to wet down the mortar for a couple of days as it dries so that it does not dry too quickly.
A chimney pot, just like any other part of the chimney must be well kept and maintained. It is an extension of your chimney and is susceptible to all of the same issues. It should be cleaned and inspected annually to ensure that it is in working order. The mortar in which the chimney pot is installed should be inspected regularly for cracks. If these occur and go unfixed, then the mortar could fail altogether one day and a strong wind could take the chimney pot out of commission. With the proper installation and care, a chimney pot can be a valuable addition to any chimney.