As previously stated on our Chimney Flue Covers page,
Chimney flue covers are some of the best, if not the best, investments you can make for the protection of your chimney. They keep animals out (which you will appreciate if you have ever had an animal come into your chimney and decide to die…), they keep your fireplace damper from rusting out (which saves you a damper replacement cost) and they help to keep the inside of the chimney/fireplace system dry.

These covers come in a variety of sizes, made from a variety of materials. There are covers that can be installed on an individual chimney flue and covers that go over the entire top of the chimney. There are multi-flue chimney covers. There are covers that prevent wind from blowing down the chimney. There is even a cover that has a damper inside of it that replaces a missing or failed damper. This is known as a “top-closing” damper/rain cover combination. Usually, the fireplace damper is in the fireplace inside the house. When the damper gets rusted out (due to the chimney not having a rain cap!) or warped, the least expensive way to replace it is with a top-closing damper.

Your chimney needs to be in good repair before installing a rain cover. Rain covers attached to a flue tile that is not properly cemented to the top of the chimney can blow off in a good wind storm, taking the flue tile it is attached to with it (I’ve seen it happen). Any loose brickwork or chimney cap (crown) issues should be repaired first.

New chimney cap poured on top of a chimney.
Chimney cover attached to a flue tile.


Flue tiles are used in chimney construction to line the inside of the chimney. They serve the purposes of adding an extra layer of protection, Controlling the size of the flue and allowing for the installation of mass-produced chimney covers that are standardized in size.

Terra-cotta flue tiles stacked one upon another, lining the inside of a chimney flue.

Before the idea of using flue tiles in chimney construction, the general practice was to simply build the chimney and coat the inside of the chimney with the same mortar that was being used to lay up the brick. Coating the inside of the chimney flue is referred to as “parging.”

Parged interior of a chimney flue.
Parged interior of a chimney flue.

Sometimes chimneys were constructed and not parged .

Inside of chimney flue is not parged.
Inside of chimney flue is not parged.
Parging worn away from years of exposure to rain.
Parging worn away from decades of exposure to rain.

Often times chimneys have gone for decades without ever having a rain cap. A popular practice in the Pacific Northwest has been to cement a flue tile to the top of a chimney that does not have flue tiles and then install a rain cover onto the flue tile. The cap has horizontally mounted screws that screw into the tile.

Flue tile added to top of chimney

The screen on a chimney cap can get clogged with creosote and restrict the exhaust of smoke, which can smoke out the inside of the house. It is important that the chimney is cleaned on a regular basis, including cleaning creosote off of the cap with a wire brush.

Creosote coating the screen of a chimney cover.
Creosote coating the screen of a chimney cover.

To see all of the possibilities and varieties of rain caps, including installation tips and instructions from a pro, click here.

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