What do chimney caps and termite tents have in common? More than you think!
Several times a year, the strong Santa Ana winds hit Southern California. These winds are something we San Diegans dread because it usually brings with it the threat of wildfires. But there’s something else that occurs due to these forceful winds.
After the winds subside, I get numerous phone calls from customers who notice that their chimney caps have flown off and landed in their back yard. The first question I now ask: “Have you recently had your house tented for termites?” In every single case, the answer is always “Yes.”
What happens to Chimney Caps when your house is tented?
In our experience as chimney sweeps, we have experienced two scenarios:
Scenario #1) The pest control company leaves the chimney cap on the chimney during the termite tenting. In this case, the full weight of the heavy tent is on the highest point of the house which, in many cases, is the chimney cap. The full weight of the termite tent will crush the cap. With a crushed cap, this creates a dangerous situation for the homeowner. Using your
fireplace with a crushed chimney cap will mean that the smoke, gases and carbon monoxide cannot vent. The hazard is especially dangerous when the homeowner has artificial gas logs where the gases are colorless and odorless. This is a potentially DEADLY situation.
Scenario #2) The pest control company removes the chimney cap and re-installs it after the termite tenting has been completed. There’s even been cases where we’ve seen the cap was simply sitting on top of the chimney without even being attached in any way to the chimney. Unfortunately many pest control companies do not know how to re-install the chimney cap properly and the first wind that comes up, the cap goes flying. Hopefully the cap doesn’t land on your tile roof, solar panels, through your neighbor’s window, on a car, or even worse, on a person.
How to prevent problems with Chimney Caps
After your home is tented for termites, always have the chimney inspected by a chimney sweep certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will not only be able to ensure that the chimney hasn’t been damaged by the heavy termite tent but will also be able to verify that the chimney cap is installed properly.
Make sure a termite doesn’t effect the safety of your fireplace!