The chimney caps on all or most of the fireplaces in our community are either rusted and old looking or concrete and crumbling, however, they do not appear to be leaking. Do we need to replace them?
The first thing to do is have them inspected by a professional. If you have a brick or masonry chimney system you probably have a masonry chase collar on top with a metal storm collar and cap. This can be handled in two ways. You can install a new prefabricated collar, or chase pan, over the old masonry one, which will certainly make it water tight and then refurbish the existing storm collar and cap or you can simply refurbish the storm collar and cap. If the chimney is a wooded structure the chase pan should be replaced with galvanized or stainless steel and you can either refurbish the storm collar and cap or install new. Please keep in mind that if the chimney caps are currently rusted they will ultimately continue to oxidize to the point where they will leak.
I'd be more than happy to review any site specific issues with you individually (free of charge).
Project Manager/Construction Inspector
*Disclaimer - this content is for educational purposes only and not for site-specific construction or reliance. If you have a site-specific concern, just call us and at no charge, we will meet you to review and discuss.