Chimney Cap

A cracked cap allows water to penetrate the chimney causing premature deterioration and in northern climates, freeze/thaw damage.

Chimney Cap

The purpose of a chimney cap is to prevent water from penetrating the top of a masonry chimney. The chimney cap should not be confused with the rain caps which sometimes cover the tops of chimney flues to prevent rain water from running down the inside of the chimney. A chimney cap is usually constructed of concrete; however, some are stone or metal. A good quality cap normally overhangs the sides of the chimney at least one inch to provide some protection for the chimney from water dripping off the cap.

In many cases, a proper cap is not provided. Bricklayers often put a thin coat of mortar over the top of the chimney (exclusive of the flues, of course). With time, this thin layer of mortar cracks and eventually becomes loose. Examine your chimney cap using binoculars. If you see cracks or deterioration have it evaluated and/or repaired.

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CommodesEveryone knows the basic “dos and don’ts” of the commode: don’t flush any kind of paper other than toilet paper, if a commode starts to back up you can shut off the water by turning the knob at the back of the commode near the floor – righty tighty, lefty loosey.

There are a couple other things to keep an eye on, or an ear out for: see if you can rock the commode back and forth or front to back. If so, you should tighten down the bolts. There are typically two bolts fastening the commode to the floor, which are usually covered by plastic knobs. Do not tighten bolts too tight as you can crack the commode.

If your commode sounds like it is constantly running you might need to have a plumber replace the fill valve. You can also take the cover off the back of the commode and see if the refill tube goes down into the overflow tube – it should actually hang just above it. If that is not the case, you can try adjusting the ballcock or float cup lower and see if that fixes the problem.


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Winter Checklist

Winter is Coming! A Short check List to be Prepared.

  • Have furnace servicedwinter
  • Change batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
  • Inspect and clean fireplace and chimney
  • Clean gutters
  • Reverse ceiling fans-should blow upward in winter
  • Check attic insulation-make sure insulation is not blocking soffit vents
  • Turn off outside water faucets-turn water off inside house and open outside faucets. Oil faucet valve stems.
  • Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors.

These tasks will help keep you and your family comfortable and safe this winter.

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