I had a contractor put a chimney cap on my chimney today. As usual, I am disappointed with the workmanship.
My chimney is one of those ‘wooden box' type chimneys that has the metal chimney pipe coming up the middle. The chimney is about 3' x 6' feet. The previous cap was flat, that is bad. The center hole was ‘flanged', as it should be, that is good. The sad part is, because the cap was flat instead of ‘tented' the water would ‘puddle' on top of it and the galvanized sheet metal rusted through 10-20 years prematurely. If it had the slopes like a camping tent has, the water would have run off after each rain and greatly limited the rusting.
This is the TOP VIEW and SIDE VIEW of a 'Tented' or 'cross-braced' Chimney Cap
Now, the new cap is aluminum. That is good, it will not rust. It was cross-braced which gives it a ‘tented' effect, that is good. The 'cross-bracing' is shown by the diagonal lines that go from one corner to the other corner. To create a cross-brace, they bend along the diagonal lines. The greater the bends that forms the cross-bracing, the steeper the run-off slope will be. Unfortunately he did not cross-brace it quite enough, the ‘slope' is only 2-3 degrees downward. I was expecting about 5 degrees as the minimum. And then to my absolute astonishment, the center hole was NOT FLANGED !! They put 3/4" cuts around the center hole and then bend the tabs up to attach the pipe to. And then they use caulking to seal it. NOW FOLKS, I THOUGHT MAKING THE CENTER HOLE WITH A FLANGE WAS ‘SHEET METAL 101' !!
1. How long will the caulking last? I guarantee it will not last as long as a properly formed flange. The flange will shed water forever or until the aluminum corrodes. The caulk will only shed water until it becomes 'unstuck' from the metal.
2. That cross bracing (bending) should give the cap about a 5 degree slope. This cap is supposed to shed water in a torrential downpour. More slope improves the watershedding capability, just like a shingle roof.
3. If you are in the sheet metal business, you should have a tool that you can snap into that hole and make a flange in about 5 minutes.
4. Why do contractors find it impossible to put five minutes more work into something that will make it be the proper job? I see this ALL THE TIME !!
5. The contractor that did the job 20 years ago did not do the job properly and the contractor that did the job today did not do the job properly !!
This is so frustrating, there are no contractors that know anything anymore. Whatever happened to the trades >>> "progression of members from apprentice to craftsman, journeyman, and eventually to master and grandmaster of their craft". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_union) None of these people know anything anymore.
Should I stop payment on my check? (Yea, I was stupid. Save it.) :-)
Will caulk work for a HOT chimney pipe? (My friend pointed that out.)
Is it Builders and Contractors, OR IS IT JUST ME ?!