Q: What is the best way to prevent wind from blowing down our chimney? — Sybil, Denver, Colorado

A: Tom says : Probably the best solution will be what's called a chimney cap or masonry cap, which is lifted onto the top of the chimney. The cap will have four little blocks in the corners and a piece of slate on the top of that, which will stop wind from blowing down into the chimney. You can actually buy several different types of caps that sit on the chimney. Another choice, if you don't have one already or yours is damaged, is to install a new damper, which works on a hinge with a cable that runs down inside the chimney. This allows you to shut the damper by pulling on the cable at the opening of your fireplace. As always, exercise extreme caution when working on your roof, or consider hiring a professional to do the needed work for you.
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