Chimneys aren’t something that most homeowners or home buyers think much about until something goes wrong, like a stray ember causing a fire or a bird nesting in the flue. 

There’s one easy-to-spot area that’s a simple way to increase safety and comfort (and spare unnecessary expense): the chimney cap.


In the collage above, the first chimney has no spark arrestor and no cap.  In the second image, there is a wire mesh spark arrestor on all four sides plus the top.  The wire prevents embers from getting out and small birds and other creatures from getting in.  It does not, however, keep out the wind or the rain.  In the last photo, we see a chimney that has both a spark arrestor and a rain cap.  The cap helps to prevent water from going down the flue (and rusting the damper).

Many spark arrestors with rain caps look like this:


Some have less wire mesh and appear more solid, like this one from the Saratoga Oaks community in Saratoga. The rain cap makes a solid “roof” over the spark arrestor such that water cannot fall into the chimney (and rust out the damper). With more solid sides, it helps to keep the wind out too.












And here’s another which looks like a true cap or hood, found in the Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood:


But what about your chimney stack, or your prospective chimney, if you’re a buyer?  Does it look like one of these?


If so, now’s the time to call your friendly chimney sweep or fireplace mason. The weather’s good and the birds will be looking for a place to build a nest – better if it’s not in your flue! Make sure that you get a spark arrestor with a rain cap, too (not just the wire mesh) to keep the elements out of your chimney and allowing your damper to continue to operate well.


by Transposh - translation plugin for wordpress
Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
Let’s Connect
Find Mary on FacebookFollow Mary on Twitter
RSS FeedFollow Mary on YouTube

Please see more icons
at the bottom of the page.

The real estate search
Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).
Mary’s other sites & blogs
Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
Silicon Valley relocation info
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics
Mary’s Blog Awards
Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.

Non blog award

Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News