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There is a variety of reasons for fitting a cowl to the chimney pot, and a big variety of cowls available. The ChimneyDoc can advise if a cowl is required, and the correct type of cowl for your use. If you have just moved to a property that has a cowl fitted, or if you wish to change the use of the fire place, I can advise the suitability of the cowl for you purpose. My advise is usually free within the local area.

If you are no longer using the chimney, you should consider having it capped. This prevents rain entering the chimney, prevention deterioration of the interior of the chimney and stopping draughts. However, it is also important to consider what ventilation you have in the room below. I fit a simple cap with a mesh venting space. This has several advantages. It serves the purpose of keeping out damp and draughts at the same time allowing the chimney to breath, preventing damp being trapped in the unused chimney. It also has the advantage of being easily removable, should you or subsequent owners wish to change the use back to a fire place.

Types of cowl

Most cowls are designed to keep out the rain with some kind of hood. In addition, there may be a mesh to keep out birds. There are different cowls for different fuel types. Smokeless fuels require a stainless steel cowl, while coal & wood require a cowl with a wider mesh to prevent blockages. There are also cowls designed specifically to prevent or reduce down drafts, where this is a problem. I can supply & fit the right product for you - and advice costs you nothing.


An unused chimney is susceptible to cold and damp and will deteriorate faster than a chimney in regular use. If you have a disused chimney, you should consider having it capped to reduce erosion to the inside of the stack, even if the chimney is blocked off at the bottom.


If you've ever had a bird come down the chimney, you'll know how much mess that creates! There are a verity of cowls or simple wire baskets to prevent this. Pointed wire mesh (sometimes called bird cages) guards also prevent birds from sitting on the mesh.

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