Installing a chimney cowl

Chimney cowls cover the entrance to the chimney, preventing small animals, rain or debris from entering the chimney, clogging it or even damaging it. The cowl also prevents sparks from shooting out the chimney. Some cowls have vents or dampers to help change the airflow in the fireplace.

Tools and materials needed:

  • Chimney cowl
  • Mounting brackets or leg kit
  • Drill and masonry bits
  • Ladder and extension cord
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Spirit level

Choose the cowl

There are many types of cowl that you can use. The stainless steel one is good against rain and creosote because it doesn’t rust or corrode. A chimney with a single flue requires a slide on cowl. A round tile or steel flue, requires an inside cowl that can be installed using brackets. A chimney cowl screens must be 5 inches higher than the tallest flue. It must be mounted on using adhesive or masonry bits.

Roof access

Installing a chimney cowl is easy if you can get to the chimney from the roof. If not, try working from a ladder which must be hold by someone. If the roof doesn’t allow you to work from a ladder, think about hiring a professional for the job.


An inside cowl must be installed after applying silicone caulk on the area. If the flue is made out of metal, do not apply sealant. Some cowls must be attached directly to the chimney. Plan the masonry anchors before you install anything. The anchors must be at least 1 foot away one from another. Place the chimney cowl flange on the chimney crown and then apply adhesive to secure it in place.

When installing a chimney cowl you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the case of drilling a cowl flange into place, hold it tight against the masonry and begin the drilling process. Secure the masonry anchor into place and then place the screw into the bracket and secure it tightly. Repeat the process on all sides.

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