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Storm Collars

When it comes to keeping your chimney in good condition, there are a number of parts and pieces that are all needed to work together. One such piece is the storm collar; while you may not recognize the name, storm collars are instrumental in preventing chimney leaks and interior moisture damage to your chimney and home.

What is a storm collar?

rusty storm collar - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of Michigan

A storm collar is a flexible metal ring that is required any time a chimney passes through a roofline. Storm collars are not typically used in masonry chimneys; instead, they are most commonly used with stoves or prefabricated fireplaces that have a chimney pipe.

Storm collars are designed to fit around round chimney pipes just above the chimney flashing; they also feature screws or tabs that allow the storm collars to be tightened to fit your exact chimney. Because the upper edge of the storm collar is exposed, it is important that it is sealed to create a watertight barrier between the chimney and the storm collar.

The angled design of storm collars help keep water from rain, snow, and other moisture from seeping straight down the chimney pipe. Instead, moisture is directed away from the chimney and onto the roof where it can safely run off. While storm collars direct moisture away from the chimney pipe, chimney flashing is still needed in order to prevent any leaks. By sitting on top of the flashing, the collar and flashing work together to prevent leaks and water damage to your chimney and home.

When storm collars fail

One common cause of storm collars failing is the deterioration of the caulk or seal around the top of the collar. Not using the right kind of sealant is the primary cause of this kind of deterioration; storm collars need to be sealed with a high temperature sealant in order to withstand the heat of the chimney pipe. Using a regular, waterproof sealant or caulk may be able to keep moisture out, but typically cannot hold up against the heat of the chimney pipe.

Storm collars may also fail because of the metal they are made of. Galvanized metals rust more quickly; if you notice rust stains on your roof or walls near the chimney, the storm collar may have begun to deteriorate. Instead, choose a new chimney cap made of a durable metal such as stainless steel. While stainless steel collars are more expensive, they will last longer than galvanized models.

A chimney storm collar is an important part of keeping your chimney – and home – moisture and leak free. If you have a deteriorating storm collar or if your pipe chimney is missing a storm collar altogether, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today. Our highly trained staff of chimney experts can help you select and install the right storm collar for your home and chimney.