chimney rain proofing

My brick chimney is open on top which allows the rain to get in and some of the mortar inside is turning white and powdering. Is there something I can build to cover it or do I have to purchase the cover?
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get a stanless steel chimney cap.
While you at it get the chimney inspected, depending on age of home it might need repairs and make sure the cap is in good condition.
do you use it for wood burning?
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Martik wrote:

Time for a camera inspection, better safe than sorry!
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Martik wrote:

A possibility is a spring loaded cap that has a cable down the chimney to an operator handle. When the fireplace is not in use the operator handle pulls the cap down on top of the flue sealing it.
bud--
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I would agree with the camera inspection. If you are having mortar fall down and have been taking in water for some time...it could be real ugly in that chimney and you need to know how bad the chimney is damaged, especially since you are using this fireplace. Im not a real fan of chimney top dampers. when they are closed heated air raises up and then cools and sinks down again. It casues a cold draft feel at the hearth even if there is no outside air getting past the damper. A good combo is a stainless chimney cap (none of that galvanized garbage at home depo) and a chimney balloon to get a tight seal down by the firebox.
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Thanks all for the help.
A digicam with self-timer lowered on a rope should be useful.
I also noticed the crown/wash is in need of repair, what kind of mortar should I use?
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Martik wrote:

S- Mortar.
As someone mentioned, get a stainless steel chimney cap. Get the chimney inspected by someone who knows what they are doing.
Try to burn a few fires every winter to help dry out the interior. Buy a product called CHEM-STOP at a local masonary supply store (there are several different types, buy the one that will work on chimney bricks) and "paint" the exterior of your chimney with toward the end of your "dry season" each year.
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