Should you choose a chimney strap?

Congratulations! You’ve decided to go with an outdoor antenna. You’re serious about cutting the cord, that’s for sure. Outdoor antennas will help you get reception up to 70 miles away, and you’ll pull in the strongest possible signal. They’re the real deal.

Almost immediately after you decide though, you’re struck with a question:

How do I mount this thing?

Good question. Obviously there are a lot of choices out there. Smaller antennas tend to work best with J-mounts,  which attach easily to the side of the house or to the roof. If you’re desperate not to drill a single hole, there are non-penetrating mounts, which rely on cinder blocks or other heavy objects to keep them in place. Although they are most often seen on flat roofs, there are versions for pitched roofs as well.

The best option, however, is often a chimney mount, also called a chimney strap.

Why a chimney mount?

A chimney mount takes advantage of the strongest part of your house to create a safe, secure, non-destructive way to mount. Your chimney probably looks like this, made of brick. As you learned in childhood, building a house of brick is a fairly secure proposition!

A chimney strap works by wrapping metal bands around your chimney and tightening them down. There are versions for different size chimneys, but no matter what you buy it’s going to conform to the shape of your chimney. If you buy a mount that’s too long, you can use tinsnips or something like that to cut the extra metal off.

Installing a chimney mount is incredibly easy. There are four corner braces which go on the corners of the chimney to make sure the bands don’t dig into the brick. Put those in place with a bit of tape then wrap the metal straps around the whole chimney. It’s all held together with a strap that not only holds the straps on tightly but gives you a place to mount a pole or mast.

What about that pole?

Solid Signal sells a very nice metal mast but pretty much any metal pole will do as long as the outer diameter is under 1.5″. Most chimney mounts will expand enough to hold that width but not much more. I would not use PVC or rebar or a wood dowel as they’re just not going to be strong enough. If you’d prefer not to order something so heavy online, a trip to the local home store will usually get you a metal post that will work just fine.

Final installation

Once you’ve put up the mount and mast, and made sure that it’s plumb by making a few minor adjustments here and there to the brackets, it’s time to put on the antenna. Pretty much every antenna comes with its own mounting bracket and they can be pretty different. Aim the antenna well and then secure the mounting bracket to the mast. Don’t forget to ground the antenna as well!

You’ll be glad you installed a chimney mount because it’s easy to put up and will give you years of stable mounting for your antenna. What’s the best place to buy one? Why, of course, it’s Solid Signal.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.