Question: I have a 30 year old brick fire place. The damper recently broke. A company came out and inspected it and recommended a top locking damper. The original damper was down the throat above the fire box. Which is the better damper? I do get a foul smell after a rain fall with the damper open. If the damper is at the top, Wouldn't the moisture come through the bricks and smell as well? Please help on this issue. I have spent all day on the web trying to find out which is better and everyone is advertising top locks, not bottom. Answer: Kenny, we have always had good luck with the top-sealing models. Some of them even have a built-in cap, which helps the chimney stay dry. They do seal tighter than the bottom ones..and I don't know of any retrofit bottom ones anyway. If you can easily fix the existing...fine - if not, a top sealing would be OK.