If you have a prefabricated or factory built chimney system, it may be covered with a chimney chase, which is a wood-framed enclosure of the chimney that can be covered with siding or masonry to match your home. If you do have a chimney chase, it should be equipped with a chase cover to protect your chimney from water penetration. At Ace Chimney Sweeps, we routinely install prefabricated chimney systems, and we have had questions from our customers about chase covers and how to know when they should be replaced. To answer these questions, we would like to tell you more about chimney chase covers.
What exactly is a chase cover?
Located on the top of a chimney chase, a chase cover serves as a seal of the top of your chimney to keep water, birds, animals, and debris out of the flue. People often get chase covers confused with chimney caps because they are similar in that they both protect your chimney from water penetration. Protection from water leaks is essential because of the damage water can do to a chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is the biggest enemy of a chimney.
How can I tell when I need a new chase cover?
Unfortunately, the chase covers that come with many prefabricated chimney systems are constructed from thin, inexpensive galvanized metal or aluminum and do not last very long. Signs that you need a new chase cover include:
- Rust & other corrosion
Rusting is usually the most obvious sign of damage to a chase cover. Take a look at your existing chase cover, and contact Ace Chimney Sweeps if you see rust stains on the chase cover, especially around the chimney cap or the flue stack.
- Pooled water
If you ever notice water pooling on the top of the chase cover, your cover was most likely not correctly installed. A correctly installed chase cover will allow water to run off the cover instead of remaining on top to cause rusting and other corrosion. Pooled water can also lead to chimney leaks that can create expensive damage to your chimney.
- Chase damage such as Swelling
If your chase is swelling, this is a sign of water damage from water leaking into the chase. Water penetration can also cause wood to swell and rot. If you have noticed these sorts of signs of water damage, you most likely need a new chimney chase cover.
If you have more questions about chimney chase covers, contact Ace Chimney Sweeps. Our staff can answer your questions and help you with installing a new chase cover to protect your chimney and its chase.