Replacing Leaky Chimney Chase Covers
A chimney chase cover is a simple fix and preventative measure for many serious problems. A chimney chase cover fits on the top of the chimney chase, much like the lid on a shoebox. A chase cover will protect the interior of the chase from the elements. The cover prevents moisture, critters, sticks and leaves from falling into the chase. A leaky chimney chase cover or an improper or deteriorating one can result in the necessity of costly repairs and other problems.
Curt Breiwa is seen here installing the venting for a gas fireplace. This is a framed wood chase with a galvanized chase top. This chase top was in fairly good shape so he did not need to replace it. The large round band is a storm collar that sheds the water from the pipe and directs it to the chase top. Note the wrapped or folded edge to the chase top, this allows for water to drain off the chase top and onto the roof.
Older inexpensive, pre-fabricated fireplaces typically came with galvanized or lower grade stainless steel caps and chase covers. These covers often last only 8 to 10 years before they need to be replaced. Original chase covers that came with pre-fabricated chimneys, often rust quite quickly. As water runs off the cover and down the sides, it will bring with it the rust from the top and cause the sides of your chimney to pick up an unattractive discoloration.
Why You Should Fix a Leaky Chimney Chase Cover
If this problem goes unnoticed, the chase cover can rust through and cause water to drip down and cause a chimney leak. Exterior rust stains are often the first indicator of a chimney chase cover issue. It is important to take care of the problem as soon as it is noticed, so that it does not advance to a point where water enters, which brings with it, its own set of serious problems. This moisture can make its way down to your chimney chase and rot the wood framing, create mold in your home and even rust out the fireplace box itself making it unusable.
Solve the problem once and for all with a stainless steel chimney chase cover. Tiny holes or cracks in a chase cover will let water seep into the structure and cause expensive water damage. Stainless steel is more durable and stronger and will look better for a longer period of time than other materials. It is also recommended that the chase cover be designed with a cross break which creates a "dome" effect. This will prevent the snow, ice and water from pooling on top of the chase cover. Chimney chase covers can be made to fit perfectly on any shape or size chimney. And with single or multiple vents, these chase covers can last a lifetime when your chimney is maintained properly.
Stainless steel chase covers are designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions we experience in our service area including Northeast Iowa, Southwest Wisconsin and Northwest Illinois.
Installing a sturdy and well manufactured chimney chase cover made from stainless steel is an important step in the right direction to ensure the continued protection from the weather. The most important aspects of a chimney chase cover are the tight, waterproof seal around all edges, a storm collar around the chimney pipe, and a drip-edge that contains a 45 degree angle to encourage proper water runoff. This piece is the critical first guard against the weather and other factors of nature.
To inquire about installing a chase cover on your chimney or to check the condition of an existing one, contact our Certified Chimney Sweeps & Chimney Professionals at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio today. We fix chimneys commercially as well!