The Difference Between a Chimney Cap, Chimney Crown, and Chimney Chase Cover
Chimney terminology can be confusing at times since many of the terms seem to be referencing the same thing, such as chimney cap, chimney crown, and chimney chase cover. When you hire a chimney sweep or chimney professional, it important to know the differences in these terms as these parts of your chimney get the most abuse from the elements and need replacement or repair from time to time. So let’s go over these three terms to better understand what they are and how they protect your chimney.
The basic job of a chimney cap is to cover the chimney’s opening in an effort to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney and/or house. Water is directed away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting to your chimney via the mesh screening on the side, thereby preventing it from becoming a giant trash can. If any of these things were to get into your chimney, they could damage the chimney and cause more problems for you down the road. On the other hand, keeping them all out can increase the lifetime of your chimney liner. Choosing to purchase a chimney cap and have it installed by one of our professional chimney technicians is a decision you won’t soon regret.
Chimney crowns are the flat, or mostly flat area, just beneath the chimney cap on masonry chimneys. It is where the masonry part of the chimney ends at the very top and is domed and reinforced with mortar. A properly constructed crown sheds water and serves as a protective covering for your chimney against harsh weather. Your chimney crown is exposed to the same elements that wreak havoc on your chimney itself. Over time, this mortar will eventually crack or break and need to be repaired or replaced. The replacement will either be of the cast-in-place variety—a form is placed on the top of your chimney and filled with cement to the exact specifications required by your particular chimney—or precast—a prefabricated unit that is placed atop your chimney.
CHIMNEY CHASE COVERS
Chimney chase covers are almost the same thing as a chimney crown, but are made out of metal that is usually found on prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces. Chase covers fit over the top, outermost opening of your chimney and are designed to keep precipitation, debris and animals out of your chimney. Most modern chase covers are custom made from stainless steel to fit perfectly, whereas the ones that were installed by the builder when your home was constructed of a very thin-gauge sheet metal, which may have been bent by hand onsite, which probably resulted in a poor-fitting cover from the very beginning. Having a chase cover that does what it’s supposed to do is extremely important and absolutely necessary for the longevity of your entire chimney system. Because of the job it performs a fully functional chase cover is more than an option—it’s a necessity!
Dealing with chimney system repairs can be frustrating; your chimney and fireplace play a large role in your home. It is important to know the termonology of a chimney system when dealing with a repair since many of the terms might sound the same to you. Make sure you fully understand what your chimney professionals are trying to communicate to you about your particular system.
If you suspect your chimney system is in need of repair or you have questions understanding your chimney system, feel free to contact us.