The Outside of Your Chimney & Its Components
There is a lot more to the outside of your chimney than meets the eye, and it may even have components you aren’t aware of. A chimney that operates properly makes it possible for you to enjoy fires indoors because it transports toxic fumes outdoors. All of the various parts of your chimney exterior contribute to the safe and efficient operation of your fireplace. Maintenance is important because chimneys are vulnerable to moisture and other potential problems. You can do a better job of maintaining your chimney and avoiding costly repairs when you are familiar with the various parts. The following is information about the chimney cap, chimney chase cover, chimney crown, flashing, and chimney stack masonry.
A chimney cap can be chosen for aesthetic beauty, but the main thing is that there is a cap on every masonry chimney. There are several important functions served by the chimney cap:
- Keeps rain, snow, and sleet from pouring inside your chimney.
- Prevents debris such as leaves and limbs from falling inside the chimney.
- Stops downdrafts from pulling outside air down your chimney and into your home.
- With mesh, keeps birds and other critters out of your chimney.
- Helps to prevent deterioration of the flue liner.
- With a spark guard, can prevent hot embers from starting a fire on your roof or setting fire to other nearby combustibles.
Chimney Chase Cover
A chimney chase cover is similar to a chimney cap because it performs many of the same functions, such as keeping rain water from pouring inside the venting system. The chief difference is that chase covers are for the protection of prefabricated metal chimneys. A chase cover looks like a lid that fits over a shoebox. It’s important that chimney chase covers don’t leak, which is why only professional chimney technicians should install them.
The chimney crown is the component at the very top of the chimney. Its purpose is to serve as protection against the weather, much like an umbrella. A chimney crown is typically made of poured concrete, and it extends at least 2 inches over the chimney stack below. This keeps water from continually pouring down the side of the masonry. The chimney crown also prevents moisture from getting into the chimney system between the flue lining and the exterior of the chimney. Annual chimney inspections are recommended by fire safety experts, and one reason for routine inspection is to make sure the chimney crown is in good condition. The crown is perpetually exposed to the elements and tends to crack over time.
The chimney flashing is the metal part of the chimney. The purpose of flashing is to maintain a watertight seal between the chimney and the roof. Flashing can be tricky to install. It is made of metal, which also makes it vulnerable to moisture. Flashing is often the cause of chimney leaks, which is why it should be checked often.
Chimney Stack Masonry
The part of the chimney that protrudes through the roof is the chimney stack. The masonry is vulnerable to moisture. If the mortar wears away, moisture gets inside the structure and can result in deterioration of the masonry. If the issue continues without repair, the chimney will begin to lean and could even collapse.
Have you had your exterior chimney components checked by a chimney sweep? You can save a significant amount of money by avoiding high repair costs. A well-maintained chimney is a lot easier on the pocketbook than a neglected chimney. Contact the pros at Chimney Saver Solutions today to schedule a chimney inspection and ensure that the outside of your chimney and all other components are in good condition.