Chimney Chase Covers
A chimney chase top is the metal covering used for a wood-framed chimney chase. Chase tops are only found on chimneys structures (chases) connected to factory-built fireplaces. The “chase” is a wood framed structure that contains the double walled chimney pipe used with manufactured fireplaces. These structures can be covered with siding to match the home, stone or brick facing. Resembling the lid of shoebox, these covers are generally standard with pre-fabricated fireplaces and are found on a number of modern builds. Since these particular chimney tops are usually crafted with cheap galvanized sheet metal, they often rust quickly and will need replaced every 7 to 10 years.
Why Your Chase Cover Needs to be in Good Shape
Lots of chimneys have chase covers that are made of galvanized sheet metal—an inexpensive material that tends to rust. (Nowadays we recommend stainless steel chase covers to customers.) Heat from the fireplace and various environmental conditions contribute to the breakdown of the galvanized coating on these chase covers. This leaves the metal completely unprotected and causes it to begin to rust. When rust continues to deteriorate the chase cover, it can allow water from rain and melting snow into your home and cause damage to the inside of your home. For this reason, rust on a chimney’s exterior is more than just a cosmetic problem. Rust could be a sign of far more serious water damage issues.
In our work replacing chimney chase covers in the Richmond area, we have seen a lot of poor installations of chase covers done by builders who didn’t know what they were doing. Only chimney professionals should install chase covers so that they will not leak.
If you are going to replace a chase cover, it’s a good time to consider also replacing your chimney’s storm collar. A storm collar is a skirt of metal flashing that’s wrapped around your chimney pipe and located just above your chase pan cover. It’s designed to keep rainwater out of your chimney chase.
Chase Covers for New Homes and Old Homes Alike
Chimney Saver Solutions recommends that new home builders choose stainless steel chase covers for their customers’ homes. Rather than complaining to other prospective new homebuyers about the rusty, leaky chimney you built, they’ll sing your praises.
Pre-fab chimneys have low-quality sheet metal chase covers that rust out and require replacement to avoid water damage. We replace them with custom-made stainless steel chase covers.
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