Here is a guide in chimney chase covers, including uses, types and common problems.
For a chimney to function effectively, all its parts must be in perfect working condition.
When installed, certain sections may fail in the course of operation due to damage or lifespan expiration. These will have to be replaced with new parts.
One of such vital components we’ll be discussing is the chimney chase cover.
Chimney Chase Cover: Metal, Copper, Aluminum, Galvanized & Stainless Steel
Now, there’s a lot of confusion between chimney chase covers and chimney caps. Are these the same or are there differences you need to know of? Also, what materials are chimney chase covers made from?
You don’t want to miss a thing as we get into the details of our discussion.
About Chimney Chase Covers
The chimney chase cover is a key component of a chimney system that rests atop the chimney chase.
These go by several names ranging from chase tops or chase pans. Without a chase cover, you’ll be inviting trouble as such chimney systems will be exposed to the elements, dirt, and debris.
The type of chase cover you install on your chimney will determine how long it will last. These chimney components are made from various materials ranging from galvanized steel, copper, and aluminum among others.
More on these will be discussed shortly.
Know Your Chase Cover’s Condition
It’s common to find homeowners ignoring the condition of their chase cover as they think these components are indestructible. Some chimney chase covers have a shorter lifespan than others.
Those made from galvanized steel are prime examples of covers with a shorter lifespan.
So, as part of yearly chimney inspections, it’s important to have a chimney technician perform basic checks to determine your chimney chase cover’s condition.
This helps prevent complete deterioration and allows you to replace a damaged one.
Types of Chimney Chase Cover Materials
Under this section, we’re discussing the different types of basic and decorative chimney chase cover materials to help you better understand the options you have.
Basically, these chimney components are found in copper, stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum variants.
Copper Chimney Chase Covers
When considering a high-quality chimney chase cover, those made of copper materials easily come to mind. This quality reflects in the price as copper chase covers tend to be costlier than the other types.
Plus, it has a visual appeal that buyers tend to love.
Stainless Steel Chimney Chase Covers
When looking for a chase cover that will last for long and stand its ground against the harshest weather conditions, stainless steel chase covers will easily make the pick.
These are known for their durability and will serve for as long as the chimney is being used.
Of course, you’d expect such qualities to come at a high price. Like copper chimney chase covers, those made from steel material are also pricey.
Galvanized Steel Chimney Chase Covers
There are chimney chase covers made from galvanized steel material. These are ideal for persons operating on a budget. In other words, galvanized steel chase covers are quite cheap and will easily fit your budget.
However, the downside is its quick deterioration.
Galvanized steel chase covers will easily rust and will need to be replaced within a few years. If you have a damaged chase covers that need replacement, chances are that it’s made from galvanized steel.
This is only a short-term solution that requires an upgrade within a short period of time.
Aluminum Chimney Chase Covers
The last of these chase cover materials is aluminum.
In terms of durability, aluminum chase covers will serve you for a very long time and won’t easily rust. However, your weather condition is likely to determine how long it lasts.
This is due to the soft nature of the metal.
Under extreme weather conditions, this chimney chase cover material might get damaged. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that these are much better than chase covers made from galvanized steel.
Chase Covers Vs Chimney Caps
Oftentimes, the names chase covers and chimney caps are used interchangeably.
In reality, there’s a clear difference between the two. If you’ve made the mistake of switching these terms or names, the information here will prove useful.
Both the chimney cap and chase cover sit atop the chimney. So, which exactly is the chimney chase cover and where’s the chimney cap found?
The key difference is this; chimney caps only fit the top of the flue opening while the chase cover fits or sits over the top of the chimney.
You’ll always find the chimney crown installed or sitting on the chase cover. Both of these chimney components have their unique functions.
While the chase cover prevents water from collecting or pooling by allowing it to run off the sides, the chimney cap protects the flue from wildlife and debris access.
Also, the chimney cap has a screen or spark arrestor that traps in sparks resulting from combustion within the fireplace. This prevents a situation where a spark exits the chimney and causes fires by igniting nearby bushes.
Common Chimney Chase Cover Issues
Chimney chase covers are likely to develop faults especially when they aren’t properly installed. You may experience leaks, rust, and pooling of water.
Discussing each of these points in greater detail will be of immense benefit.
If chimney chase covers are installed over chimney tops, why should there be leaks?
Well, such a situation could arise when the chase cover isn’t properly installed. Plus, the absence of a chimney cap will also result in leakages.
With leaks comes rust. Metal chimney flues are most affected as they’re exposed to the elements. Before long, the combustion byproducts (soot and creosote) settled on flue walls react with water to rapidly degrade.
Pooling water is another possibility common with a bad chase cover installation job. With pooling comes rust and leaks. Any, or a combination of these conditions might occur.
The best way to prevent this from happening is by carrying out yearly inspections.
Can Some Chimney Caps Serve in the Absence of Chase Covers?
Sometimes, questions such as these arise. However, the truth is, their functions (chase covers and chimney caps) cannot be interchanged. In other words, one cannot serve the other.
Basically, what we’re trying to say is chase chimney caps won’t serve the functions of chase covers. You’ll need to have both of these installed to make your chimney functional.
By now, you would have learned a great deal about chimney chase covers. Whether you want to have yours replaced or you’re simply interested in knowing, this article easily serves both needs.