How to Know if Your Chimney Chase Cover Needs Replacing
Fire and water do not mix. Their opposition is even more pronounced when the fire is in the fireplace and the water is coming in from outside the home. In this case, your concern isn’t that water will pour in and put out the fire, but rather that it will seep in through some element of the chimney structure and cause dangerous and expensive problems. The chimney chase cover on prefab chimneys often is the culprit in cases like this.
What is a chimney chase cover?
These units function similarly to chimney caps, which sit atop masonry chimneys. The point of the device is to protect everything below it from rain and melting snow and ice. A slightly sloped design allows for runoff when the chase cover is in good repair.
Chimney chase covers are an issue for homeowners for two reasons: one, they have a relatively short lifespan and two, they can’t be fully seen and are therefore often overlooked.
Commonly made of metal, wood or vinyl siding, chase covers go on top of the chase – the exterior part of the chimney that extends from the house over the roof. The materials used in their construction aren’t as resilient in the ravages of winter weather season after season, as chimney caps constructed from cement.
What are the signs of a leaking or damaged chimney chase cover?
Chase covers that are corroded or otherwise damaged often will produce reddish-brown stains around the top area of the chase. This means rust is happening, and as we all know, rust only goes in one direction – it gets worse, not better. Overlooked rusting can lead to the chase cover actually breaking and allowing water into the chimney. The result can be significant damage to the system, and this damage can go a long way before the homeowner even knows it’s happening.
Because most of the chase cover is invisible from the ground, it’s easy to look up at it and figure it’s in good shape, when in reality it’s beginning to wear out and needs replacing. For this reason, an annual chimney inspection must include getting up on the roof and checking things out from a good vantage point. If you’re not comfortable climbing on the roof, you should hire a professional who is.
A possible obvious sign that your chimney chase cover needs replacing is water on the floor of the firebox. While this could be caused by leaks in other areas of the chimney structure or from damaged flashing around the gap between the chimney and the roof, the chase cover always should be suspected in cases of water dripping into the fireplace.
What to do about a damaged chimney chase cover
If you’ve determined that the chase cover is damaged, your best bet is to replace the unit. In cases of very minor damage, repair can solve the problem temporarily, but remember – chase covers weren’t designed to last for decades.
If you need help with inspecting your chimney chase cover or with full-scale chimney and fireplace inspection, call Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, Ga. Our experienced technicians will perform the necessary services to restore your fireplace and chimney to a proper and safe working order. Arrange an appointment, or get your questions answered by calling (770) 255-1300.