The Champs of Chimney Chases: The Chase Cover!

Did you watch the 2016 Summer Olympics? What a captivating event! For two weeks, people from across the globe gather to give their best performance in their best event. The champion gets the  medal! Just like we have champions in the olympics, we also have champions in chimney protection! Wood chimney chases need champions. We call these chase covers. Chimney chase covers keep out rain, leaves, dirt, icy snow and whatever else could swirl around in the air and come down to roost in the chimney. You must protect the wood chimney chase structure from damage and deterioration. If you like the olympics, then you should like chimney chase covers! For homeowners with wood, metal, or vinyl chimney chase siding, this means it’s high time you had your chase cover inspected up on top.

What’s a chimney chase cover?

A chase cover is a metal covering that secures over the chase which allows the piping from the fireplace to properly exit the roof and provides physical protection from the elements.

Do chase covers go by any other name?

Yes! In some areas of the United States people refer to them as chase pans. Chase pans are chase covers. Also we have heard customers refer to them as chimney tops. Chimney tops are also chase covers. Our favorite name for a chase cover that we have heard was, “that metal thing up on top of my chimney.” No worries there, we have you covered. We’re just glad you called!

What are chimney chase covers made out of?

The original covers installed with the chimney chase are usually made of an inexpensive galvanized sheet metal, usually 26 gauge or sometimes even thinner! This metal is dipped in zinc to prevent the metal from rusting. However, this zinc covering eventually wears off from normal weathering in the elements. When it wears off, rust spots develop, and water can then enter the wood structure below. Sometimes these chase covers were never installed correctly the first time! The NFPA 211 requires the annual inspection of all fireplaces chimneys and vents. The incorrect installation of chase covers can also accelerate weathering and rust. It’s crucial to have the chase cover properly installed so that water runs off the chase cover.  This means having a slight slope built into the substrate under the metal chase cover. A flat chase cover causes water to collect on the surface, causing it to pool and rust and, eventually lead to a leaky chase cover. To add insult to leaky chimney injury, rain carries the rust with it down your chase siding, causing a stain that increases as time passes. Not good!

What is the best material for a chimney chase cover?

Stainless steel. Stainless steel is a metal mixed with chromium during its melted state to provide more protection against rusting. Galvanized sheet metal chase covers rust faster than stainless steel chase covers. Stainless steel is therefore the better material. However, improper installation will still cause similar issues, such as standing water on a chase cover.

All about chimney chase covers.

Ultimately, the winning formula for the protection of your chimney chase is to have your chase cover inspected annually, and replaced, if needed, with a stainless steel cover! Sure, there won’t be any anthems or posing with your chase cover once completed (sorry, we don’t provide these services), but you will have a sense of comfort knowing that your unit is protected and ready to give its best performance this fall and winter.
Give Midtown Chimney Sweeps a call to schedule an inspection or submit an online request here

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