Chimney Chase Covers
We install and replace chimney chase covers in Milwaukee, Kenosha WI, Menomonee Falls WI, Germantown WI, Racine WI, Oak Creek WI, Mt Pleasant WI and all southeast Wisconsin.
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.
Galvanized steel chase tops do in fact last long periods of time and that’s what we do 99% of our chase tops in, because its far less expensive than stainless steel and when properly bent & cross-broken, will easily last 10+ years.
A damaged or deteriorating chase cover can be easy to detect since water runoff from a rusty chase cover can cause unsightly discoloration on the chimney. Heat produced from burning a fire and various environmental conditions contribute to the deterioration of the galvanized coating on chase covers. Once this galvanized coating has disappeared, the metal is left completely unprotected and begins to rust. Once rust is spotted, repairs or replacement should be done immediate. Even a small hole or crack in a chimney case cover can result in extensive water damage which can lead to a number of costly repairs. If you quickly address the situation, you may be able to prevent a leaky chimney or other issues that can require expensive repairs.
Chase Cover Design
You should ensure that your chimney chase cover is made to exact specifications to your chimney chase. There should be ¼ to ½ inch space all the way around and the cover should be spaced off the chase by about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch to allow for ventilation. Chase covers also include a large round band called a “storm collar” where the chimney liner venting comes up and is capped off with a “termination cap.” The storm collar helps to shed water and forms a waterproof seal, helping to keep water and moisture out of your chimney.
Common Issues Caused by Bad Chimney Chase Covers
Coverings such as chimney caps, shrouds, chase covers, and other custom chimney toppers are important for preventing moisture, animals, leaves and other debris from falling down into the chimney causing damage or blockages. Water & moisture is your chimney’s worst enemy and if your chimney chase has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer keeping water and moisture out, you may be facing expensive repairs in your future. Common issues caused by chimney moisture damage include: rotting wood frame and walls, mold, deterioration & rusting of your firebox, deterioration of chimney liner and masonry components, and possible carbon monoxide leaks.
Materials Used for Chase Covers
Galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel are all materials that a chimney case cover can be made of. Each one has its own advantages:
These chimney chase covers are the most common and most economical to use. They can last 10 or more years if properly built and installed.
These chase covers do not rust, but may be damaged easily since the metal is generally too soft to function well as a chimney topper.
Copper is considered the highest quality choice, but these chase covers are typically the most expensive. The aesthetic appeal has enticed many homeowners to feature a copper chase cover to enhance the appearance of their chimney.
Stainless steel is the strongest material used to make chimney chase covers. It costs more than galvanized steel but never rusts and should never need to be replaced which makes it a great option for homeowners who don’t want to worry about regular chimney maintenance.