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Preventing Leaks Can Be As Easy As Installing A Long-Lasting Chimney Cap Or Chase Cover
Take a look around you when you’re sprinting from your car to the glorious doors of Target on a rainy day, and you’ll realize that you’re not alone: No one likes getting rained on.
Well, your chimney’s no different. The difference is in the effects.
What do we mean?
If you get caught in the rain without an umbrella, you’ll probably be okay after a hot shower and a change of clothes. But if your chimney is out in the rain without any sort of “umbrella,” that’s going to be a bigger problem.
You’re probably thinking, “Why would my chimney need an umbrella? It’s made to be out in the wind and rain.” That’s true, but it’s also made to have protective components at the top to keep water out of the chimney system.
What kind of protective components? A chimney cap and chase cover.
What Are Chimney Caps & What Do They Do?
Chimney caps are metal coverings that are affixed to the top of the chimney flue, regardless of whether the chimney is masonry or prefabricated (aka metal or factory-built). These cover the flue and sometimes the chase or stack as well, depending on the cap.
What’s the point of covering the flue?
- Keep moisture out — A chimney cap will keep rainwater from coming down your home’s chimney. Rainwater can damage stainless steel liners and terra cotta liners, chimney dampers, and mortar joints. Beyond damage from the water itself, moisture from rainwater can produce mold and mildew.
- Keep animal invaders out — Animals like birds, raccoons, and squirrels often try to make their homes within chimneys. In many instances, these animals enter the chimney but aren’t able to exit, eventually dying inside. This can produce maggots, flies, and unpleasant odors in your home. A professionally installed chimney cap that’s sized properly for your chimney will prevent animals from entering.
- Prevent wind-induced downdrafts — If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, it can introduce a downdraft. If you don’t have a chimney cap and you’re using a wood-burning fireplace at that time, a wind-induced downdraft has the potential to blow smoke back into your home. The flat-shaped top of a chimney cap is designed to prevent these wind-induced downdrafts so you can enjoy your fireplace, smoke-free.
- Prevent spark and ember fires — Some people refer to chimney caps as spark arrestors because chimney caps help keep lit embers and sparks that travel up the chimney from landing on the roof and possibly starting a house fire. Just one more way a chimney cap can be a big help.
- Prevent debris buildup and flue blockages — Leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris can enter a chimney and build up or block the flue if a chimney cap is not in place. This can be dangerous for many reasons — most significantly it can cause a chimney fire or prevent smoke and dangerous gases like carbon monoxide from properly exiting the chimney and home.
While chimney caps can be made of just about any metal, only stainless steel or copper chimney caps will last a lifetime and guarantee a water-free chimney. Cheaper metal caps — like galvanized steel caps or aluminum caps — on the other hand, will rust out after a few years, which is how many leaks start.
What Are Chase Covers & What Do They Do?
Chase covers are metal coverings that cover the chase of a metal or wooden chimney, while leaving an open space for the flue to extend out.
The job of a chase cover is simple: keep water, snow, sleet, and ice from going down into the chimney and rusting the metal or rotting the wood in the chimney stack and fireplace.
Note: On a masonry chimney, the crown would take the place of a chase cover.
How Do You Know If You Need A Chimney Cap Or Chase Cover?
Truth is, every chimney should have a cap, regardless of whether it’s masonry or prefabricated. The cap is the only thing that’s going to protect the flue and keep water, as well as nesting birds, squirrels, and other critters out.
If you look up at your chimney and don’t see a cap covering your chimney flue, then run, don’t walk to the phone and give us a call. Water damage will only worsen with time if you don’t cover your chimney’s flue ASAP.
Chase covers, on the other hand, are only needed if you have a prefabricated chimney. It can be harder to tell if you need a new chase cover, but there are some tell-tale signs.
- Look for rust streaks and stains on your chimney chase.
- Look for water damage in your fireplace and rust-streaks inside.
If you see any of the above, it means your chase cover is rusted out and needs to be replaced, which isn’t uncommon. In fact, most chase covers that come standard with prefabricated chimneys are made of a simple galvanized metal and lack the proper construction to last.
A well-made, long-lasting chase cover will be made of stainless steel or copper and will have cross-breaks to prevent snow, ice, and rain from pooling on top. Without cross-breaks, the chase cover can sag and eventually collapse.
Truth be told, a failing chase cover is one of the most common causes of chimney leaks here in the greater Asheville area. And unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when leaks spring up. Most signs of damage are hidden from view until the devastation is pretty widespread.
How Can Wright’s Help?
Okay, enough with the bad news, let’s get to the good news. The good news is that here at Wright’s Hearth, Heat & Home, we can replace rusted out or missing chimney caps and chase covers.
Not only do we sell quality caps from HomeSaver, but we also offer custom caps and chase covers. That means, no matter the size or style of your chimney, we can offer a solution that works great and looks great.
Save Surprises For Birthdays & Keep Repair Costs Down — Have Your Cap Or Chase Cover Replaced By Our Expert Team
Let’s face it: life has enough surprises. A chimney leak doesn’t need to be one of them.
Get confidence and keep chimney repair costs down by calling Wright’s Hearth, Heat & Home today and scheduling an appointment to have your chimney cap or chase cover replaced.
We’re here to help our neighbors throughout Asheville and the surrounding areas, Monday through Saturday, all year long. Call 828-687-9002 or reach out to us here on our website to schedule an appointment today.