For homeowners who want the look and feel of a fireplace without the high price tags sometimes associated with a masonry chimney, prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces can be stylish and affordable alternatives. In addition to costing significantly less than their masonry counterparts, prefabricated chimneys are also known for their easy upkeep and low maintenance costs.
Although prefabricated chimneys are known for being easy to care for, there is one part of the chimney that is important to keep in top condition – the chase cover. Chase covers protect the entire fireplace system as well as the chimney structure; any damage or deterioration to the chase cover can impact the condition of the entire fireplace system.
What are chase covers?
Prefabricated chimneys are constructed using a simple metal flue pipe as the chimney. Because of this, most homes enclose this pipe in what is known as a chimney chase. The top of the chase is then shielded and protected by a chimney chase cover.
The type of metal your chase cover is made of can affect its lifespan. Less expensive galvanized steel, for example, is typically the default or basic option for prefabricated chimneys and is known for rusting quickly. Aluminum and stainless steel are the most popular choice for homeowners replacing their chase covers; moderately priced, these metals can last for years to come. Copper is virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime or longer; however, it can be much more expensive and some homeowners do not like to natural discolorations that may occur.
Why are chase covers important?
Much like a chimney cap does for masonry fireplaces, the chase cover protects the entrance of the flue for prefabricated fireplaces. Because of its location, the chase cover keeps animals, debris, and water out of the flue and fireplace. By keeping the flue unblocked and undamaged, homeowners can safely use their fireplaces for years to come.
While prefabricated chimneys need less maintenance then their masonry counterparts, it is extremely important that the chase cover is inspected each year for signs of deterioration or damage. When spotted early, chase cover damage can be repaired before serious harm comes to the chimney or fireplace.
When do I need to replace my chase cover?
Because the flue of prefabricated chimneys are protecting within the chase, the chase cover is often the only part of the fireplace system that is exposed to the elements. This means that is often deteriorates – and needs to be replaced – much sooner than the rest of the fireplace system.
There are a number of signs that it may be time to repair or replace your chase cover. One of the easiest to spot signs of chase cover damage is rusting. If you notice discoloration or rust on the sides of the chimney chase, your chase cover is more than likely suffering from water damage. Likewise, the presence of water, animals, or debris in the chimney or fireplace can all indicate a problem with the chase cover.
The chase cover is one of the most important parts of your prefabricated chimney. If you’ve noticed rusting, staining, or water damage it may be time to have your chase cover repaired or replaced. Contact Pristine Sweeps today to learn more about how a new chase cover can benefit your fireplace system!