Do you have a prefabricated or factory-built chimney that is covered by a chase? If so, your chimney is most likely equipped with a chase cover. Routinely installed on factory pre-fabricated wood framed and sided chimney chases, a chase cover seals off the top of your chimney to keep water, debris, and animals out of the flue. Similar to a chimney cap, the chase cover protects the chimney from water penetration damage. Many times, the chase covers that come with prefabricated chimney systems are made from thin and inexpensive galvanized metal or aluminum, and these chase covers, unfortunately, do not last long. How can you tell when you need a new chase cover? Our certified chimney technicians at Ashbusters have years of experience with dealing with damaged chase covers, and we would like to share with you some signs that can tell you you need a new chase cover.
The most obvious sign of a damaged chase cover is the formation of rust. If you notice rust stains on the chase or anywhere on the cover itself, particularly around the flue stack or chimney cap, you should contact Ashbusters to inspect the condition of your chase cover.
If you see signs of water pooling on top of the chase cover, it most likely means the chase cover was not installed properly. It is crucial for the chase cover to be installed correctly so that water can run off the cover and not remain on top to cause corrosion from rust. Pooling water on a chase cover can also lead to chimney leaks and expensive damage. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney.
Water Damage and Other Chase Damage
If the chase itself is showing signs of water leaks such as swelling, you probably need a new chase cover because the one you have is allowing water to leak into the chase and chimney. Water penetration can damage wood just as it damages masonry materials by causing the wood to swell and even rot.
Missing Mortar and Cracked, Spalled Bricks
Just as with the water causing swelling in a wooden chase, water leaks can cause deterioration of the masonry materials used to construct your chimney. During the winter, water that has penetrated into the bricks and mortar of your chimney freezes and expands. When the temperatures rise, this water thaws out and causes spalling damage to the bricks and mortar. Spalling damage consists of cracked or loose bricks and missing pieces of mortar. This type of damage can threaten the soundness of the structure of your chimney. Our experienced masons at Ashbusters can repair spalling damage and replace your old chase cover, as this is a sign your existing chase cover is allowing water to leak into the chase and chimney.
If you have noticed any of these signs, get in touch with Ashbusters. We will be happy to check out your chase cover and professionally install a new one to protect your chase and chimney from water penetration.