Prefabricated fireplaces have become a popular alternative to full masonry fireplaces. They are often less expensive to install, allowing more and more homeowners to enjoy the beauty and comfort of having a fireplace in their home. However, it is important that prefabricated fireplaces receive regular maintenance and upkeep in order to continue burning safely and efficiently. One important component of the prefabricated fireplace is the chimney chase cover.
What is a chase cover?
The flue of prefabricated fireplaces need to be covered and protected; while masonry chimneys have bricks and mortar built around their flues, prefabricated fireplaces have chimney chases. The chase is built around the flue of the prefabricated fireplace – often using the same siding or materials as the rest of the home’s exterior – to protect the flue as well as create a more aesthetically pleasing look for the chimney.
At the top of the chase is the chase cover. The chimney chase cover is typically made of metal such as aluminum, copper, or stainless steel. Chase covers are designed to extend over the sides of the chimney structure; this allows water from rain, ice, and snow to drain onto the roof and safely away from the sides of the chimney.
What does a chase cover do?
The purpose of a chimney chase cover is to protect the top of the chimney, especially from leaks and other forms of water damage. Because the chase cover seals and protects the top of the flue, any damage or deterioration can lead to problems such as animal entry or leaks. Water entry can be particularly damaging; a leaky chase can cause damage to not only fireplace components, but also the walls and ceilings of your home. Likewise, long term exposure to moisture – coupled with dark and often cool environments – can encourage mold and mildew growth; this can create extremely unpleasant odors in the chimney as well as affect your home’s air supply.
Is my chase cover damaged?
Because chase covers are not at eye level, it can be hard to tell how they are holding up. One of the most common signs that your chase cover may be experiencing a problem is discoloration or rust on the sides of the chimney chase. While more expensive materials such as copper or stainless steel may not rust, less expensive chimney chase covers made of galvanized metals like aluminum – which often come standard on most prefabricated fireplaces – are more likely to experience issues. Red, orange, or brown staining on the side of the chimney chase is therefore often one of the signs of chase cover deterioration; when rusting or staining occurs, there is a chance your chase cover may already be leaking.
While it is easy to overlook, your chimney chase cover has an extremely important role in keeping your fireplace burning safely and efficiently. If you live around Lakewood, Denver, or the surrounding area, and want more information on how to maintain your chase cover through preventative maintenance, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today!