With their low costs and ease of installation, manufactured fireplaces and chimneys have become increasingly popular. Mostly seen in many mid-range and new construction homes. However, these heating systems differ in several key ways from the masonry counterparts. Therefore it gives them their own unique set of maintenance and upkeep needs.
One of the most important parts of the manufactured fireplace may also need the most regular maintenance. The chase cover plays an important role in protecting the rest of the fireplace and chimney system from the elements; because of this, it is a necessary part of any manufactured chimney and needs regular upkeep.
What is a chase cover?
Manufactured fireplaces are built with a plain metal flue; with no surrounding masonry, a decorative chase is typically built to match the exterior of the home. Chimney chases can be made using siding, stucco, shingles, and even masonry, and all have a chase cover on top.
The chase cover sits on top of the chimney chase. Chase covers are typically made of metal such as aluminum or stainless steel. They are used to protect the chimney from animals, debris, and moisture. Most chase covers have a sloped design along with extended sides; this helps direct water away from the chimney and off of the sides of the chimney chase.
The importance of the chase cover.
The chase cover is used to protect the rest of your manufactured fireplace from water entry, animals, and debris, all of which can be harmful to your chimney system. Water can be especially damaging to manufactured chimney systems; in addition to damaging the building materials of the chimney chase itself, water entry into the chimney system can damage fireplace components. It can also cause rusting, mold, and mildew growth.
In addition to keeping water from entering and damaging your fireplace, chase covers also keep animals and other debris out of your chimney. This is particularly important in preventing chimney blockages; dried leaves, animal nesting materials, and other debris can all prevent proper chimney drafting. Also increasing the risk of potential chimney fires.
Is your chase cover damaged?
Chimney chase covers are not built to last forever; many manufactured chase covers have lifespans between 20 and 30 years. The lifespan of your chase cover will depend on the kind of material it is made of, the amount of maintenance your fireplace and chimney receive, and the amount of weather exposure it has.
One of the most common signs of chimney chase cover damage is rust. Orange, brown, or red stains on the side of the chimney chase often indicate that the metal chase cover has begun to rust and deteriorate; when this happens, water may already be leaking into your fireplace system through holes or cracks in the metal. If you suspect your chase cover is rusting or leaking, it is important to have it inspected as soon as possible.
The chimney chase cover plays an important role in protecting and extending the life of your manufactured chimney. For more information on chimney chase covers or to schedule your next chimney inspection, contact us at ChimneyTEK today!