How to Know if Your Chimney Chase Cover Should Be Replaced
If your chimney was factory-built (as opposed to constructed on-site), chances are it has a chimney chase cover. If you’ve been operating your fireplace/chimney for many years, there’s also a good chance that the chase cover is showing signs of damage and needs to be replaced. How can you know if this is the case?
Because the chase cover sits at the very top of the chimney, it’s almost impossible to just look up there and determine the extent of a problem. But there are a couple signs you can spot that tell you further investigation is necessary.
1. Water and moisture
A damaged chimney chase cover will allow water from rain and melting snow and ice to get into the chimney. You may notice water dripping into the firebox, or you may feel dampness on the firebox walls.
Reddish-brown stains on the chase cover indicate that the material is beginning to corrode. Metal is a common material used in chimney chase covers, and like any metal it is susceptible to the ravages of seasonal rain, snow and temperature fluctuations.
Damage gets worse over time
Damage to any element within a fireplace structure often starts slowly and worsens over time. The question you should be asking if you see any of the obvious visual signs of damage mentioned above is: How much more damage is there that I can’t see?
The reason is, if there is water in the firebox or significant rusting or discoloration on the outside of the chase cover, likely the damage is more extensive than meets the eye.
If a serious water-damage problem exists within the chimney structure, the results could be catastrophic and expensive – not to mention dangerous. Left unattended, a deteriorating chimney will allow more and more water in, and this water can eventually destroy most or all of the chimney structure.
Why chimney inspection is important
Virtually all fire-prevention and fireplace-safety agencies recommend that chimneys and fireplaces be inspected once a year. A homeowner usually can spot damage after it has become significant, but a certified chimney sweep has the equipment and training to go into a system and spot very early signs of damage.
By catching problems early, the necessary work can be performed to prevent more serious damage and greater expense to the homeowner.
A thorough chimney inspection will include examining the chimney chase cover as well as the flashing, the condition of the chimney structure and lining, the damper, the firebox and more. Over years of use, all of these components will at one point need repair or replacement in order to ensure the safety of all who live in the home.
If you’re having problems with your chimney chase cover or other elements in your fireplace or chimney, Guardian Chimney Sweep of Houston is ready to help. We provide complete inspection, cleaning, repair and maintenance service for homeowners throughout the greater Houston region. Call us at (713) 401-2011.