Chimney chase covers are an essential part of maintaining a safe, well-functioning chimney. However, most people are unaware of the vital purpose they serve and, sometimes, aren’t even entirely sure what they are.
What is a chimney chase cover?
To understand what a chimney chase cover is, it’s necessary to know the term “chimney chase.” In layman’s terms, a chimney chase is the portion of your chimney that continues upwards after your roofline. Typically just a few feet in height, Northeastern Chimney LLC tells us that “the chase plays an important firefighting role in directing smoke, and flying burning embers away from your roof.” In other words, the chase is built as an added protection against loose embers falling back on your roof and causing a house fire.
It stands to reason then that the cover is a metal structure fitting on top of your chase to provide added protection to the chase itself. Whereas the function of the chase is to control what comes out of your chimney, the cover’s role is to control what gets in (or, better put, what doesn’t).
A great definition of a chase cover comes from MyChimney.com, referring to it as “the metal covering used for a wood-framed chimney chase, which acts as a shield to keep water, debris, animals, and moisture out of your chimney system.” As we have talked about in the past, water, debris, animals, and moisture all pose potential fire risks to your home and family.
In the definition above, though, you’ll notice an important distinction: chimney chase covers are used for “wood-framed chimneys” only, not brick.
See, there are 3 types of chimneys: masonry (brick), prefabricated or “factory-built” and Rampart General Pre-Cast systems. When it comes to chimney chase covers, we’re only talking about prefabricated or factory-built which is important because many modern homes have opted for this type of chimney construction.
So, should you have a chimney chase cover?
If you are living in a home with a factory-built chimney, the answer is simple:
Yes, you really need to have a chimney chase cover.
You may have heard the expression that the best defense is a good offense. When it comes to chimney maintenance, this is absolutely the case. Adding a chimney chase cover to your home is a great way to prevent costly—not to mention unnecessary—future problems or repairs.
The great news is that when it comes to chimney chase covers, you have plenty of options for design, material, and cost. But before diving too deep into any of those three considerations (design, material, or cost), you should consult with a professional to find out what would be best for your home. Though there are many risks to choosing and installing a chase cover yourself, Brickliners.com most clearly expresses the biggest concern: “If installed incorrectly, a chase cover can allow water to flow directly into the chimney, lowering efficiency, raising the risk of fire, and causing damage and rust to parts within the system.”
If you’re located in Central Indianapolis, feel free to contact Chimney & Masonry Outfitters today to schedule your appointment and see which chimney chase cover would suit your home best!
Questions? Give us a call.