- Home Improvement
Replacement Chimney Chase Cover
The Chimney Cover
At the top of any wood framed chimney chase is a steel cover that is intended to prevent rain, snow, and critters from entering the chimney. Builders of homes tend to cut corners to save themselves money and fail to properly seal the top of chimney chases. The issues of improperly sealing the chase go unnoticed until there is a problem. Water damage and rust stains are two of the most common issues when a chimney chase cover starts to corrode. The chimney chase cover should be replaced before these problems arise to prevent costly future repairs down the road. Replacing the inferior chimney chase cover with a stainless steel cover is a great solution and is often a one-time fix, with very little maintenance.
The majority of chase covers are installed with treated galvanized steel. The most common issue with galvanized chase covers is rusting. Being exposed to the elements and having the exhaust from the vent pipes close to the cover will make the thin steel rust at a faster pace. Once the cover has rusted, the rust will start to bleed down the side of the chase, showing unsightly stains on the side of the home. Chimney chases with vinyl siding make it extremely difficult to remove the stain. Harsh chemicals can remove the stain, but also dim the color of the siding. Wood siding will have to get repainted completely. If your chimney chase cover is starting to show signs of rust, it would be a good idea to replace the cover before the problem gets worse.
In addition to using inferior metals, such as galvanized steel, one of the main reasons a chimney chase cover will rust is due to a sagging center. A chase cover is supposed to be raised in the center. This allows the water to run off the cover preventing any water from pooling. Stagnant water at the top of the cover can lead to the cover rusting more quickly. When a chase cover begins to rust, it can lead to more serious issues. A chimney cover that has been rusting for a prolonged period of time can rust through creating holes at the top of the cover. When this happens the entire inside of the chimney chase is exposed to the elements causing water damage to the untreated lumber used to frame the house. The water can start to leak onto ceilings and walls through these rusted holes. Most people think the roof, or the roof flashing around the chimney chase, is the issue when they notice a leak. However, most of the time it is the chimney chase cover.
Poor construction of the cover can also create a leak into the home. Most galvanized chimney chase covers are made on site and nailed to the top of the chimney chase. An unsealed corner can let enough water in to cause rot over time. If you notice spots of caulk or tar at the top of the cover that means nails were used in the wrong Place. Nails should only be used to attach the cover to the sides of the chase. Nails should never be driven down at the top of the cover- this also causes leaks. Caulk or tar spots will harden, expand and contract with the heat cycles of the seasons, and eventually break loose. Unsealed nails will allow water to get into the nail hole which will eventually loosen the nail and cause water to enter the chase.
If you’re going to replace a chimney chase cover, don’t replace it with the same material that failed. Replace the cover with a new stainless steel chimney chase cover. The stainless steel will never rust and will last a lifetime. Most stainless steel chimney chase covers are made with an elevated center exhaust collar to shed the water off the top of the cover. Stainless steel provides a clean finished look to the top of the chimney. Don’t wait until there is a problem with your current cover- the sooner you replace the cover, the sooner you don’t have to worry about it.
DIY Chimney Chase Cover Repair
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