Even though in reality it is not very complicated, it is easy to get caught up in all the jargon, parts, and pieces that are involved in your chimney system and become overwhelmed. The three parts that are often confused are the chimney chase covers, caps and crowns because they sound similar and are not easily accessible parts of the chimney. All are very important in keeping the chimney flue clear and protected.
From the ground, if you are looking up at your chimney the cap is the first thing you would see. It is the first defense to the elements, and is the main protection against debris, moisture and animals. No one wants squirrels and birds making their home in your chimney, and the cap is the man for the job! Even more importantly, the cap directs water away from the crown and the flue that connects to your fireplace,wood stove or furnace. Water is the main source of chimney deterioration and damage. A properly sized chimney cap is essential in keeping water,debris and animals out of the flue.
The crown sounds the most important, but is really second in command. It is made of concrete and seals the top of the chimney. The chimney crown seals and protects the top of the masonry chimney and like the chimney cap it keeps water from entering the chimney. Even well built chimney crowns may deteriorate over time due to wear and tear because they are exposed to the elements year round. It is absolutely necessary to keep the crown in the best shape possible, because once cracked or broken can lead to water in the chimney flue. Having the crown sealed properly is a big step in preventing the deterioration of your chimney.
Chimney Chase Cover
In the case of pre-fabricated chimneys that were very popular in the early 1980’s, the chase cover, or top pan as they are also known, is a piece of metal that fits over the entire chimney top similar to how a shoebox cover fits on a shoebox with an opening in the middle where the chimney cap attaches. The job of your chase cover is protecting the flue from outside harm. The metal can be galvanized sheet metal or stainless steel.Galvanized will rust over time and the rust stains can be noticed on the side of your chimney. The chimney chase cover should never be flat as this allows moisture to accumulate on the metal.
Whether your chimney is masonry or prefabricated making sure that your chimney crown, chimney cap or chimney chase cover is in good shape and performing its job. Take the small steps now by having us come out to your home to sweep and inspect it, as well as ensure that all the parts of your chimney are being taken care of properly. Give us a call with any questions about the differences and to make your appointment.