Protect Your Chimney With a Quality Chase Top from Lords Chimney!
You’re running late for work and the kids still need to be dropped off at school. The day is off to a rotten start. With a piece of toast dangling from your mouth, you shuffle the kids through the door, careful to grab your keys on the way out. You get everyone situated with car seats and seatbelts and begin to back down the driveway when a little voice yells from the back that he forgot his backpack. Shifting into park, you glance up at the house and the rusted metal of your chimney chase top taunts you, a reminder that you still have yet to get someone out to replace it.
But who has the time?
Of all people, we at Lords Chimney know the feeling. Widely unappreciated in their home-enhancing appearance, chimneys have the power to not just create ambience on the inside in the form of a lit fireplace, but also really make or break the overall “finished product” external look of any home.
If you’re a homeowner in or around Houston and you’re in the market for an update or repair for your chimney, check out Lords Chimney. No matter if you’re looking for a new chase top, someone to repair your chimney flashing, or need resolutions for the increase in chimney leaks you’re experiencing, the talented team at Lords has got you covered. Reach out online or give us a call at 281-497-4000 to see how we can best serve you.
Rusty Chase Top
Rusty Chase Top with Masonry Cap
What Is a Chase Top? What Purpose Does It Serve?
Traditionally intended for non-masonry, prefabricated chimneys, a chase top (also known as a chase cover) is a metal structure that acts as a sort of combination between a crown and a cap.
Prefab fireplaces have been on the market for about 25 years and have been a huge hit with homeowners who like how affordable they can be – and how easy they are to have installed. The majority of these factory-built fireplaces are made of metal, and all of them need to be outfitted with a metal chase top. They should never be outfitted with concrete crowns, as this leads the prefab pipe to rust and erode.
Chase tops serve primarily to keep water out of your chimney, but they also keep birds and other critters out too. Did you know that most birds prefer to nest in prefab chimneys instead of in masonry chimneys? In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) reports that it’s common for chimney technicians to find entire buckets of nesting material inside a prefab chimney. Hello, fire hazards.
And not only can these nests catch fire, but they can impede the flow of air and cause the chimney to overheat. Definitely not an ideal scenario. Chase tops are a key line of defense for your chimney, ensuring none of these scenarios can happen.
Are Chase Covers Only for Prefabricated Chimneys?
Great – and not uncommon – question. While they might be intended for prefab chimney systems, they are not exclusively used for such. In recent years, many homeowners with traditional brick chimneys have been turning to chase covers as an alternative to the crown and cap combo, simply because they generally offer a bit more protection for the whole top of the system, while also providing a sleek and modern finish.
When we offer this information to our customers, we’re often met with a question about if one option is better than the other.
The truth of the matter is that it’s really up to personal preference when weighing the options between a metal chase top and the more traditional poured chimney crown in tandem with the metal chimney cap. When installed and constructed properly, both choices offer adequate protection against water damage, animal intrusion, and any other debris found in the air. It just comes down to the overall finished look you’re after and what your goals or preferences are in terms of maintenance.
But remember, no matter which you decide on, there is always an expectation to schedule those preventive services every single year – even if you don’t regularly use your fireplace.
Have you had your inspection yet this year? Is it time to get your annual chimney sweep service on the books? Schedule with Lords Chimney by filling out our appointment request form right here on our website or by giving us a call at 281-497-4000.
How Long Does a Chase Cover Last?
Well, in a lot of ways, it depends. In the way that all homes are different in terms of their structure, maintenance requirements, and general soundness, so, too, are the chimneys that accompany them. Sure, there might be some general rules or guidelines when it comes to degradation timelines, but nothing is absolute.
There are a variety of factors that can affect the lifespan of a chimney and all of its components – especially the ones found outside of the system and vulnerable to the weather elements, like a chimney chase top.
That said, generally speaking, a chimney chase cover can last anywhere between five years to a lifetime, depending on what it’s made from, how the material was treated, and the way in which it was installed onto the system.
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How Do I Know When I Need a New Chase Top?
The most common sign that it’s time to schedule a chase top replacement is visible rust. If your chimney is sporting a rusted chase top, it needs to be replaced before it begins to leak. Chimney leaks can be extremely detrimental to your property – costing you thousands in repairs to drywall, floors, ceilings, attics, and wall coverings. This leaking normally originates where nail holes have begun to rust and erode.
The longer you wait to have your rusty chase top repaired or replaced, the worse the problem could become and the bigger headache you could end up with.
Most of the chase tops Lords Chimney installs today are made of galvanized metal and come with 10-year warranties when properly maintained. Many are shaped so that they create a roof effect that prevents water from pooling on top and becoming a breeding ground for rust. Our technicians also double caulk around our chase tops, taking great care to prevent leaking for the life of your chase top and chimney. So, basically, you can trust us for a job well-done and meant to last the long haul.
Is There a Difference Between a Chase Top and a Chimney Cap?
Yes. If you’ve spent any amount of time online searching for information about proper chimney care and the various parts that make up your system, you’ve likely seen that a lot of these terms – chimney cover, chase top, chimney crown, chimney cap, etc. – are mistakenly all used interchangeably.
And while they all work to do the same thing – protect the vulnerable inside of your system from the detriments of water, curious animals, and falling debris – they are, in fact, each a little bit different. In the case of chase tops and chimney caps, here’s what you need to know:
- A chimney cap is a small metal structure intended to allow adequate smoke and exhaust ventilation, while keeping water, animals, and debris out of the chimney. It’s situated atop the chimney flue, and it is only intended to cover and protect the flue, not any of the remaining space of the chimney cavity. Since caps are usually installed on traditional masonry systems, the rest of the chimney chase is sealed off and protected by the chimney crown.
- A chimney chase top on the other hand covers the top of the chimney with a metal lid design. Usually, chase covers are constructed so that there is a small margin of overhang extending just beyond the structure to aid in water redirection. The chimney cap is then installed to cover the flue opening.
Is it time to replace the old rusted chase cover on your prefab system? Or are you interested in adding one to your masonry setup? Trust Lords Chimney for proper installation, so you can enjoy your fireplace for years to come. In need of something else fireplace or chimney repair-related? We can help with that too.
Request an appointment online or give us a call at 281-497-4000 to learn more and get started today.
Can I Install a Chimney Chase Cover Myself?
We won’t tell you which DIY home projects to attempt and which not to. However, we will say that we do not recommend DIY-ing anything related to your chimney or fireplace.
Not only does it take specific skills and industry experience to install a chase top correctly and quickly, the very top of your chimney is located in a very precarious position, extending quite a bit past the top of your roof. Our work requires a great deal of caution and know-how, but also the utilization of certain tools and other precautions. If your chase cover is looking like it’s seen better days, it’s a much smarter use of your time (and money) to give us a call, so we can send one of our highly-trained experts out to install a brand new one.
Ready to Get Started? Reach Out Now
Ready to take the next step and get that shiny new chimney chase top installed? If you’re in the Beaumont or greater Houston area, there is simply no crew better than Lords Chimney. Set up an appointment with us online or give us a call at 281-497-4000 to learn more about our team, our products and services, and what we can do to make your home that much more cozy and enjoyable.
We can’t wait to hear from you!