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Why Do You Need A Chase Cover Or A Storm Collar?

There are a number of different parts and components that your chimney needs to function properly. Do you have a manufactured or prefabricated chimney? If so, two components your chimney might need are a storm collar or a chase cover.

What is a storm collar?

A storm collar is a flexible metal ring that is used to seal around the chimney pipe as it passes through the roof-line. Storm collars are found on both manufactured chimneys, as well as stoves. Surrounding the chimney pipes around the flashing, the storm collar also features screws and tabs. These can be used to tighten the collar to perfectly fit each chimney. This creates a watertight seal that keeps moisture from affecting the roof or the chimney pipe.

Storm collars have angled design that prevents rain, snow, and other water from seeping down the sides of a chimney pipe. The angle redirects moisture away from the chimney and safely onto the roof. While the storm collar protects the roof and chimney from moisture, flashing is still needed to prevent leaks. The flashing and storm collar work together to prevent leaks and protect your home against water damage.

What is a chase cover?

A chimney chase is used to surround and protect the flue pipes of a prefabricated chimney system. Chases can be built using the same siding and materials as the exterior of your home to create a seamless finish; likewise, contrasting masonry or stone can be used to make a chimney chase pop and add unique curb appeal to your home.

The top of the chimney chase is known as the chase cover. Made of metal such as aluminum, copper, or stainless steel, the chase cover seals the top of the chase and protects it from moisture, debris, animals, and more. Chase covers are slightly angled and are designed with a slight overhang over the edge of the chimney chase; this prevents moisture from pooling on the chase cover, redirecting it to the roof where it can safely drain. Chase covers can rust or be damaged over time due to improper maintenance or regular wear and tear.

Do I need a chase cover or a storm collar?

Whether your home requires a chase cover or a storm collar will depend on the type of prefabricated chimney system or stove your home has, as well as what is currently being used to protect the chimney against moisture and the elements. A chimney will not require both a storm collar and a chase cover; if your home has a chimney chase it does not need a storm collar. However, if there is no chimney chase surrounding the flue pipe a storm collar is required.

Both storm collars and chase covers protect your prefabricated chimney or stove against the elements; a certified chimney sweep can help you understand which chimney component is best for your home. For more information on storm collars and chase covers, contact the expert sweeps at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Should You Replace Your Chimney Chase Cover?

chimney_chase_cover_clean_sweeps_of_MI_Ann-ArborChimney chase covers are often overlooked when homeowners consider their fireplace maintenance. This is because, for the most part, chimney chase covers are only used with factory-built chimneys rather than masonry chimneys. Unlike a chimney cap, chimney chase covers are used on chimneys made of metal, wood, or vinyl siding.

Like a chimney cap, a chimney chase cover is designed to protect the fireplace from the elements, as well as to prevent birds and other animals from entering the chimney. When undamaged and correctly installed, their angled tops prevent water, snow, and ice from accumulating around the top of the chimney, instead directing it to flow harmlessly onto the roof. Aging chimney chase covers can sometimes cause unsightly, rusty staining to the sides of a chimney. Likewise, an ill-fitting or broken cover can lead to a number of problems such as water damage or animal infestation.

The experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan will be able to help you determine if your chimney chase cover needs to be replaced. If it does, they can also aid in the selection and installation process for a new cover.

How often should chimney chase covers be replaced?

Chimney chase covers, especially those that were improperly installed or made out of cheap materials, may begin to rust in as little as five years. Unlike chimney damage, which is easily visible without climbing onto the roof, chimney chase cover decay may be harder to spot.

There are two major red flags that indicate a chimney chase cover needs to be immediately replaced. The first is any signs of water or moisture in the fireplace structure. This can also include dripping sounds in the chimney after a rainstorm or when snow is melting, along with the walls of the firebox itself feeling damp. The second red flag is rust stains on the side of the chimney structure itself. When this happens, the galvanized coating of the metal has been completely eaten away, and the metal has more than likely begun to pit, or rust through.

Chimney chase cover materials 

Modern chimney chase covers come in a variety of different materials to fit every budget. However, because they are constantly exposed to the elements the quality and durability of the material should be considered when choosing a new chimney chase cover.

Copper: Copper is considered to be the top-quality metal for covers. However, because of its extremely high price tag, most homeowners find that it is too expensive of an option to consider.

Stainless steel: Often the most popular choice as it offers a balance between durability and price. One of the strongest metals, it can virtually last a lifetime.

Galvanized steel: While less expensive than stainless steel, galvanized steel rusts quickly and will need to be regularly replaced. Galvanized steel offers short term savings, but may end up costing homeowners more in the long run.

Aluminum: Unlike galvanized steel, aluminum will not rust. However, it is a soft metal that may damage easily, and finding the correct size chase cover may be difficult.

While replacing a damaged chimney chase cover may seem like a major hassle, the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan will be able to help you select and install a chimney chase cover that will keep your fireplace and chimney in pristine condition for years to come.

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