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What’s the Difference?: What You Need to Know About a Chimney Cap, Chase Cover and Crown

There are two types of chimneys, masonry and prefabricated, there are many pieces of chimney protection one can have. You should have a chimney cap, chase cover and crown on, to protect your chimney from animals, the Earth elements, and overall wear and tear. If you’re not sure what each of these pieces does to help your chimney, continue reading below to learn more about why the chimney cap, chase cover, and crown are all essential for a chimney, and your home.

If your home has a chimney, chances are a chimney cap has been installed. The cap is the first thing you will see when you’re looking at your chimney from the street. This is the first line of defense when it comes to the Earth elements and it’s the main protection against debris, moisture, and animals. The chimney cap also directs water away from the crown(another essential piece of a chimney) and the flue, the connection to your fireplace, wood stove or furnace. The main cause of chimney deterioration and damage is water, and with a properly sized chimney cap, you can keep water, debris, and animals out of the flue. If your chimney is not capped, it is also at a higher risk of fire. All it takes is the right weather conditions, and burning embers from the fireplace can be sucked through the chimney and land on your roof, starting a fire. Also, the force of a downdraft can be from an exposed flue blasting open fireplace doors and pushing smoke, soot, and ash into the room.

The chimney crown is the second important piece of a chimney you need. The crown is composed of concrete and seals the top of the chimney. This seals and protects the top of the masonry chimney and like the cap, it keeps the water from entering the chimney. Chimney crowns, no matter how well built they are, may deteriorate over time due to wear and tear, because they are exposed to the elements all year round. You should do your best to keep the crown in the best shape possible because once it’s cracked or broken, water can leak into the chimney flue. One big step you can take in preventing the deterioration of your chimney is to have the crown sealed properly.

The chimney chase cover is a piece of metal that is designed to fit over the entire chimney top, with an opening in the middle of where the chimney cap attaches. These were very popular with pre-fabricated chimneys in the early 1980s. The job of the chase cover is to protect the flue from outside harm. The metal can come either stainless steel or galvanized sheet metal. If you have a galvanized sheet metal cover, it’s important to know it will rust over time and those rust stains can be noticed on the side of your chimney. One important fact to know about a chimney chase cover is it should never be flat as this allows moisture to accumulate on the metal.

At Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration, we recommend having your chimney cap, crown and chase cover inspected every year by a certified chimney sweep, to repair or replace any missing or damaged components, so your chimney can continue working properly. Contact us today to schedule your annual chimney inspection!

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