When you choose a prefabricated chimney, you get a quality product that is factory-made, quality-tested, and easy to install. Unfortunately, the standard or stock chase tops often installed with the chimneys are not so well made. Instead, they are made of cheap galvanized metal or aluminum. These materials will rust and corrode quickly, requiring repairs sooner than homeowners would hope!
The Chase Top
Functioning as a chimney cap, the chase top covers the top of a prefabricated chimney, installed atop the chimney chase. The chase top, also called a chase cap, serves a very specific and important function. It keeps the fireplace and chimney system from being affected by outside factors:
- Keeps Weather Out
The chase top prevents rain water, snow, and wind from affecting your fire. Without the chase top covering the flue, water is allowed to penetrate the system. This causes odors, rusted parts, and damage from the inside out. Water leaks don’t only affect masonry chimneys, but also the functionality, life, and efficiency of all chimney systems. During the off-season, the issue isn’t only weather, but energy costs. A chase top can help prevent unwanted drafts of warm air from entering your home and affecting your cooling costs!
- Keeps Wildlife Out
Small critters and birds like to nest in warm, dry spaces that are easily accessibly. When your chimney isn’t capped, or when the existing top is damaged, animals find an entrance. When animals come into your flue they can be loud, scratch the flue interior, and can even become trapped and die. The latter results in foul odors of decomposition that affect your home, even after they’re removed. There is even a species of bird that cannot be removed from your chimney. This bird is known as the chimney swift and is federally protected by law. When they make a home inside your chimney, not even a chimney professional can legally remove them! It’s best to prevent this type of occurrence, and a chase top is just the solution.
- Keeps Sparks In
An unruly or extremely hot fire can shoot sparks up the chimney. They can end up flying directly out of the opening and land on your roof or nearby yard. This can result in a dangerous fire that is 100 percent preventable. Chase tops prevent sparks from escaping the flue.
The First Sign of a Weak Chase Top
Rust streaks are the first sign that your chase cap needs attention. Do you can see large red or brown streaks down the sides of the chase? If so, then your chase top is deteriorating and needs to be assessed by a chimney professional right away! A professional chimney sweep will catch this sort of damage at your annual inspection. However, they’ll be happy to assess your chase cap if you suspect an issue between your annual service appointments.
At Northwest Fireplace and Chimney, we offer the very best in chimney products. That’s why we sell and install stainless steel chase tops. These tops have proven time after time they are durable against strong winds, heavy rain, brutal winters, and time. If you’re tired of replacing your chase top every couple of years, choose the product and the chimney sweep that will last. Call Northwest Fireplace and Chimney at 219-413-2349!