A chimney may appear to be a single, independent structure, but as you study its anatomy, you’ll find out that it’s indeed a complex piece of architecture. Here at All Seasons, we feel that the more homeowners know about the various parts of their chimney, the more empowered they’ll be able to operate their system safely and efficiently.
There are three pieces that play a big role in protecting your chimney: a concrete crown, a chase cover, and/or a full-coverage chimney cap. Each of these serve similar functions and sit in the same area of the chimney, which can make them hard to tell apart, but they’re actually quite different from each other.
What Is a Chimney Crown?
The chimney crown, also known as the chimney wash, is ideally made of concrete and covers the entire topmost portion of your chimney. The chimney crown can help prevent debris, animals, and moisture from entering the chimney, but its biggest job is directing water away from the outside of your masonry chimney.
Due to the materials they were traditionally composed of, chimney crowns can deteriorate over time. And if they begin to break down, homeowners may experience issues such as leaks and water damage. In these cases, it could be that your crown was made from a basic mortar mix, in which case it will need to be rebuilt.
Since crowns are not typically visible from the ground, it’s easy for this component to stay out of your mind… but having it regularly checked out is a must. Even the tiniest crack or a smallest hole can let moisture and water in, which can be very damaging to your system overall.
Don’t let your guard down – have your chimney crown sealed properly and waterproofed by your chimney professional to prevent any deterioration.
What Is a Chase Cover?
Chase covers are essentially the crowns of prefab systems. They’re made of metal and cover the entire top of the chimney chase. At the center of the cover is an opening where the vent pipe and cap of the chimney is attached. A proper chase cover should not be flat and should be constructed to force the water to run off toward the edge of the chase to prevent water leaks.
You can buy either a stainless steel chase cover or a galvanized steel chase cover. These are the usual metals chase covers are made of. However, galvanized steel chase covers may develop rust, which can eventually cause holes to form and affect the performance of the entire system.
Modern chase covers that are made with high-quality stainless steel are designed to fit your chimney perfectly and they’re equipped to stand the test of time. That said, those that are not properly installed can easily let moisture and debris into the chimney. This is why we advise investing in professional installation services with us.
What Is a Chimney Cap?
A chimney cap is like an umbrella for your chimney flue, and it plays an important part in keeping animals, water, and debris away from the opening and interior of your system. Chimney caps typically have a solid metal lid with a metal screen for their siding.
Installing a chimney cap is one of the best ways to stop water and moisture from entering your fireplace, preventing the chimney and its parts from rusting and deteriorating.
Chimney caps can also prevent debris from entering. This can include nesting materials, sticks, or leaves that could get stuck and clog things up and create fire hazards. Moreover, birds, rats, raccoons, and squirrels may use your chimney as a nesting ground when uncapped. This could expose you to certain diseases that these animals could have.
While chimney caps are usually durable and long-lasting, yours should be checked once a year during your annual inspection to see whether it is broken or damaged. There are various types, styles, and colors of chimney caps for you to choose from, so contact the team here at All Seasons Chimney to see which cap is best for your chimney.
Give Our Techs a Call
While these three parts all have similar functions, they each serve a unique purpose. Understanding the anatomy of your chimney and how to take care of it will lengthen its life and provide more security and safety for you and your family.
If you have questions or live around Hudson Valley, you can contact our reliable crew to assist you in diagnosing your chimney and fixing any problem areas. And if you need a chase cover, chimney cap, or chimney crown installed, your best bet is to contact us at 845-375-3640 today.
Thanks for relying on us!