Your chimney is an important part of your home. And if it’s working the way it should you can safely enjoy your fireplace and heating appliances, along with all the benefits that come with them. However, like any structure built outside, natural elements like wind, rain, snow, ice, and debris can threaten its integrity and cause it to deteriorate over time.
To combat deterioration and give your chimney the maximum amount of life and efficiency, having certain components in place is a must. Chimney caps, chimney crowns, and chase covers all serve to keep your chimney strong and working properly.
At The Chimney Doctor, it’s important to us that our customers know the options they have and the things they need in order to maintain a beautiful chimney system. Here are a few things to know about these chimney components – and what you can look for to keep them working in your favor.
The Facts on Chimney Caps
Chimney caps are protective coverings that sit atop the chimney flue opening, looking a bit like a little metal hat. They are most often made of metals like galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel, or copper, and they serve many functions that keep your chimney system from damage, allowing it to work at its maximum capacity.
Preventing Water Damage
Water is a dangerous foe of your chimney and can quickly cause problems with masonry and metals. Rainwater, snow, and other moisture can seep into the chimney flue and cause damage to any brickwork, mortar joints, and metal components. Over time this damage can lead to dangerous structural issues.
Chimney caps are designed to sit directly over your chimney’s flue and keep water from getting in, while at the same time allowing smoke and polluted air to escape during burning.
When it is properly installed and fitted, your chimney cap can provide top-notch protection.
Keeping Animals Out
Another important function of the chimney cap is to keep animals out. Imagine you are a raccoon looking for a home. Perhaps you have some babies on the way and you need a warm, dry place to build a nest that is protected from wind and rain. A chimney flue would seem to be just the type of place to escape to for a private residence where you can raise your kids.
Unfortunately, when animals make their way into a chimney it causes a lot of problems. The nests built by raccoons, birds, squirrels, and other critters clog up the flue and block the smoke and noxious gases that need to get out from being able to do so. This means that those things make their way into your home instead. The critters can also cause damage to your flue lining as tiny claws and teeth create pocks and scratches that get worse over time.
A chimney cap with mesh or screens installed on its side will eliminate the threat of critter squatters. This means a longer-lasting chimney and a home free of smoke and dangerous gases.
The Facts on Chimney Crowns
The chimney crown is a slab of durable material, such as cement or mortar, that sits at the top of the chimney just below the chimney cap. Like the cap, its main function is one of protection. While the chimney cap protects the flue opening, the chimney crown protects the entire top of the chimney. When everything is working correctly both the chimney cap and the chimney crown work together to keep water and other elements away from the inside of the chimney structure.
As mentioned before, water is dangerous for chimneys. The chimney crown is built with a slightly slanted design that keeps water from collecting on the top of the chimney, deflecting it onto the roof away from the exterior chimney.
Preventing the Freeze/Thaw Process
The freeze/thaw process happens when the water trapped inside the pores of your masonry freezes and expand. This puts a high amount of pressure on the walls of the masonry, enlarging pores and causing things to crack. When the weather gets warm, there is then more room for more water to collect.
More water means more damage the next time it freezes. Over time serious structural deterioration can lead to costly damage and repairs.
A properly installed chimney crown is built to prevent this from happening. Making sure it is in good condition and working properly is a vital part of maintaining a chimney system.
The Facts on Chase Covers
Chase covers are protective metal coverings, typically installed over the top of factory-built or prefabricated chimneys. These chimneys are typically made of metal and surrounded by a wooden chase, and unlike traditional masonry chimneys, they require specific protection.
Water, Debris, and Animal Protection
Chase covers give complete and total coverage over the factory built chimney, essentially designed to fit like a shoebox lid atop the chimney. Along with the chimney cap, they provide maximum protection from the elements, debris, and animals.
Because of their design and large profile, chase covers can be built to match the architecture of the house on which they sit, sometimes fitting in so well that you might not even recognize that it covers a chimney.
Rely On Us for All Things Chimney
At The Chimney Doctor, we can help you make sure your chimney is working how it should and that all of its components are doing their job to keep your home safer and more beautiful. Our team of experts is ready to assist in maintaining your home.
Call us today or reach out online to get in touch.