Will a new chase cover installation help stop leaks and structural damages on a prefab chimney?

Yes, and we discuss it further in this post and what type of metal cover you should buy. Plus, show you some before and after example images displaying what to expect after your prefab chimney chase cover install is complete. Furthermore, we showcase pictures to demonstrate what happens when you decide against a replacement cover for your chimney chase!

Table of Contents
  1. New Chimney Cover Install Prevents Damage to Home & Fireplace
  2. Real Customer Example: Prefab Chase Cover Installation
  3. Before and After Pictures of Install
  4. Do Sheet Metal Chimney Covers Cause Leaks?
  5. Best Type of Chase Covers
  6. Why Stainless Steel is Our Favorite
  7. Summary: Water Can Make Your Chimney Dangerous

A Newly Installed Chase Cover Helps Prevent Damage to Your Home and Fireplace System

A customer’s galvanized sheet metal chase cover was old and had heavy rust damage. Holes in a chimneys metal cover can allow water to leak in for years before being discovered!

Rust had stained the outside of their chimney siding at the top. Since the cover was letting water get inside for several years, the fireplace, chimney liner, siding, and chimney chase had damage. This customer allowed us to stop the leaks and make the necessary repairs. Our team installed a new metal cover that will prevent water from entering the home for years to come.

Compare a Damaged Rusty Chase Cover Before and After New Chase Cover

Notice the rust on the old chimney cover. It’s caused by rain pooling on top because it has nowhere to go. The diagonal crease forces the water to run-off toward the drip edge helps to prevent leaks into your prefab chase

Real-World Customer Example from a Chase Cover Install

If your home has a prefab fireplace and chimney, then there may come a time when you notice a leak. Full Service Chimney™ recently had a homeowner with this very problem. After inspecting the chimney inside and out, the inspector shared with the customer that they had a damaged chase cover. He explained:

“At the top of your chimney, you have a “chase cover.” The cover, combined with the chimney cap, keeps water out of your fireplace flue. Like a masonry chimney crown, except for a prefab, it’s made of sheet metal (galvanized, aluminum, or stainless steel). Chimney metal covers have the job of closing off the wooden chase passageway where the fireplace and chimney are located.”

Prefab chimney chase cover before new stainless steel chimney cover is installed


Prefab chimney chase cover at the time of inspection shows some problems

Prefab chimney chase cover after new stainless steel chimney cover is installed


 What it looks like with a NEW Stainless Steel Chase Cover replacement

Leaks Caused By Low-Grade Sheet Metal Covers

Do Sheet Metal Chimney Covers Cause Leaks?

Yes, they can if it’s a low grade type of sheet metal used to make the cover. Low-quality sheet metal covers cause multiple problems. They can allow water to pool on the chimney top and they will be destroyed more easily than the better quality sheet metals. Since we only provide the best quality options to our valued customers, we do not offer or install the lower-grade metal materials; however, we discuss them in the article for your reference.

What happens to chimneys that don’t have a proper top cover?

From over 36 years of experience in the industry, here are two common problems we can guarantee will happen to every old prefab chimney top cover that is not made of quality material such as stainless steel or copper.

Water leaks become a problem that forces the need for chase repairs.

Since water follows the path of least resistance, the rain that hits your rooftop flows into any open passageway it can easily access. Even snow melts into the rusty breakage causing deterioration of the chase pan (or metal cover). The dampness seeps into every open crevice of rusted material. Aluminum-metal chimney covers are the worst for this purpose. When old chases start leaking, it causes unnecessary issues to your fireplace and chimney.

The moisture can stain your ceilings and other unseen areas of the home. The problem can be minor if caught early. However, significant structural damage can occur depending on how long the cover leaks without detection.

Structural Damages from rust and rot will make the fireplace and flue pipe a fire hazard.

This common problem often comes as a surprise since most people never imagine water can become a fire hazard! It happens due to the deterioration of structural materials thst were designed to keep fire in its place, but when our beloved H20 starts seeping into your chase, it weakens the chimney’s surrounding materials, which can allow smoke, fire, and gasses into your fireplace and home.

What is the Solution?

It’s simple. Keep your chimney dry and well-maintained, so it can do a good job and help you keep your family and your home safe.

The Most Popular Choices for Metal Chimney Covers are:

  1. Copper
  2. Stainless Steel
  3. Aluminum
  4. Galvanized Steel

Only the top two options are worth the cost of installation! The BEST decision you can make when purchasing a metal cover for a prefabricated chimney chase install is stainless steel because it is durable, high-grade steel, and built to last!

  • Copper Chase Covers are a top choice and are usually the most expensive.
  • Stainless Steel Covers are our favorite because, like copper, they are rust and corrosion resistant but at a more affordable price.
  • Aluminum Chase Covers are rust-resistant but not a good option because it’s a softer metal. This cover is easily destroyed by wind, storm debris, and animals.
  • Lower-grade galvanized metal chase covers may hold out okay for a while but will eventually start to rust after consistent exposure to rain and snow. Any low-quality metal surface will need to be replaced often.

Stainless Steel Chase Covers are our #1 choice for protecting a prefabricated fireplace system. If you’d like to learn more about the installation services in the local KC Metro area, visit our repair service page.

Why Stainless Steel Chase Covers are a Customer favorite

Customers and the chimney sweeps at Full Service Chimney prefer to install stainless steel chase covers. WHY are they such a crowd pleaser?? Because they are simply beautiful, economical, reliable, and stay good-looking for many years after installation.

Whenever our techs inspect a prefab fireplace system, they will always suggest replacing any rusty and leaky covers. Stainless steel chase covers are designed to prevent rust and leaks. If sized correctly, they are as durable as they are attractive. In addition to preventing leaks in your fireplace, stainless steel covers protect the home’s siding and framing around your wood chimney chases.

If the area around a factory-built fireplace and chimney is allowed to get wet, wood rot and mold begin to develop. Often this chimney damage can go unnoticed for years, making early chimney chase cover replacement more critical than most people realize.

tech installs prefab chimney chase cover with storm guard and termination cap

Full Service Chimney sweep technician installs a prefab chimney chase cover with storm guard and termination cap

Summary: Believe or Not, Water Can Make a Chimney Dangerous

Water-damaged prefab chimneys and fireplaces can be a fire hazard. If the fireplace and chimney are damaged, sparks, heat, and fire can escape to the surrounding wood framing. If a leaky chimney cover is allowed to cause water damage, the entire wooden chase and fireplace often have to be replaced, in order to be safe for use.

We explain to our customers “If we can keep your chimney dry, then it will keep you safe” and small repairs now will avoid expensive rebuilding in the future.

Fireplace Cracks from Water Damage to Prefab Fireplace
Rotted Chimney Chase Wood Frame water damage
Rotted Corner of Prefab Chimney Chase
Leaking Caused Rotted Wood Chimney Chase Close-Up
Rotted Wood Studs on Chimney Chase from water damage

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