Leaky Chimney Chase Top Replacement – Washington D.C & Surrounding Areas
Complete Chimneys of Pasadena, MD, provides expert chimney chase top inspection and replacement services for our customers in Baltimore, MD, Arnold, MD, Severna Park, MD, Lake Shore, MD, Glen Burnie, MD and other communities throughout Maryland and Washington D.C.
A chimney chase top is sometimes confused with a chimney cap. The difference is, a cap covers just the flue opening at the top of the chimney, where the chase top covers the entire top of the chimney. Think of it as the lid on a shoebox. These metal coverings are excellent at shielding the chimney from water, flying debris and small animals. Chase tops usually are found on chimneys connected to factory-built fireplaces but also are used on masonry chimneys.
Faulty chimney chase tops can lead to serious water damage and fireplace drafting issues – this is why annual chimney inspection is so important.
While chimney chase tops do a great job at protecting the chimney, most styles are prone to rust and will need to be replaced every seven to 10 years. When a chase top is in disrepair, it can allow water to infiltrate the chimney system and cause significant damage. If the problem isn’t detected soon enough, a leaky chimney can end up requiring expensive masonry repair or a complete chimney rebuild.
Additionally, deteriorated chase tops leave the flue open to obstructive elements. Things such as leaves, twigs, small tree branches, dust, small animal nests and small dead animals can impede the drafting of smoke, often sending it back into the house. This is a particular concern as smoke contains carbon monoxide, an odorless, invisible gas that is toxic to humans and pets.
Do You Have a Damaged Chimney Chase Top?
You can spot problems with your chimney chase top by checking the exterior of your chimney. If the chase top is rusted, you’ll notice a discoloration as rusty water spills down the sides of the chimney. Rusting is caused by the heat degradation of the coating used on certain chase tops. Another sign of damage is water on the floor of the firebox or dampness on the firebox walls.
A certified chimney sweep should be called in to replace the chase top before it allows significant water into the chimney. Excess water can result in damage to chimney masonry, rotting of the home’s building materials, a dangerous mold outbreak and more.
Of particular concern is the possibility that incoming water and moisture will begin to damage the chimney liner and the interior masonry of the chimney. When this happens, extreme levels of heat will come into contact with areas of the home such as the roof, attic and walls. Many house fires begin because of severely deteriorated chimneys.
If there is damage to your chimney chase top – or if you suspect there is – call Complete Chimneys for a thorough chimney inspection and chimney chase top evaluation.
Types of Chimney Chase Tops
Chimney chase tops are most often constructed of aluminum, copper, stainless steel or galvanized steel. Each material has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them.
- While aluminum is fairly resistant to corrosion, its softer properties make it prone to damage. It’s an economical material for use as a chimney chase top, but it’s not the best choice for chimneys subject to extreme winds or other severe weather events.
- Copper is a popular and high-quality material for chimney chase tops – it’s also usually the most expensive. Copper is a long-lasting metal, and many people prefer its aesthetic appeal on top of their chimneys.
- Stainless steel is the strongest of all chase top materials, with outstanding performance and long life. It doesn’t rust and therefore needs less maintenance than other materials.
- This is the most economical chimney chase top material in terms of price. But it’s prone to rust and will need replacing more often than other types of chase tops.
Complete Chimneys of Pasadena, MD, is ready to help residents of the Baltimore, MD, and District of Columbia areas with all manner of chimney chase top issues. We’re chimney leak specialists and experts in chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, chimney repair and all the services you need to keep your home safe and warm.