Chimney Chase Cover: 6 Most Common Questions Answered

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Understanding the various parts of a chimney system can help homeowners better maintain their fireplaces and chimneys.

One such part is a chimney chase cover, also called a chimney pan. It is an essential component of a prefabricated chimney that helps keep dust, debris, water, and snow out of the chimney. Chase covers are usually found atop chimneys made of brick, wood, vinyl, or metal siding.

Many homeowners don’t realize its importance and end up with a faulty chimney.

The following article will answer the most common questions about chimney chase covers that’ll help you understand its importance and what type to get for your chimney.

What Is a Chimney Chase Cover?

A chimney chase cover is a rectangular or square metal covering that tightly fits at the top of a chimney chase. It keeps rain, snow, and other environmental elements out of the chimney. You can think of it as a chimney crown for prefabricated chimneys.

If you’re unfamiliar, a chimney chase is a cover made of framed wood or siding. It is used in prefabricated chimneys and encloses stainless steel flues for furnaces, fireplaces, and other appliances.

Chimney Chase Cover Design

A chase cover is a flat structure made from sheet metal. It has a hole in the middle that allows the pipe to pass through and attach to a chimney cap.

Chase covers need to be slightly slanted, with the middle portion at a greater height. Such a design allows water to flow away from the chimney and prevents rainwater from pooling in the middle.

Together with a chimney cap, a chimney chase cover protects the top of your prefabricated chimney from outside elements, critters, and water.

Why Do You Need a Chimney Chase Cover?

Chimney chase covers are important if you have a framed wood chimney chase. Without one, your prefabricated chimney will have water leakage problems. You will also witness water stains and mold growth on nearby walls. A tightly fixed chase cover (also called a chase top or chase pan) can prevent such water damage.

Water damage is a serious issue with both masonry chimneys and prefabricated chimneys. A leaking chase cover will cause spalling in the brick structure of your masonry. It’ll start to form cracks, and the chimney bricks will start to loosen. These cracks will allow further leakage, which will put your chimney’s structural integrity at risk.

In prefabricated chimneys with wood-framed chases, a damaged chase cover will let water inside, causing chase swelling.

Besides water damage, a chase cover also prevents debris, fallen leaves, dust, and critters from entering your chimney. Without a chase cover, critters and other unwanted materials can enter your chimney and clog it. This prevents the proper functioning of your chimney, and you’ll also face drafting issues.

Without proper drafting, smoke and other harmful gasses can enter your room, causing respiratory issues. It can also result in chimney fires.


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What Are Chimney Chase Covers Made Of?

Chimney chase covers come in a variety of materials. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of these chase cover materials to decide better what type of chase cover will best suit your needs.

Stainless Steel Chimney Chase Cover

Stainless steel chase covers are sturdy and last a long time. It is also resistant to rust, making it a great addition to chimneys installed in regions with harsh weather. Stainless steel chase covers are also easier to clean.

These chase covers are not cheap, but if you consider their durability, the higher price is justified.

Aluminum Chimney Chase Cover

Aluminum is another great material for chase covers because of its anti-corrosion properties. Since it doesn’t rust easily, you can expect it to serve you for several years. It’s also cheaper than stainless steel.

It’s worth noting that if you live in a region with harsher weather conditions, aluminum is not a great choice. That’s because it’s a softer metal that can get damaged during strong winds or if a tree branch falls on it.

Galvanized Chimney Chase Cover

Galvanized steel chase covers are cheap and effective. If you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t break your bank, galvanized steel covers are your best bet.

Remember, these covers rust quickly, so you might need to get a replacement within a few years.

Copper Chimney Chase Cover

Copper is a premium option for chimney chase covers. It’s corrosion-resistant, durable, and long-lasting. The shade of copper adds a visually appealing touch. But it’s the most expensive of all, so most people choose stainless steel, which offers the same properties but at a much more affordable price.

If you’re confused, here’s a comparison of the different types of chimney chase covers:

Chimney Chase Cover MaterialsAdvantagesDisadvantages
Stainless SteelSturdyResistant to rustDurableA bit expensive
AluminumResistant to corrosionDurableAffordableSoft metal, easily damaged
Galvanized SteelCheapCatches rustNot durable
CopperSturdyResistant to rustDurableVisually appealingMost expensive

Should a Chimney Chase Be Vented?

You should get your chimney chase vented by a certified chimney sweep, especially if you have a condensation problem.

Condensation inside your chimney chase means moist air enters your chimney chase from your attic or ceiling. While venting your attic may help, it won’t solve the problem.

By venting your chimney chase, you allow it to ‘breathe’. This will help dry out the chase and eliminate the condensation problem.

Should a Chimney Chase Be Insulated?

It’s good to insulate your chimney chase, especially if you live in colder climates.

Without insulation, your chimney chase will get colder. Colder chases have a condensation problem. Moreover, the poor drafts make it difficult to start a fire in colder chases.

Also, when smoke rises from the fireplace, it condenses because the chase at the top will be colder. It will form soot and creosote deposits that are highly flammable and can lead to issues such as flue clogging and chimney fires.

Insulating your chimney chase will ensure it remains warm even when the weather outside is freezing. It will also prevent drafting issues, soot, and creosote buildup and keep your chimney efficient.

How Long Does a Chimney Chase Cover Last?

The lifespan of your chimney chase cover depends upon factors such as the type of material used, the weather conditions surrounding your chimney, and whether you maintained it or not.

But to give you an idea, a galvanized steel chase cover will last for about 3 to 5 years, whereas a copper chase cover usually comes with a lifetime warranty.

It’s important to understand that your chimney chase cover is the first protection of your chimney against outside elements. That means it has to withstand the heat from the scorching sun, strong winds, and other harsh elements that the environment throws at it. Due to such harsh conditions, it’s important to check whether your chase cover can still function properly or needs to be replaced.

Since a chase cover is located at the top, it is usually hard for lay people to check it regularly. That is why you should schedule annual chimney inspections conducted by chimney experts to ensure that your chase cover and all other parts of your chimney are functioning optimally.


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Signs of a Leaking or Damaged Chimney Chase Cover

Here are some of the most common signs of a damaged or leaking chimney chase cover. If you notice any of these signs, call a chimney expert to get it replaced.


Rust or corrosion is common in chase covers. If you notice reddish-brown marks running down your chimney chase, that means your chase is rusted. If left unchecked, rusting can worsen and crack or break your chase cover. Once that happens, water will start pouring down your chimney and wreak havoc. The worst part is that you won’t notice it until it’s too late.

Water in Firebox

If you notice moisture inside your firebox, that means water is leaking. Even though the leakage can occur for various reasons e.g., a bad chimney flashing, it’s always a good idea to check your chase cover for signs of damage.

Pooling of Water

If your chase cover is not installed properly, you might witness water pooling on top of it. If you let the water pool, the chase cover will start to leak, causing a lot of damage to your chimney and house. To avoid serious water damage, contact a chimney expert to fix it or install a new chase cover.

Chimney Damage

Water can leak inside and damage your chimney masonry or chase if your chase cover is damaged. If you’ve got a wood-framed chase, you’ll notice swelling of the wooden chase. For masonry chimneys, brick spalling, mold growth, discoloration, and missing mortar are the tell-tale signs of water damage.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Chimney Chase Cover?

The average cost to replace a chimney chase cover is anywhere from $180 to $800. But this range can vary depending upon where you live, what type of chase cover you need, its size, the dimensions of the chimney, and its ease of access.

The Takeaway

Chimney chase covers are necessary to keep water, dust, and other unwanted materials out of your chimney. Without them, water would leak inside your chimney and cause serious damage.

Usually, chase covers are made of stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, and aluminum. Each has its benefits, so you should choose according to your requirements.

If you notice chase swelling, rust, water inside your firebox, or any other signs of water leakage, you should check your chase cover for signs of damage.

If your chase cover is cracked or broken, call a chimney sweep to get it replaced immediately to avoid further damage and high costs of repair.

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.