A prefab (prefabricated) chimney is a factory-built, metal chimney system that is less expensive to construct/install than its masonry counterpart. The easiest way to spot a prefab chimney is to look at the part of the chimney system that protrudes from the roof. With a prefab chimney, this will be a metal pipe or chase (with a chase cover) instead of a traditional masonry structure. These units serve the same function as a masonry chimney (to protect your home from the transfer of heat and to vent dangerous gases), but are simply constructed of different materials.
A chase cover serves the same purpose as a chimney crown on a masonry unit: It protects the interior of the chimney from water damage, which is the number one enemy of chimney systems. Without a proper chase cover, moisture can get into the chimney and cause the metal lining to rust, opening up your system to a myriad of issues. A properly installed chase cover also protects your chimney from animals and debris that can otherwise get into your chimney and cause damage, disease, and/or chimney fire. Believe it or not, many birds actually prefer prefab chimneys to masonry structures when looking to nest. We’ve found large amounts of nesting materials inside countless unprotected prefab chimneys — needless to say, an uncovered prefab chimney is a huge fire hazard!
Yes! If you notice rust forming on your chase cover, it is imperative that you have it replaced as soon as possible. A rusty chase cover can develop holes, allowing water and moisture to get inside the chimney and home. Once moisture gets into your chimney system, it’s only a matter of time before large problems develop. Left unchecked, the interior of the chimney will begin to rust and erode, just as the chase cover did. You’ll also likely see water damage in other parts of your home near the chimney. Additionally, the holes in the prefab chimney can allow for the transfer of heat to other parts of your home, which can start a dangerous and potentially disastrous chimney fire. The bottom line is, every prefab chimney system needs to have a functioning chase cover installed by knowledgeable and experienced professionals. If your prefab chimney system doesn’t have a chase cover or your chase cover is rusted and damaged, call Brickliners today at (802) 872-0123. You can also request an appointment online – simply fill out the form here.