In the 1980's home builders shifted away from more traditional building techniques to speed up home construction and lower the cost of building thus lowering the purchase price. One of the best places to do this was to eliminate masonry fireplaces in favor of Factory built fireplaces that took 1/5th the time and were roughly ⅓ of the cost compared to traditional masonry fireplace systems.
Skipping a lot of the details, what we are discovering is that most of these builders opted for even more cost savings by using galvanized chase covers. Over time the galvanization gives way to rust and then they begin to leak, often for several years before being noticed. Now you are probably asking what's a chase cover so see the diagram below:
A chase cover is used for a pre-fab or factory-built fireplace. It is also known as a chase pan or chimney cover. Unlike a chimney rain cap that covers only the flue opening, a metal chase cover fits over the top of the chimney chase. The chimney chase cover seals the top of the chimney structure and allows the flue pipe or clay tile to extend above the top of the chimney. A chase cover is most commonly found on top of wood-framed chimneys with wood, vinyl, aluminum, or brick veneer siding.
As the cover ages and rusts it begins to slowly leak, \ rusting the factory built fireplace below and all of its components. It can lead to mold in the walls and require extensive renovations if it is left to leak for a prolonged period of time. The cost to replace chase covers depend on multiple factors but usually range from $1,400-2,800. Failing to make repairs quickly can often grow into a full chase replacement and interior wall repairs costing over $12,000 on average.
Our competitors are going to fabricate covers on site using low grade stainless or galvanized metals that will rust again in 15-20 years. We leave fabrication of our covers to professionals and support small local businesses. We take measurements and have a local metal fabrication shop fabricate the chase cover to our size using a specialized metal that comes in 40 different colors. The metal we use was designed for roofing on oceanside properties and is highly corrosion resistant. We have been using this product the last 38 years and have yet to see it fade or rust.
We want to make sure we are leading the way by including preventative maintenance measures in every aspect of our work. We implement all of these features on every chase cover as it should not be an extra charged option but a standard to ensure the chase cover will look great and last for decades to come. Here are the ways we go above and beyond our competitors when fabricating chase covers:
Double hem drip edge to shed water away from the siding.
Leave a longer skirt of up to 6” while our competitors use a 1-2” skirt.
We use diagonal creases aka double cross break that elevates the center of the cover to prevent water pooling when applicable.
Sealed full height flue collars (1-1/2").
Color matching rain collar
Tremco Pemium Sealants
Rivets for corner connections
We take pride in our work and that's why we don't offer these as options but as a standard. As my father always said we are often not the cheapest quote because we go above and beyond but that is what separates us from the rest. At the end of the day the quality of our work is what will advertise for us. You will notice the difference and be glad you didn't put cost over quality.