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Chimney Caps, Crowns & Chase Covers: What’s the Difference?

Having a chimney in your home is vital for sending smoke and unwanted flue gases away from your home, but for it to work properly an entire chimney system needs to be in place. While the main idea of a chimney is to provide a way for smoke to get out of the home, there are a number of components that work together to make sure everything works the way it’s supposed to.

Chimney crowns, chimney caps, and chase covers each serve a unique purpose in protecting the chimney structure, preventing moisture damage, and ensuring that your home remains safe as you use your fireplace, wood stove or furnace.

So what are these important parts of your chimney? What do they do? How do you know if they are working properly? At Top Hat & Tails we want you to be confident in maintaining your chimney system, so that you can enjoy your home heating appliance for years to come. Here are things to know about these chimney components and what to look for when assessing their maintenance needs.

All About Chimney Crowns

Chimney crowns sit on the top of the chimney structure. They are masonry or concrete slabs that lay overtop the chimney stack and extend beyond the brick and mortar chimney stack. They are slightly sloped and serve as a protective barrier against water. In fact, a strong and sturdy chimney crown plays a big role in the longevity of your chimney. Here are reasons you should make sure your chimney crown is in good condition.

  1. a black umbrella getting rained onThe main purpose of a chimney crown is to keep water off of the chimney. Rain, snow, sleet, and ice can all be devastating to naturally absorbent brick and mortar. The sloped nature of your chimney crown acts as a shield for your chimney structure and helps your masonry to remain dry.
  2. A faulty chimney crown will also show wear and deterioration that can eventually spread. Look for cracks, missing pieces, and crumbling. If you notice any signs that your crown isn’t strong, get in touch with us at Top Hat & Tails. Our experts can quickly get your crown fixed, so you can avoid more expensive repairs in the future.
  3. Another important job of your chimney crown is to provide your chimney with structural support. It is a heavy single slab that acts as a capstone for the rest of the chimney structure. This helps distribute the weight of the flue liners and other chimney components evenly – which in turn reduces the risk of collapse.

All About Chimney Caps

Chimney caps act like little umbrellas that sit above the chimney flue. Their main function is to keep water from getting into your chimney flue and collecting on the inside of your chimney. Chimney caps are usually made of a durable metal that is resistant to the elements. Usually the chimney cap will contain mesh or wire sides, as well, so that debris and other unwanted things can’t get into the house.

In addition to keeping rain and moisture out of your chimney, the chimney cap helps keep smoke and other unwanted gases flowing out of your home. It breaks up downdrafts that can create a vacuum within your system and force smoke into the home. In other words, a well-fitted and properly installed chimney cap helps airflow move in the right direction.

Another important job of the chimney cap is to keep animals from taking residence inside your chimney. The dry space in your chimney is well protected from the elements and is therefore a desirable nesting spot for rodents, birds, and other critters. Your chimney cap keeps animals from getting in, building nests, and becoming a fire or carbon monoxide hazard.

All About Chase Covers

Chase covers are metal structures that completely encapsulate the top of prefabricated or factory-built chimneys. These chimneys are made with different materials that won’t function properly unless they have a strong cover built to accommodate them.

Like the chimney cap, a chase cover provides your chimney protection against rain, snow, and other weather elements. However, rather than sitting above the flue opening and deflecting water, the chase cover completely surrounds the entire chimney top and keeps the entire thing protected from water entry. 

One advantage of a chase cover is its ability to improve the look of a chimney by being customized to match the architecture of the home. They can be constructed of many different durable metal materials, which can be selected to complement the look style of the building.

Keeping Your Crown, Cap & Cover in Good Shape

All of these components add to a fully functional, reliable, and efficient chimney. To make sure that you get the most out of your chimney system, it is important to keep these components well maintained. Regular inspections and maintenance will guarantee that your chimney lasts as long as possible and provides you with many years of fireplace or wood stove enjoyment.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure your chimney cap, chimney crown, or chase cover are working properly.

Regular Inspections

a bird building a nest on top of a masonry chimney Inspect the chimney crown, cap, and chase cover on a regular basis. Look for cracks, rust, or missing components. Make sure nothing is bent or broken. If you notice any damage due to weathering or deterioration, act quickly to avoid further damage to other parts of the chimney. You should also schedule a professional inspection annually.

At Top Hat & Tails our experts can spot things you might miss and get them taken care of before any further damage is caused.

Regular Cleanings/Sweepings

Over time, burning will create harmful chemical byproducts that can build up on the inner lining of your chimney. These chemical compounds, called creosote, are dangerous and highly combustible.

In addition to creosote, debris from outside can find its way in. Our technicians at Top Hat & Tails are fully equipped, trained, and experienced in making sure your chimney and all its components are free of debris and functioning as intended.


If you didn’t pick up on the theme, water is not good for chimneys. Our experts at Top Hat & Tails can apply professional grade waterproofing to your masonry chimney.  The solutions we use are made specifically to be safe for your chimney and vapor permeable, all while keeping rain and other elements from penetrating your structure.

Call Our Team Today

Call Top Hat & Tails today and let us help you make sure your chimney system and all of its components are providing you with maximum efficiency and safety. Dial 973-450-1947 or reach out online today.

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