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Water Leaks on Prefabricated Chimneys

Unlike Masonry Chimneys, Prefabricated chimney components are made of thin sheet metal and are very susceptible to rusting. Left unchecked, water damage often causes your fireplace or stove to become damaged beyond repair requiring a total replacement of the entire system! For this reason, it is imperative that water is not allowed to collect or infiltrate where it doesn’t belong!

The following are the most common types of water leakage problems we see on prefabricated, factory-built chimney systems. If your chimney system has any of these problems, you’ll want to have it corrected as soon as possible to avoid unsafe conditions or avoidable expensive repairs in the future.

Chimney Cap Issues

Damaged chimney rain cap.Damaged chimney rain cap.

Missing chimney rain cap.Missing chimney rain cap.

Chase Pan Cover Issues

Ponding water on chase pan cover.Ponding water on chase pan cover.

Chase pan cover rusted through.Chase pan cover rusted through.

Chase pan cover penetrated with nails or screws.Chase pan cover penetrated with nails or screws.

Chase pan cover rusted and incorrectly pieced together.Chase pan cover rusted and incorrectly pieced together.

Wood rot due to an incorrectly sized chase pan cover.Wood rot due to an incorrectly sized chase pan cover.

Storm Collar Issues

Storm collar missing.Storm collar missing.

Storm collar not caulked.Storm collar not caulked.

This storm collar has been installed too high.This storm collar has been installed too high.

Signs of Water Leaks

A peek between the upper fireplace ventilation louvers will often reveal water marks if a leak above is present.A peek between the upper fireplace ventilation louvers will often reveal water marks if a leak above is present.

Visible water stains inside the firebox are also strong indicators that the sheet metal firebox is on its way to becoming rusted out. Visible water stains inside the firebox are also strong indicators that the sheet metal firebox is on its way to becoming rusted out.

When this happens, the entire fireplace and chimney pipe will need to be replaced.When this happens, the entire fireplace and chimney pipe will need to be replaced.

Extensive rust damage.Extensive rust damage.

You can convert your prefab unit with a wood stove insert. Consult with A to Z to get all the details about this type of upgrade to be sure it’s done right!


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Dear A to Z,

I just wanted to thank you for your honesty and for a thorough inspection of my chimney. One of the biggest concerns I have when hiring service professionals is being taken advantage when not having first hand knowledge of the various procedures. Last year when I had my chimney swept by one of your competitors, they claimed that I had a chimney fire, and that my flue was now cracked and needed extensive repairs.

This year, I hired A to Z to come out and sweep and inspect the flue because I heard they inspect the chimneys with a Chim Scan camera at no additional charge. The technician who came to my home, assured me I would be able to see any cracks or hazardous conditions along with him as he video scanned my flue. To my utter delight, NO EVIDENCE OF A CHIMNEY FIRE OR DAMAGE IN MY FLUE WAS DETECTED!!! Chris was extremely detailed in his inspection and really took his time educating me so I could feel comfortable. It was obvious that he knew what he was talking about and truly interested in doing the right thing…a far cry from last year’s experience with the other company. If anyone asks for an HONEST, COMPETENT, AND PROFESSIONAL chimney sweep company, I'll be sure to recommend A to Z!

~ Ms. Randi Scott, Lincoln, CA
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