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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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I just wanted to thank you for your expert advice at my last chimney cleaning. We were looking to purchase and install a new wood stove in order to keep our home warmer during the winter, and although it wasn’t directly related to having our chimney swept, your technician took a lot of time to go over several features and designs that were good, and told me several things to watch out for when purchasing a new wood stove.

Needless to say, I could tell this guy knew what he was talking about! It was nice getting an impartial opinion from someone who works with wood stoves all day long!

Suffice it to say that when our new wood stove is installed, we’ll continue to have A to Z out to clean it! You guys are awesome!

~ Allan Stuckin, Fair Oaks, CA
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