Does Your Chimney Need a Rain Pan?
Have you ever had a leaky chimney? If you have, you know how important it is to keep water out of the chimney system. Excess moisture in a chimney can cause a wide range of problems from corroding the damper and disintegrating flue tiles to creating an ideal environment for toxic black mold to grow and deteriorating the structural integrity of the chimney’s masonry. The problem can spread from your chimney to the surrounding area ruining drywall, insulation and structural beams. One way to prevent these problems is to have a rain pan installed or replaced.
What’s the difference between a rain pan and a chimney cap?
A chimney cap is installed over the mouth of the chimney (a.k.a. the flue) preventing water from running down the opening. Typically made of either stainless steel or copper, it has a cap at the top that water runs off of and mesh around that sides that stops animals and lawn debris from getting into the chimney.
A chimney pan is more like a chimney crown. It covers the surface of the chimney top around the flue. If you have a prefabricated or factory built fireplace with a metal chimney, then it will have a rain pan instead of a chimney crown. Unlike a chimney crown, which is made of cement, it is made of stainless steel.
The chimney pan is what the water that runs off the chimney cap or chase top falls onto. It prevents water from seeping into the masonry or, if you have a metal chimney, it prevents water from getting into the area between the chimney and the flue.
Does your chimney need a rain pan?
The benefit of a chimney pan is that it is more water resistant than a chimney crown. Unlike cement, stainless steel is not water permeable.
If your chimney’s crown is cracked or needs new waterproofing, covering it with a rain pan is a cost effective solution.
If you have a prefabricated fireplace and suspect that it is leaking, most likely the problem is the rain pan. Though rain pans are durable and have a long life span, over time, they can rust or become damaged. If it is not replaced, water will be able to get into the chimney and may begin corroding the flue or ruining walls, ceilings and other materials around the chimney.
Don’t ignore the problem if you notice that your chimney’s crown is damaged or suspect that your chimney is leaking! Protect your home and save yourself from expensive future repairs by calling our chimney specialist. Along with having the best selection of fireplaces and stoves in the tri-state area, we have a team of chimney experts who serve residents in Southwest Wisconsin, Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois. Give us a call (608) 929-4887!