Is Your Chimney Crown In Good Shape?
Because a chimney crown is at the very top of the chimney, it often gets overlooked. But this is not a chimney component for an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach. The chimney crown performs several critical jobs in keeping your chimney safe and fully operational.
National Chimney Cleaners of Fairfield County, CT, and Morris County, NJ, would like to share a little about what a chimney crown is, what it does, and why you need to keep yours in top shape.
What is a chimney crown?
Chimney crowns are usually made of concrete and are laid to cover the entire top of a chimney, minus the flue opening.
When properly built, they feature a bevel that allows water to run off them rather than pool up. A crown should have a drip edge that sends water off the crown and away from the masonry below it.
What is the purpose of a chimney crown?
Water is a chimney’s #1 enemy. This is a fact known throughout the chimney repair and services industry. A chimney crown keeps rainwater from spilling into interior areas of the chimney structure outside the flue pipe.
Once inside the system, water can begin a cycle of deterioration to the chimney liner, the interior masonry, the fireplace damper and the firebox. Water can also start a mold outbreak. Mold thrives in dark, poorly ventilated spaces, and the interior of a chimney is a perfect breeding ground.
How do crowns get damaged?
A lot of things can damage a chimney crown or cause it to fail. Here are the most common.
- Old age
- Inferior materials used to build the crown
- Poor workmanship in construction
- Lightning strikes
- Major hail storms
- House-settling through the years
- Problems with the chimney foundation
What to look for when inspecting your crown
Fortunately, it’s not hard to spot damage to your chimney crown. Unfortunately, you have to get up on your roof to do it. Unless you feel very secure and safe, we suggest you let a professional handle your crown inspection.
Any cracks or crumbling in the crown’s concrete should be noted and addressed. Obviously, if there are any wide gaps or missing chunks, that issue should be fixed immediately.
But crown problems can be progressive. Noticing some cracking or chipping in the component doesn’t tell you if more extensive trouble is happening in areas within the chimney structure that you can’t see. A professional chimney inspection will uncover unseen problems.
How chimney crowns are repaired
Chimney technicians have specific ways to address damaged crowns. Depending on the extent of the damage, strategies include:
- Patching cracks
- Waterproofing the crown with CrownSeal
- Rebuilding the crown
None of these jobs are highly complicated and time-consuming, but they must be done correctly to prevent more damage in the future.
Is it time for a chimney inspection?
National Chimney Cleaners provides basic and advanced chimney inspections as well as inspections following emergency situations. If it’s been more than a year since your last inspection, now is the time to schedule this service.
We’ll look at your chimney crown, chimney cap, masonry, chimney liner, chimney flashing, and other key parts of your chimney structure. We’ll go over our findings with you and recommend the best way to address any issues.
Reach a chimney expert today at (800) 631-6177. You can also get in touch online with our contact form.