Is Your Chimney’s Crown Cracked or Damaged?
There are components that every chimney system has to ensure it functions as intended. Those include the visually obvious brick and mortar, the not so easy to see flue, the functionally important damper, the firebox, the cap at the top, and the crown. Each plays a specific role; if damaged or missing, it can cause a variety of issues. Today, we’re going to look at what you should do if your chimney crown is cracked or damaged.
First, what role does a chimney crown play?
Your crown sits at the very top of your chimney, extending out ever so slightly. It plays a vital role in preventing water from running down the sides of your masonry. As these materials are relatively porous, the more water that they’re exposed to the faster they will deteriorate.
Your crown diverts the flow of water away from them and onto your roof. Without your crown, water would (very quickly) wear away at the joints. Some crowns are sloped while others are more rectangular. Either way, they help minimize wear and tear on your chimney.
Signs of chimney crown damage
Although an inspection from a Mercer County Chimney service technician will always uncover previously unknown damage with your chimney crown, there are also other signs to keep in mind. Those include: Rust appearing in your firebox or on your damper; Broken or chipped flue tiles; Water stains on your ceiling or drywall, and; Crumbling masonry. Any of these signs point to a problem with your chimney.
If you haven’t had an inspection lately, it means it’s time for one ASAP as there could be other problems beyond a cracked or damaged crown.
Is your chimney crown built properly?
During your annual inspection, or when following up on any of the signs of chimney crown damage that we listed above, our technicians will diagnose if your crown was built properly in the first place. Ideally, your crown will have a slope to facilitate water runoff. It should also have an overhang, even if a relatively small one, to keep water from running down your brick.
When to replace a chimney crown
If one or neither of these requirements is true, then it may be time to consider replacing your chimney crown with one that’s better built. In addition, if any of the signs we mentioned reveal significant cracks, damage, or deterioration of your crown, it may be time to replace your crown rather than repair it. Otherwise, it could lead to poor airflow within your flue, water damage in and outside of your home, as well as the potential deterioration of your chimney structure completely.
When to seal a chimney crown
On the other hand, relatively minor cracks or damage can usually be sealed with ease. As crown materials have changed over time, they’re much easier to repair today than they were a few decades ago. A good waterproof sealant may be all you need to get your chimney back into working order.
The first step if your chimney crown is cracked or damaged
Of course, the first thing you should do when you suspect you have a problem with your chimney crown (or any other part of your fireplace system) is to contact a professional chimney sweep.
They will perform an inspection, diagnose the problem, and let you know the best way to rectify it.
Our team is highly trained and ready to assist you with any of your chimney needs. Ready to get started? Then call Mercer County Chimney Services at 609-802-5288 or send us a message requesting a call back through our website contact form.