Get Your Chimney Crown Repaired
People who use their chimney and fireplace every winter rarely think about the components that make up this heating system until there’s a problem. And while you probably see your fireplace and chimney every day, you may overlook minor performance and safety issues. One area of concern is the chimney crown. Like the other masonry parts of the chimney, the crown is exposed to extreme weather yearly. This post looks at chimney crown damage, how to repair it, and steps you can take to keep it in top shape.
What is a Chimney Crown?
The crown is a slab, usually made from stone, concrete, or metal, that rests atop the chimney. Its purpose is to direct water away from the opening and away from the brickwork and the chimney opening. Masonry materials like bricks, mortar, and stone are porous, absorbing water easily. Once water seeps in, it freezes and expands, forming tiny cracks. Over time, the cracks become more significant, allowing more water to seep in, and eventually, you end up with bricks falling apart.
How Does a Chimney Crown Become Damaged?
There are four primary causes of chimney crown damage:
– Improper Construction
– Soil Shifting
– Concrete Shrinkage
– Freezing and Thawing Water
As mentioned, these issues cause cracks to form, leading to deterioration.
Chimney Crown Repair
It’s challenging to spot crown damage from the ground, which is why chimney experts recommend hiring a professional chimney service company for an annual inspection. If you’ve never had your crown waterproofed, chances are, it’s cracked and needs repairing. Professional chimney service companies have several options for repairing chimney crown damage.
Sealing is done when there’s only minor damage or hairline cracks. By sealing the cracks, you prevent more moisture from getting in, and you can apply a waterproofing product as another layer of protection.
If there are numerous deep cracks, your chimney professional may opt for repair, patching the cracks with cement and sealing them with a waterproof product.
When you have a crown with extensive damage like chunks missing, the best option is to rebuild it. A chimney crown rebuilding done by competent professionals and adequately maintained afterward can last for the life of your chimney.
How to Protect Your Chimney Crown
Because chimneys degrade from the top down, it’s crucial to invest in crown protection, since it rests atop the chimney. If you’ve recently had a crown repair or rebuild, the best method of protecting it is adding a waterproof sealant. Sealants stop water and moisture from seeping into the masonry and prevent cracking. Waterproofing lasts approximately ten years and it’s extremely cost-effective compared to repairing or rebuilding.
For an added layer of protection, chimney experts recommend installing a flue cap to keep snow, rain, and critters out of the chimney and direct moisture away from the crown. Like adding sealant, installing a cap is inexpensive, and most come with a lifetime warranty.
Finally, it’s crucial to hire a good chimney service for an annual chimney inspection, cleaning, and maintenance. Trained professionals can spot damage the average homeowner may miss, allowing you to repair it before it worsens and puts your family at risk of water damage or a chimney fire.
Investing a few hundred dollars to waterproof the crown, add a flue cap, and hire a chimney specialist for routine inspection, is much cheaper than paying for crown or chimney rebuilding, and it’s an economical way to protect your investment and add value to your home.
About Mercer County Chimney Service
At Mercer County Chimney Service, our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute. We have years of experience cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining chimneys and fireplaces throughout Hamilton, NJ and Mercer County. We offer a full range of services, including:
– Chimney Repairs
– Chimney Inspection
– Fireplace Cleaning & Repair
– Fireplace Insert Installation
– Stove Installation
– And More
Whether you need chimney crown repair, routine chimney cleaning, or anything in between, you can count on us. Contact us today at 609-802-5288 or fill out our online form.