How Long Should A Chimney Crown Last?
Have you ever heard of a chimney crown? If you’re familiar with the various components of your chimney system, you probably have heard of it once or twice. It should last for a long time — but how long should a chimney crown last exactly? Let’s dive in to find out.
First, what is a chimney crown?
Sometimes confused with your cap, your chimney crown is a slab that sits atop your masonry. It can be made of various types of materials, including stone, metal, and the most common option: concrete.
Your crown will extend beyond the four walls of your chimney by a few inches. Above your crown, a foot or so of your flue will extend upward with your cap sitting on top of it.
Second what role does a chimney crown play?
Your chimney crown plays a vital role in your chimney function. You could even call it the unsung hero of your entire system by helping to prevent water-based damage.
First, your crown will seal any gaps between your masonry and your flue. This helps to ensure that no water makes its way down the interior of your chimney, preventing water-based damage from working its way inside out.
Second, your crown helps to divert water from running down the outside of that same masonry. Why is this so important? Because masonry materials are porous. The frequent freeze-and-thaw cycle we know all too well here in the Northeast exacerbates this issue whenever water makes its way into one of those pores. Water freezes, expands, and melts while leaving behind a larger crack or hole. Then, the water refreezes, expands some more, and melts leaving behind an even bigger crack or hole.
Your crown helps to mitigate the effect of both of these water-based issues.
So how long should a chimney crown last?
Because it plays such a vital role in your chimney’s safe operation, you want your chimney crown to last as long as possible. If built properly, your chimney crown should last for at least twenty years, possibly up to 50 to 75 years if adequately maintained.
Ways to extend the life of your chimney crown
The first way to extend the life of your chimney crown is to proactively keep an eye out for damage. While smaller cracks and chips can be difficult to spot from the ground, larger ones are easier to spot and necessitate a visit from a Chimney Specialists technician ASAP.
However, there are also other signs to look for including stains or efflorescence streaks from water damage, rust anywhere within the chimney system, and spalling bricks. While your crown may appear to be intact from the ground, these other signs point to a problem that an inspection can quickly diagnose.
Another way to extend the life of your crown is through an annual maintenance and inspection. There, your technician can fix any issues while applying a layer of waterproof sealant.
We can help keep your chimney crown in peak condition
We are a fully CSIA-certified team ready to help you with any problems you may encounter with your chimney. From sweeps and inspections to fixing masonry to repairing problems with your crown, our team can do it all.
Would you like to get in touch to learn more? Then call Chimney Specialists, Inc at 608-929-4887 or send us a short message via our handy online contact form.