Chimney Crowns - Cement Chimney Crown Repair
While the very top of your chimney may fall into the category of things that are out of sight and out of mind, this oversight could be detrimental to the condition of your chimney. Because of its location at the very top, a chimney crown is the first barrier between the weather and your chimney.
A chimney crown is a solid masonry surface that covers the top of the chimney walls. The purpose is to act as a barrier for moisture between the outside and the masonry chimney. This is not the same as the chimney cap . A cap covers the flue or pipe opening. The crown prevents water from seeping into the masonry walls. These crowns are also typically built to with a slight pitch away from the center to prevent water from puddling and allow it to drip harmlessly away from the chimney.
When a crown is cracked or crumbling, this can be problematic for both the chimney and the house below. Water seeps in through the cracks and can result in water marks on the ceiling or a drip in front of the fireplace. Water damage to the interior of the chimney is likely .
The deterioration of a chimney crown takes place with extreme weather conditions in our area. Once cracks begin, they are further provoked by the freeze/thaw cycles that will cause them to expand and get deeper and wider as the process continues. Once the crack is all the way through, the water can cause damage within the chimney and to the ceiling around the fireplace. If left unchecked, a deteriorated crown can be an attractive place for critters to take up residence!
To correct a damaged crown, there are a few different methods to use. For only minor cracks and for preventative measures, a waterproof sealant may be the best option after the minor cracks are patched. This way no major reconstruction or replacement is necessary and the sealant will give new life to the existing crown.
Besides a waterproofing sealant, the top of the chimney can also be resurfaced. This repair works well for a crown that has a few hairline cracks throughout the surface. Similar to the waterproofing, this resurfacing will keep the water out and also prevent the existing damage from growing or getting any worse.
This cement chimney crown is clearly in need of repair.
If the damage is substantial, a complete crown rebuild must be done to repair the problem. A crown that is reinforced with steel or made from brick or stone may also be a long-lasting solution. After any type of repair, adding a water repellant sealer to further protect the crown is a good idea. This will help the repairs last longer and prevent future problems from occurring. No matter what type of repair is conducted, it is critical that the work is able to stand up to the weather and remain water-tight. It is very important that the repairs to a chimney crown can withstand the weather. It is an easy area to forget about but one that we pay close attention to.
Call Chimney Specialists Inc at (608) 929-4887 if you are worried that your
Chimney Crown is not doing it's job. Our certified techs can inspect the situation and advise
you about the health of your chimney system and if need be discus the recommended remedy.