Why Are Chimney Crowns An Important Part Of Your Chimney Structure?
The chimney crown is an essential part of the structure of your chimney. It is the area around the top of the chimney that shields the rest of the chimney underneath. Not to be confused with the chimney cap, as the cap is an attachment that is added to the top of the flue pipe to keep debris out of the chimney flue. The chimney crown tops off the masonry walls of the chimney with a small concrete roof that aids in preventing water from seeping into the bricks and mortar. This simple structure can actually save homeowners thousands of dollars in costly water damage repairs. If it is damaged we highly recommend a chimney crown repair.
Chimney Crown Sealing
If a chimney crown becomes cracked or damaged, water will seep into the masonry of your chimney thus deteriorating from the inside out. Chimney Crown Repair, and/or sealing the crown, is the best solution for a damaged chimney crown. It can save you from dealing with costly structural chimney repairs that will likely occur if you do nothing.
Sealant can be applied to a chimney crown that has a few minor cracks. This waterproof seal helps keep water from soaking through the brick, mortar, and concrete that make up your chimney. Large cracks are filled with high-bonding patching material and then Crown Sealing is applied over the top of the entire crown. Once applied the sealant forms an impenetrable waterproof barrier. Its viscosity allows it to penetrate the pores in your masonry. When properly applied, these solutions can add up to 15 years to the life of a chimney crown that has begun to wear.
Chimney Crown Rebuilding
If your chimney crown has begun to show its age, it may be time to replace it. A new concrete chimney cap is the first recommendation. If the crown has pieces missing or is lacking structural integrity, its time for a repair. Some inexperienced masons will use mortar mix to create a new top for the chimney. The problem with this solution is that the mortar mix will crack and leak very quickly. It is not a weather-resistant material. A cement chimney crown that is properly designed to overhang the outside dimensions of the chimney structure is the best solution.
Concrete chimney crowns are easy to shape and mold to fit the chimney’s shape, and they provide superior protection against the elements. Cast-in-place concrete crowns that are reinforced with steel are also good solutions. Crowns can even be made of metal or stone as well. Chimney cap concrete is a low-maintenance solution that is highly durable and long-lasting. As long as they are water-tight and weather resistant they will serve you well and protect your chimney for years. The top surface of the chimney crown is constructed to slant away from the center. This diverts as much water away from the chimney as possible. This design helps keep water from running down over the bricks of the chimney, keeping your chimney structure as dry as possible.
Are There Other Solutions?
Using chimney mortar caps as a cheaper alternative is less effective than concrete caps. Mortar caps are made by applying a layer of mortar to the top of the chimney, which is then shaped to form a cap. Over time, mortar caps can crack and deteriorate, leading to water damage and other issues. In severe cases, where collapse is possible, you will likely need it completely rebuilt. The goal is to avoid this!
If your chimney crown is in need of repair, please 1800 Chimney of Long Island. We can offer free inspections and recommend the best solutions.