The chimney crown, found at the top of your chimney, is a crucial part of your entire chimney system. The chimney crown is a small concrete roof that serves as an umbrella to protect the entire chimney and masonry brick from water damage and debris, nests, and other invasive organisms. Even though the damage may be out of sight and out of mind, if your chimney crown is in good working condition, it can prevent you from spending thousands of dollars on repairs. There are many signs that a damaged chimney crown needs to be repaired. You can avoid spending thousands of dollars and even having to rebuild the entire chimney by finishing these repairs as soon as possible. The moment your chimney crown sustains damage, water and moisture will start to seep inside, wreaking havoc by causing your chimney to deteriorate from the inside out. Your best option is to repair your chimney crown for a small portion of the cost before more significant damage can set in. But first, let's look at what exactly chimney crowns are and what they are for. Keep reading below.
What are Chimney Crowns?
The concrete slab that sits atop the masonry chimney is known as the chimney crown. Its sole purpose is to stop water from entering the chimney. It has a slight taper and extends from the liner to the chimney's exterior to allow water to drain off the chimney. To ensure that water runs off the chimney and not down the side, it should extend two inches past the edge of the chimney. It provides the following advantages helps prevent water damage to your chimney. repels insects, stops birds from building nests in or on your chimney, and safeguards the chimney's concrete or brick construction. Every year or so, have your chimney crown inspected by a qualified professional to ensure there are no issues. Regular maintenance can keep your home's roof good and prevent problems from getting worse or being caught when they are minor. In addition, it might ultimately save you thousands of dollars. For instance, fixing a small crack in a chimney is much less expensive than fixing a crumbling, wet chimney.
Signs Your Chimney Crown Needs Repair
There are additional indications that your chimney needs repair besides soot, fumes, and smoke. Discover some additional issues to watch out for that might cause a chimney to collapse or even start a fire.
Do you have white stains on your chimney? The term for this is efflorescence. These salt crystallizations are frequently observed on concrete, brick, and natural stone surfaces. When it happens, it typically signals a moisture issue. A small amount is typical, but if it becomes excessive, it raises red flags. Often, efflorescence is a sign of a faulty flue liner or a loose flashing, which can hasten the deterioration of the mortar and brick. Therefore, you need a certified chimney technician to either install a new flue or liner or repair the flashing around the crown to stop water from entering the chimney.
2. Cracks in Chimney Crown
The chimney crown's primary function is to guard against water damage. It is intended to prevent snow and water from entering the building because it sits on top of the chimney. However, if the crown is damaged or cracked, moisture will enter and cause several problems, such as a rusted damper or cracked flue tiles. Most damage won't be noticeable from the ground, so you'll need to climb onto the roof to check if your chimney crown is cracked. If the crown is broken, it must be replaced immediately to prevent the moisture issue from worsening and further harming the building.
3. Damage to Mortar Joints
The mortar joints may weaken over time due to water, ice, and seasonal expansion. The masonry is exposed to moisture when the mortar begins to deteriorate, which causes further harm. In addition, the chimney may break down and eventually collapse if unattended. You might need a specialist to have the mortar joints repaired them.
4. Spalling Bricks and Rust
Are the bricks in your chimney spalling or popping off? Another indication of a moisture issue is broken and missing bricks. The structure slowly deteriorates as the moisture in the masonry expands and contracts, resulting in the bricks cracking, flaking, and crumbling. You must ascertain the root of the issue before you can address it. To determine how the water is entering the masonry and the severity of the issue, the first step in treating it is to schedule a chimney inspection. The brickwork will most likely need to be repaired or completely replaced if there has already been significant damage. If you don't eliminate the rust, your chimney will eventually be destroyed, so it's crucial to have it inspected annually. First, check the flashing and chimney cap outside your chimney for rust, and then check the firebox, damper, and flue inside. It doesn't necessarily mean something isn't there if you can't see it. Most people don't recognize they have a rust issue until something stops functioning normally, like a damper that is no longer sealing. It is best to call a chimney technician if there are sufficient indications of an oxidation issue. Rust can cause serious damage, such as a cracked flue tile, but something will still need to be replaced.
5. Fallen Chimney and Water Pooling
It's bad news if you discover a stack of chimney tiles inside your fireplace. Broken flue lining is frequently indicated by tile that has fallen. Although water damage is frequently to blame, poor building and construction methods can also contribute to the problem. It will only get worse if untreated. Cracks allow moisture to enter and may even cause a chimney fire. Therefore, it's crucial to repair any damage if you find tiles somewhere they shouldn't be, so it doesn't happen again. A puddle of water indicates a chimney leak. Cracks in the crown deteriorated mortar, and defective flashing is frequently to blame. Water can seriously damage the framework of your home, regardless of its source. It's time to call in the experts if you notice any water drips or pools in or near the fireplace. Your fireplace should make you feel comfortable and secure, not unsafe. The chimney system comprises many essential components that all work together to safeguard your family and home from harmful toxins and fire hazards. Smoke, soot, microscopic debris, and toxic gases are vented up the chimney. Therefore, you must safeguard it if you want it to continue functioning properly, effectively, and safely.
Prepare and Repair
A damaged chimney crown can result from a long, cold winter with lots of precipitation, and even a tiny crack can let water into the system and cause extensive water damage. If you suspect there may be water in the chimney system, you should immediately call a professional. But the typical homeowner won't discover a water leak until it's already done significant hidden damage. This is why it's crucial to plan regular maintenance. For example, if your chimney hasn't been inspected in the past year, you should have it done immediately. Any problems with the chimney crown will be found at this appointment. When should your chimney crown be repaired? When a problem is found, you ought to act right away. For example, showers in the springtime can seriously harm a chimney with a cracked crown. Vertical has been in the chimney care business for over 35 years, and we have devoted our time and energy to bring safety to your home. We have spent all 35 years making sure we give our customers the best possible service. Take your chimney to a higher standard with Vertical and contact us today to get a free quote!