Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your chimney’s masonry, and a chimney crown is especially vulnerable. Now is the time to ensure your chimney crown is in good repair to prevent damage from water and freezing temperatures.
What is a chimney crown?
A chimney’s cap is one of the chimney’s most important elements, protecting the rest of the chimney’s masonry from rainfall. But most chimney crowns are not properly built, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
A chimney crown sits atop the chimney, sealing the top of the chimney from the flue edge to the crown. Ideally, it should be constructed from Portland cement-based mixture; it should be sloped; and it should extend beyond the edges of the chimney top by at least two inches, according to the CSIA.
Too often, chimney crowns are hastily and improperly constructed from the mortar mix used to construct the rest of the chimney to save builders time.
The chimney crowns also often don’t meet other recommended specifications. Even properly constructed chimney crowns are susceptible from water damage over time, cracking and crumbling as water seeps into minute cracks and freezes.
Why is a damaged chimney crown a problem?
A proper chimney crown in good repair protects the rest of the chimney from water damage, with the overhang of the chimney crown preventing rainwater from flowing down the sides of the chimney.
The water that is allowed to hit the chimney’s bricks and mortar seeps into cracks. As the water freezes over the cold-weather months, it can expand by up to 10 percent causing mortar to crack and bricks to flake. Over time, that freeze/thaw damage can compromise the structure of your chimney.
A damaged chimney crown can both expose the rest of the chimney to damaging water and allow water to seep between the chimney and its liner.
How can you tell if your chimney crown needs to be repaired?
It may take a visit to your rooftop to determine if your chimney crown is inadequate or damaged and requires repairs. From the rooftop, it can be determined if the chimney crown has any existing cracks, indicating obvious damage. A visit to the rooftop also can reveal if the chimney crown was properly constructed, with the recommended 2-inch overhang, a sloped top and proper flashing.
A technician from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps can inspect your chimney crown for you, looking for proper construction and any potential damage, such as cracking or splitting.
What can you about a damaged chimney crown?
Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps can help you determine the proper course of action to repair your damaged chimney crown. In some cases, a simple sealing will be enough to extend the life of your chimney crown and keep your chimney safe from water damage. In other cases, the chimney cap may need to be rebuilt to keep your chimney protected.
The professionals from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps can help you to move forward with any necessary chimney crown repairs.