Chimney Crown Repair
Many think the chimney is one solid piece but in reality, your chimney is made up of several parts that work together to make sure you can have a fireplace that works properly. The uppermost part of your chimney usually contains the chimney cap and the chimney crown. These two parts of your chimney are very important and can make the difference between a strong, healthy chimney and one that is riddled with water damage.
The Chimney Crown
The flue is the channel that allows smoke to travel up and out of your chimney, it may be encased in masonry and a cement crown will sit on top of the masonry and surround the flue with a chimney cap that will cover the flue. Both work together to allow the smoke to escape but also keep water from entering the flue. The sloping sides of the crown direct water away from the chimney, protecting the chimney from damage. Over time the chimney can begin to lose its battle with moisture and water can seep into the cement of the crown. Freeze and thaw cycles will cause fine cracks that if not dealt with can lead to a crumbling chimney.
How to Protect Your Chimney Crown
A waterproof sealant is a good way to lock out moisture and protect the chimney crown from water damage. Even if there are fine cracks, a waterproof sealant can repair the cracks and prevent any more from forming. It is important to use a “vapor permeable” sealant that will keep out excess moisture but also allow the brick to breathe. Otherwise, the sealant will keep moisture out, but it will also lock in whatever moisture is already there, causing the very cracks and spalling you were hoping to prevent.
Another way to protect your chimney crown is to install or repair the chimney cap. As mentioned before the chimney cap and crown work together and neither can do the job very well on their own. A chimney cap not only prevents water from getting into the chimney, if large enough, it can also shield the crown from excessive moisture from rain and snow.
Can a Chimney Crown be fixed?
Absolutely! Sealants can be used to repair small cracks in the chimney crown but if there is extensive damage, meaning many cracks, large cracks, pieces broken off the crown, or large gaps between the flue and walls of the chimney, then it is probably time to rebuild the crown. A rebuild involves removing the damaged crown and essentially starting over, creating a new crown out of cement, and then installing a chimney cap to make sure the crown lasts as long as possible.
When to Call a Professional
There are scenarios where a chimney crown repair could be a do-it-yourself project but there are also times when you should call a professional without hesitation. If you have a high roof and such repairs would be dangerous, please call a reputable company that is experienced, licensed, and insured. There are professionals who have the tools and the experience to take care of it correctly and safely.
If you have questions about whether or not you are in need of a repair, or a total rebuild it’s best to call a professional. A homeowner could end up destroying a chimney crown that only needed a simple fix or they may try to use a sealant to fix a chimney that is on the verge of collapse. If you have any questions, please call us at Burlington Fireplace or contact us online for free estimates.