Superior Chimney Services, Inc.

A Guide to Chimney Crown Repair

How do you know if you need a chimney crown repair?  It’s not like you can see the top of it from standing on the ground. Or walking the dog and notice, “Wow, that house needs a new chimney crown.” It would be great as you’d be able to stop the leaks from occurring in your home. But that is a sure sign of a problem with the chimney crown.

Let’s Ask the Expert About a Chimney Crown Repair

To begin, Superior Chimney is highly experienced in chimney inspections and can help you answer this not so simple question. Firstly, a chimney crown is different from a chimney cap. A chimney cap is a small metal four-sided structure that fits over the open hole on top of the chimney to keep out animals, debris and rain / snow. The outside of the chimney is made of bricks and mortar, and the inside is an open hole called the flue. At the top, you may notice a concrete slab. This is called the chimney crown. The chimney crown is made of concrete, and as we all know, concrete is porous, meaning water can be absorbed. The chimney crown begins to crack due to the constant exposure to the freeze thaw cycles of winter. So, when should you get the chimney crown repaired, and how can you identify it yourself?

Chimney Crown: Do you need it?

Have you ever seen a chimney without a chimney crown? When traveling through Europe, it’s common to see a chimney without a chimney crown. No wonder it’s always deteriorated. If they had a chimney crown, it would protect the chimney from falling apart and water / snow from going straight down, directly into the seams or cracks of the chimney to the roofing system.

A chimney crown is necessary if you want to stop the deterioration of the chimney. It keeps moisture out of the flue. The chimney crown extends a bit further than the chimney structure so that rain water and snow are directed onto the roof, and does not settle in the porous brickwork and cause damage on top the chimney structure. In Chicagoland, your chimney goes through many freeze thaw cycles in winter and many other temperature changes. There are severe storms that are common in Spring and Fall and humid weather in the summer. The winter brings heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. That’s a lot of changes your chimney goes through! It’s protected by the chimney crown, and it’s absolutely needed to keep the chimney structure sound. Every chimney needs a chimney crown for the same reasons every home needs a roof!

How To Identify Damage and Repair A Chimney Crown

If there are cracks (big or hairline in the cement slab, your chimney crown needs repair. The water damage of the cement is usually due to the “freeze-thaw” cycle. This is when water is absorbed into the cement structure, then freezes and thaws and repeats again. These solid to liquid changes cause cracks, resulting in a new entrance for water to cause chaos. Another cause for damages is the heat in the flue. In the winter time, when your fireplace is burning and making heat, the masonry may be very cold and the flue is very hot. Temperature changes like this also cause cracking.

How to Prevent a Problem from Starting?

Before the damage gets out of hand, your chimney should be inspected by a certified professional. Repairing a chimney crown should be left to the Superior Chimney certified professionals. During the inspection, the chimney professional will identify cracks, even the ones you can’t see, and take pictures so you can see for yourself what’s going on. If the chimney crown is in need of repair, we’ll discuss the repair process with you, or the Crown Coat  …a specially made sealer to protect the chimney crown from water damage. 

Next Steps?

If you are suspecting some water damage to your chimney crown and need a chimney crown repair, call Superior Chimney today at 877-224-6349. We can help prevent further damage and save your chimney from an unnecessary rebuild.

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