When you build a chimney, you expect it to last for decades or more specifically, a lifetime. But is that possible? No. Like everything, a chimney also goes through damage, which may be natural and man-made and requires either sealing, repair or complete replacement, depending on the extent of damage. Going in and out of your house, you notice your chimney everyday but the damage cannot be seen. Only when you climb and see the top of your chimney, you will notice the cracks that have appeared on the chimney crown, and further damage to the flue and inside of the chimney can only be assessed by a thorough chimney inspection by professionals.
What Is A Chimney Crown?
A chimney crown is the covering of the chimney top which protects the structural masonry of the chimney. The construction material used for your chimney would be cement, mortar and bricks or stones. This construction is the protection house of the entire working of your fireplace. The top of the chimney is exposed to the outer atmosphere; hence you need to protect it from atmospheric damage and moisture.
Chimney crown serves the purpose and protects your chimney from moisture and damage. Chimney crowns are usually made of cement and covered with waterproof sealants. They are usually made a little higher than the chimney and also will have a slope so that rain, snow and small obstacles easily slide down the roof and not enter the chimney opening.
Reasons of Chimney Crown Damage
Chimney crowns protect your chimney but over time it may also get damaged.
- Your chimney crown should be constructed professionally with the right construction material. Also, the slope and extended height of the chimney cap should also be exact. A little difference may cause the purpose of the chimney cap to become disabled and it can easily break or get cracked.
- Another reason is natural wear and tear which is obvious over the years. The chimney cap is coated with a specialized moisture sealant. With time the sealant loses its ability and cracks begin to form. You will need to get it resealed every few years. The sealant may also get frozen in winters and thaws and cracks in summers.
- The moisture in the cement and concrete eventually dries up over the years and evaporates. This leaves space in between and hence the concrete shrinks leading to cracks.
How To Seal Chimney Crown?
You will need to get your chimney crown checked by professional contractors every year to know the extent of the damage. If there are small cracks then you will need to get it sealed to further prevent the cracks and the moisture from entering and deteriorating your chimney. The chimney expert will apply a specialized anti-moisture sealant and your chimney will be as good as new.
How To Repair Chimney Crown?
If the cracks and damage to the chimney crown is a lot then it is preferable to get the chimney crown repaired rather than only getting it sealed. A chimney expert will fill all the cracks and dents with poured cement and concrete carefully and let it dry and then coat it all together with an anti-moisture sealant. This will make your chimney durable and protective again.
How To Replace Chimney Crown?
If the extent of damage to your chimney is beyond repair so much so that large chunks and pieces of the chimney is missing. This means that you have never gotten your chimney cap inspected and analyzed and also have posed yourself, your family and your house at risk. The moisture that has entered the chimney cap due to huge patches and big cracks has completely deteriorated and destroyed the working of your chimney and also the structural masonry leaving just a structural chimney without any use.
Repairing it will not be possible and instead, you will need to get it removed and replaced by a skilled chimney expert. This work is best left to chimney contractors Ellicott City who will remove and rebuild your chimney crown. Make sure to look around for trustworthy chimney services that use quality material and do the job quickly.