Your chimney may look simple, but it’s made up of many components, all of which must work properly and be in good condition for the system to work efficiently and safely. In this post, we look at the chimney crown, what it is, how it gets damaged, and the best ways to fix it.
A chimney crown is the concrete or masonry slab covering your chimney’s top opening. The crown’s primary job is to protect the flue from water ingress. Additionally, the crown prevents animals, debris, and foreign objects from getting in, causing blockages and possible fire.
The most common damage a crown might sustain comes from water and weather. The freeze-thaw cycle is particularly detrimental because water seeps into the masonry, freezes, and expands, leading to cracks. Over time, these cracks widen, allowing more water to get in, and the process repeats until the chimney’s structure is compromised.
Additionally, poor construction can contribute to premature damage and failure. If the contractor used the wrong materials or the crown wasn’t properly designed, it can break down before its time.
The first step to repairing a crown is getting a thorough inspection by a certified professional. A pro knows what to look for and can spot issues an amateur might miss. For minor damage, a simple repair might suffice; however, if your chimney has been neglected and has suffered extensive damage, replacing the crown may be the only option.
As mentioned, if the damage is minor, a simple repair will be enough. Your chimney professional may apply a high-quality waterproof seal to fill in the cracks. This temporary fix can last a few years, but eventually, you may have to replace the crown.
Specialized crown coating products are available that fill in the cracks and offer a resilient, waterproof layer that adheres to the existing masonry. This solution lasts longer than applying a sealant, making it more cost-effective in the long run.
In extreme cases where there’s extensive damage, replacement might be the only option.
For crowns with extensive damage, it will need to be demolished and removed. As we mentioned, chimney repairs like this are best left to professionals to ensure the chimney doesn’t suffer further damage and will last.
Once the crown has been removed, the contractor can build a new one. Depending on where you live, they may opt to use weather-resistant materials and ensure the design is sloped correctly to guide water away from the chimney.
If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s wise to invest in sealing to prolong the chimney’s lifespan and offer the best protection against water damage.
Like many household repairs, it’s crucial to identify issues as early as possible to reduce repair costs and time. Here are the most common signs to watch for that point to a damaged crown.
The most obvious sign of damage is visible cracking or splitting on the crown’s surface. It should be noted, however, that even minor cracks can be a problem because, as mentioned, they allow more water to seep in, which causes cracks to worsen over time.
Chipped or broken edges signal more severe damage that requires repair immediately.
Spalling refers to chunks of masonry material breaking away from the surface. If you see pieces of masonry, like bricks or concrete, on the roof or in the yard, it could be a sign of spalling. Spalling must be addressed immediately because, if ignored, it could cause the entire chimney to collapse.
Dark spots or areas where the chimney has changed color indicate water damage, mold, or other types of deterioration.
If your crown or chimney is damaged, you can count on the experts at Chimney Solutions to fix it right. We’re a full-service chimney and fireplace company with technicians certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Our staff is dedicated to giving you an outstanding experience from start to finish.
Whether you need chimney crown repair, chimney inspections, cleaning, rebuilding, or anything in between, we’re the one to call.
We proudly serve residents throughout the Greater Atlanta Area, including Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Woodstock, and the surrounding towns.
Get in touch with us today by calling 770–255–1300.