Of all the parts that keep your chimney working properly, the chimney crown is one of the most important. It not only keeps the chimney dry, inside and out but also determines the health and life of your chimney. Unfortunately, the crown is often overlooked because it is hard to see. A homeowner most likely won’t even know it’s damaged before it results in a problem.
Water and Your Chimney
Water penetration is one of the most damaging things that can happen to your masonry. Masonry is constructed of many materials, all of which are adversely affected by water. In fact, it can destroy a masonry chimney from the inside out. If water is allowed inside your chimney it can cause rusted and malfunctioning parts, deteriorated assemblies and central heating system, water-stained, rotted, and weakened building supports and materials, and structural damage to the chimney and home. Water damage over time can cause astronomical costs, as well as increased risk to health and property.
Prevent Water Damage
Your chimney is designed to prevent water penetration. To keep water out of all parts of the chimney, there are many parts that have to be defended. Chimney caps, chimney crowns, flashing, and sealant all play a vital role in preventing chimney leaks. The chimney cap works together with a chimney crown to keep water out of the top of the chimney. If the cap is functional, but the crown is damaged, water will fall directly into the chimney. If the cap and the crown are in good condition, but the flashing is damaged or installed incorrectly, water will penetrate at the intersection of the roof and chimney. It is important for all parts of the chimney to be installed correctly, and to be assessed routinely.
Schedule Annual Inspections
Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual chimney inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney system. It’s at this annual inspection that a certified chimney sweep will physically assess all readily accessible portions of your chimney system, including the chimney crown.
Your Chimney Crown Check-Up
If your technician finds a problem with your chimney crown, you aren’t completely out of luck. This doesn’t have to be an expensive repair. In fact, many chimney crowns that have minor damage can be repaired with a waterproofing sealant by one of our chimney experts. This sealant extends the life of your chimney crown by fifteen years and prevents water penetration and further damage immediately.
For more extensive damage, our expert masons are able to recast a custom crown for your chimney, then waterproof it so that it lasts as long as your chimney! Our technicians are experienced in constructing chimney crowns that are beautiful, functional, long-lasting, and up to industry standards. A chimney crown should reach from the chimney flue across the chimney opening at a slight slope. The crown should hang over the edge of the chimney at least two inches in order for water to run off appropriately.
If you haven’t yet scheduled your annual chimney inspection, call White Glove today so that one of our certified chimney sweeps can diagnose and repair your broken down chimney crown before it results in costly damage.