Company Blog

All About Chimney Crowns

From our years in experience of working in the chimney industry, All Seasons Chimney understands the problems that water can cause to a fireplace and chimney system. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) named water as the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney. Except for stone, all masonry chimney construction materials suffer from accelerated deterioration when exposed to water for an extended period of time. Preventing water penetration of chimneys is one of our most important duties as chimney experts, and we know how to best keep the water out of your chimney. One of the most simple ways to stop water from entering your chimney in the first place is the installation of a chimney crown. We would like to tell you more about chimney crowns and how they can protect the masonry materials of your chimney.

chimney-crown-image-poughkeepsie-ny-all-seasons-chimney

What exactly is a chimney crown?

Also known as a chimney wash, a chimney crown is the top part of a masonry chimney. Constructed from mortar, the chimney crown covers and seals the top of a chimney from the flue liner to the chimney edge.

Why do I need a chimney crown installed on the top of my chimney?

Without a chimney crown, your chimney is open to rainwater and water from melted snow. This water will penetrate the bricks and mortar of your chimney. In the winter, this water repeatedly freezes and thaws, and this process causes problems. When water freezes, it expands as much as 10 percent. This can create cracks in the bricks and mortar, which worsen each time this water freezes. Even tiny amounts of water can cause this type of spalling damage. Eventually, if left unrepaired, the bricks and mortar can become so deteriorated that your chimney is no longer structurally sound.

If a chimney crown is made from mortar, how is it protected from spalling damage?

Since the chimney crown sits on the top of your chimney exposed to all of the elements of weather, it should be sealed with a durable waterproofing treatment to protect it from water penetration. A customized chimney crown from All Seasons Chimney is also constructed from a Portland cement-based mixture that is designed for years of weather abuse.

How can I tell if my chimney crown is properly constructed and installed?

A properly built chimney crown should have a slope to best protect your chimney from water damage. Your chimney crown should provide a downward slope to direct water from the flue to the edge of the crown. There should also be an overhanging drip edge to direct water from the crown away from the chimney to help prevent any erosion of the bricks and mortar in the vertical surfaces of the chimney. This overhang should project beyond all sides of the chimney by a minimum of two inches for best protection from water damage.

In need of a chimney crown? Contact All Seasons Chimney to schedule a custom installation of a crown for your chimney.

Do You Have Winter-Related Chimney Damage?

Our area has experienced some harsh winter weather this year, and we at All Seasons Chimney have already been very busy repairing a lot of damage caused by the past several cold months. From water leaks to damaged dampers, liners, and chimney caps to masonry problems, the extreme temperatures of winter can be very destructive to a chimney. You may have even noticed some damage done to your chimney. The spring season is a great time to take care of these repairs, and you do not want to delay fixing winter-related chimney damage. We would like to tell you about some common post-winter chimney repairs and how our certified and experienced chimney technicians can fix these problems.

winter-masonry-chimney-damage-image-poughkeespsie-ny-all-seasons-chimney

LEAKY CHIMNEYS

Causing possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars in chimney damage repair, water leaks are a chimney’s worst enemy. After a cold winter with below-freezing temperatures, we often see leaks caused by spalling. Water leaks from a chimney can be hard to locate, so call All Seasons Chimney to schedule a professional chimney inspection to determine exactly what is causing them. You can see signs of a leaky chimney, which include:

Loose or missing bricks and/or mortar

Cracking and crumbling in the bricks and/or mortar

Rusty stains

Brick discoloration

Water in the fireplace

Damp odors

DAMPER AND CHIMNEY CAP DAMAGE

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the efficiency of these two parts of your chimney is crucial to saving energy and money. Additionally, these two components serve to keep water from penetrating into your chimney. If your damper is stuck open, it is the same thing as leaving a window in your house open. Cold air escapes, bugs get in, the rain pours into your house, etc. If the damper is stuck closed, you cannot start a fire because your flue is closed-off and unable to filter smoke and gases. Similarly, an undamaged chimney cap fitting correctly on the top of your chimney is essential because not only does it also keep rain out of your chimney, but it prevents stray animals from setting up home there.

MASONRY FIREPLACE DAMAGE

These classic chimneys are a bit more elaborate and require different types of maintenance, but All Seasons Chimney specializes in repairing masonry chimneys and is glad to check the following jobs off your repair list:

Crown repair

Your crown is the chimney cap of your masonry chimney and can become cracked during the winter during extremely cold spells.

Repointing/tuckpointing

When the bricks and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and falling apart due to deteriorating joints from spalling and water damage, we can repair (or rebuild, if necessary) your chimney using these techniques.

If you have noticed any of these or other chimney problems from the past winter, contact All Seasons Chimney as soon as possible. We are ready to repair any damage as well as prevent further damage from occurring.