Every part of the chimney system has an important job that helps the chimney vent the fireplace properly and last as long as it should. The biggest culprit shortening the lives of chimneys across the country is water. Rainwater, snow, ice, and even humidity in the air can damage the chimney system. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney leak can destroy the chimney from the inside out, causing rust, deterioration, rot, stains, clogs, cracks, and even collapse and settlement. Your chimney is built to last, but only when components are maintained and repaired when necessary. We repair and rebuild chimney crowns to keep chimneys working in New Hampshire and we can fix yours too.
The Importance of the Chimney Crown
Like homes and shelters, the chimney needs a roof to protect it from water damage that can be costly and dangerous. The crown acts as a roof, directing water off and away from the chimney opening, protecting from the top-down, and working with the other parts of the chimney (caps and flashing) to protect the system year round. The chimney crown should be made in a specific way, with appropriate materials for the most effectiveness. While many amateurs may use extra mortar to fashion the crown, it should be constructed of concrete and reinforced with metal or steel mesh. Mortar will crack and deteriorate quickly when exposed to sunlight and weather, but concrete stands the test of time. At Black Moose Chimney and Stove we use the best material when we construct crowns and we pay attention to other details that make up a quality product.
Thickness – The concrete chimney crown should be 2 inches thick at its thinnest point to prevent unnecessary deterioration.
Shape/Slope – From the center to the outer edge of the crown, there should be a slope that allows water to run off the chimney top. Without the appropriate slope, water will pool onto the crown and cause gaps and cracks. During winter this water will freeze and expand, leading to more severe winter damage.
Overhang – In addition to the slope, the crown should extend from the flue to the edge of the chimney with a two inch overhand. This overhand and drip edge allows the water to drip down and onto the flashing and roof, keeping water from affecting the masonry itself.
Repairs and Rebuilds
When your chimney is cleaned or inspected, your chimney professional may recommend a repair or rebuild. When the crown damage is minor, the crown can be sealed with an industrial product that fills cracks and gaps with ease, restoring the crown to full and safe function. With major damage, you may need a full crown rebuild. If this is the case, Black Moose Chimney and Stove can construct a new crown that custom fits your chimney and lasts as long as the chimney when properly maintained.
Schedule important chimney services now and you will have time to schedule necessary repairs before fall. We offer chimney sweeps and inspections year-round with licensed and certified chimney experts. Call 603-525-7905 today.