What Is A Chimney Crown? How Do They Work?
The chimney crown is an important part of your chimney. Its primary function is protecting your chimney from water. The techniques used to repair chimneys vary between different chimney repair company’s. Some chimney repair companies like ours use waterproofing agents that extend the life of the crown. Some less than honorable chimney service companies cut corners by using lower-quality materials. It is important to know about chimney crowns to make the right decision about your chimney crown repairs.
What is a chimney crown?A chimney crown is a large slab of concrete that covers the top opening of the chimney, protecting the brick and mortar chimney structure from water. Chimney crowns are sometimes called chimney washes. The crown is commonly made of concrete, but it can also be metal or stone. Crowns should not be mistaken for the chimney cap, which is made of metal and primarily covers the flue. You’ll find the chimney crown above the last layer of brick at the top of your chimney. It is typically about three to four inches thick and slopes down at the edge. There are a few types of crowns:
- Cast-in-place: Suitable for large chimneys and made of concrete,
- Precast: Ideal for smaller chimneys and made of concrete
- Floating crown: Built with an overhang that is approximately two inches above the chimney. This type of crown takes longer to install but usually lasts longer than other crowns.
The Role of the Chimney CrownThe primary role of the chimney crown is to keep water from entering the chimney. It is considered the first line of defense for the overall masonry. If the crown should fail, it can cause your chimney to leak. If you allow the crown to stay damaged, it can result in the rest of the masonry to crumble. In fact, faulty crowns are a common cause of chimney leaks. By keeping the chimney crown in good condition, you can keep your chimney and the rest of your fireplace in good repair, too.
Common Chimney Crown ProblemsThere are many problems that can arise with your chimney crown resulting in chimney leaks. Professional chimney repair technicians like ours can identify these problems. Be aware of such issues as:
- Sealant problems
- Cracked crown
- Masonry degradation
- Chimney leaks