With the long list of chores homeowners face every week, it’s easy to understand why some things slip through the cracks. Obvious repairs like squeaky door hinges, overgrown grass, or cracked window quickly catch our attention because we pass them in our day-to-day lives. However, some hidden repairs need to be addressed sooner rather than later because, unlike those door hinges, they can lead to much larger issues.
One such repair is the broken or cracked chimney crown.
What is a chimney crown?
A chimney crown is a covering for the chimney that is made of either metal, concrete, or stone (note: the crown is distinct from the chimney cap which keeps debris out of the flue). Some people have assumed (wrongly) that a chimney crown can be made from brick and mortar like the rest of the chimney, but these materials are not waterproof and are susceptible to deterioration under harsher winter weather. And when it comes to chimney crowns, waterproof is the name of the game.
As MyChimney.com explains, “[the chimney crown] is usually completed from leftover mortar or cement during chimney construction and is the basic first line of defense for protecting your chimney from its most dangerous threat: water. When properly installed and maintained, the sloped surface directs much of the water away from the chimney.”
Why do I need a chimney crown repair or replacement?
Like anything whose main function is to keep out unwanted water, chimney crowns need to be solid and free from holes or cracks. Over time, however, you may start to see cracking develop in your chimney crown, particularly if it is made from concrete or stone (crowns made from metal are vulnerable towards rust and may require a full replacement).
If you have a cracked chimney crown, repairing the structure as soon as possible will prevent larger problems down the road. As water seeps into your chimney, it can start to weaken from the inside out and require major repairs later on. If this is the case, it can be difficult to spot the extent of the damage to the chimney (because, again, it’s on the inside) which could cause larger structural issues. Just like you would seal a small leak in a car tire before you blow an irreparable flat, fixing a chimney crown is best done early.
For small repairs, a small amount chimney crown sealant can save hundreds (if not thousands) in the future.
The bottom line?
Though it may not be the most conveniently located area of your house, you should check your chimney crown at the start and end of each fire burning season. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to decide between a chimney crown repair or replacement. The best solution, however, is to let a qualified contractor inspect your chimney and advise you as necessary. All too often, homeowners will downplay the risks of small cracks to save a few dollars which can, in the end, but much more costly.
So if you’re located in Indianapolis, contact Chimney & Masonry Outfitters today to schedule your appointment and get your chimney inspected today!