In the fireplace and chimney industry, there are several vital components that homeowners sometimes need to have serviced. This includes an annual sweep and inspection of their flue, ensuring that their liner is fully functioning, and inspecting other components such as their cap and flashing. Another part of this process includes chimney crown maintenance.
First, let’s look at what a chimney crown is, then the role it plays in protecting your home along with some things to watch for.
What is a chimney crown?
Typically people confuse a chimney crown with a chimney cap. A chimney cap is a metal protective barrier that helps keep animals, leaves, and other debris out of your flue, however a chimney crown is the cement “pad” that resets on top of your chimney. It surrounds the entire flue and often extends out a few inches beyond the edge of your chimney’s brick to provide protection and prevent brick deterioration.
Is a chimney crown important?
The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!” While both your cap and crown are vitally important to your chimney system’s integrity and longevity, your crown serves an important role slightly different than your cap. This is one reason why each CSIA-certified technician at Advance Chimney Sweeps is fully trained on how to perform chimney crown maintenance.
So, what purpose does a chimney crown serve?
Your crown is a preventative component of your chimney system. This is also why chimney crown maintenance is so important because of the role it plays. Without this structure, your chimney would experience wear and tear much faster.
We’re talking about water. Water is your chimney’s worst enemy, and as masonry is a porous material, your crown helps to divert precipitation away from your brick-and-mortar. The water connection is so direct that some chimney sweeps will even refer to your crown as your chimney’s wash.
Damage to your chimney crown
While your crown helps to prevent water from damaging your masonry, this doesn’t mean it’s impervious to the effects of precipitation itself. In fact, a leading cause of damage to your chimney crown is because of erosion. Chimney crown maintenance often includes reapplying sealant and fixing damage, such as cracks or crumbling portions of your crown.
Problems to watch for
One of the most obvious signs that you may need chimney crown maintenance is a leak. White stains, indicative of effervescence, are another potential cause for concern as this may mean that water is not being diverted properly. Also, your crown should extend past your masonry by a few inches, if it doesn’t then this may mean that you need chimney crown maintenance sooner rather than later.
Chimney crown maintenance from Pittsburgh’s most trusted chimney sweep
We first opened our doors in 1996. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners across our region with all types of chimney-related problems. Our team is standing by, ready to assist whether you need chimney crown maintenance, an annual sweep and inspection, and more.