This fall, as you prepare your home for winter, don’t forget your chimney! Everything that affects your home throughout the year will also affect your chimney. Water is the worst thing that can happen to a healthy chimney system, but keeping it in proper working order will help keep water out and help your system to last longer.
Water and Your Chimney
Masonry chimneys are constructed out of many materials and all of them are easily damaged by water. Due to the porous nature of brick and mortar, moisture can penetrate the chimney and lead to damage—especially during freezing temperatures in the winter. When your chimney experiences a leak, it can cause extensive damage throughout the whole system as well as the rest of the home. It is easier and cheaper for you to just prevent this damage by making sure your chimney system is protected from the top, down.
Protection From the Top
Your chimney’s first defense against rain and other precipitation is the chimney cap which protects the flue opening. It is designed to shed water off and away from the flue opening where it falls onto the chimney crown below. The chimney crown is designed to shed water away from the flue opening where it falls onto the flashing at the base of the chimney. Unless the chimney crown is designed and constructed correctly, it will not work properly. Make sure the chimney company installing your crown is doing so properly.
The Chimney Crown That Works
Many amateurs who are untrained and inexperienced will construct the chimney crown improperly to save money or out of ignorance. According to industry standards, the crown should extend from the flue pipe to the edge of the chimney with a 2 inch overhand. This edge should have a drip ledge that allows water to drip off the crown instead of running down the chimney and damaging the masonry. At its edge, the crown should be no less than two inches thick and four inches thick at its center, with a slant that promotes watershed. When the crown is constructed improperly, out of the wrong materials or in the wrong shape, it will take on more damage. Your incorrectly installed crown will not last as long as it should. When it’s made properly by a certified professional, your crown should last for decades—protecting your chimney from water penetration season after season.
Crown Installations and Repairs in Valparaiso
Octavio De La Vega and his team at Northwest Fireplace and Chimney install crowns for homeowners in and around Valparaiso, Indiana and have for years. We construct custom crowns for each specific chimney and we construct them out of the best materials for the safest, most efficient chimneys. The chimney crown that is made improperly can become cracked and gapped, becoming more damaged throughout winter due to the freeze/thaw cycle of moisture in the damaged portions.
We can repair these damaged crowns using CrownCoat, a trusted brand of brushable sealant. This sealant swells and contracts with your masonry. It fills cracks and gaps, prevents future damage, and comes with a 15-years warranty!
Ask a Northwest chimney expert why we trust CrownCoat today. Call and schedule your chimney crown service now at 219-413-2349.