Keep Water Out of Your Chimney With Professional Crown Repair & Waterproofing Services
Water problems and chimney leaks can be costly and destructive, but we’re here to make sure that your chimney stays dry for the long haul. That’s why we offer crown repair, rebuild, and waterproofing services.
What Is a Chimney Crown?
The crown of a chimney is the cement-like slab that covers the top of the flue. Its job is to prevent water from seeping into the brickwork, which would then cause further damage to the structure as a whole. Essentially, it guides any rain water or melting snow and ice out and away from the sides of the chimney, rather than allowing it to slide down the sides. It also works alongside the cap, helping to protect your system’s interior.
The crown is your chimney’s first line of defense against water damage, but if it’s damaged or poorly built, water can quickly make its way into the chimney itself.
How Can Lou Curley Repair My Chimney Crown?
The best thing to do when you notice crown damage is to have repairs made ASAP. Water doesn’t take long to work its way down into the chimney, and the costly repairs that come with an unaddressed chimney leak can quickly add up.
We offer several different options for crown repair:
- Repairing with a brushable sealant: If you have some slight cracks and minimal damage here and there, we can apply CrownCoat, a brushable sealant, to the crown. This quick-drying sealant was designed specifically for the chimney crown, and will provide a waterproof membrane that protects the crown against future damage, prevents hairline cracks from growing, and prevents water from entering. This waterproofing product is permanently flexible (which means it’ll expand and shrink with your cement crown as the weather changes), environmentally friendly, and carries a 15-year warranty.
- Repairing with a trowelable sealant: If your crown has moderate damage, we can make repairs, fill larger cracks and gaps, and provide protection against water using CrownSeal, a permanently flexible, trowelable sealant. This flexible, waterproof membrane dries to a natural, concrete mortar appearance, so your repairs look seamless and smooth. Additionally, it’s environmentally friendly, permanently flexible, and carries a 10-year warranty.
- Pouring a new concrete crown: If your crown is severely damaged or missing altogether, we can pour a new crown slab onto your chimney. Our crown rebuilds include a built-in drip edge, which works to direct water off of the chimney entirely. We can also apply a waterproofing product to your new crown for added protection against future damage and leaks.
What Are Common Signs of Chimney Crown Damage?
How can you know if your chimney crown is damaged? Here are some of the signs to watch for:
- Visible Cracks: The most common sign of crown damage is visible cracking. Temperature changes and settlement issues usually cause these. Over time, the crown will start to break down and develop cracks, gaps, and holes, which will then invite in water and cause deterioration.
- Missing Pieces: If you start to notice that pieces of your crown are missing, that’s definitely a sign that it needs to be repaired or replaced. Get a tech on the job ASAP – before things get worse.
- Pools of Water: When rainwater starts to pool on top of your chimney or water is spotted in your firebox, that’s another sign that the crown may not be doing its job. Scheduling an inspection is always a good call when this issue occurs.
- Rusting: If there’s rust, there’s moisture. When you see rust in your fireplace, water is most likely getting into your chimney – and it could be time for a crown repair.
- Interior Wall Damage: If water starts seeping through the walls and ceiling of your home, your chimney is the likely culprit behind the damage. A damaged crown could be the cause, so be on the lookout for discolored blotches or fraying.
- Mortar Joint Damage: The crown is responsible for keeping the mortar joints of your chimney in good condition. If you see any cracks or gaps in the mortar, the crown is no longer doing its job. Invest in an inspection and some tuckpointing services.
- Falling Pieces of Concrete: If any part of your crown is falling off, the damage is severe. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to this point, but if it does, you’ll probably need to get a crown replacement. Look for pieces of the crown around the foundation of your home, on your roof, and in your firebox and flue.
Causes of Chimney Crown Damage
Knowing the signs of a damaged crown is good, and it can help you take charge of an issue long before it gets worse. That said, if you know what causes the damage in the first place, you can work to avoid the issues altogether. Some of the common causes of chimney crown damage include:
- Natural Wear & Tear: Just like any other part of your home, crowns experience natural wear and tear. Over time, they will start to break down and develop cracks, and the best way to deal with this is to have your crowns inspected yearly so you can spot any damage early on.
- Improper Installation: If your crown wasn’t installed with the proper materials, then it will deteriorate much faster. Often contractors build the chimney crown with mortar instead of concrete. This is far less reliable and tends to break down much quicker.
- Bad Weather: Crowns are vulnerable to bad weather due to their placement outside of the home. Extreme heat or cold can cause the crown to crack, and strong wind can cause damage too. That’s another reason why ensuring it’s built right – and from appropriate materials – is a must.
Damaged Chimney Crown? Give Us a Call
If you suspect you may have a chimney leak or a damaged crown, give Lou Curley’s Chimney Service a call at 610-626-2439 today. We’re experienced and certified chimney inspectors and professionals, and we’ll inspect your chimney for leaks, identify weaknesses, and make recommendations for long-lasting, effective repairs. No matter what your chimney needs to defend itself against water, we’ve got it. Call or fill out our online appointment request form and let Pennsylvania’s only CSIA-certified Master Chimney Sweep help you win the battle against chimney leaks.