Rebuilding And Restoring Chimney Crowns
When water gets into the chimney of a home, it causes all sorts of damage and decay to the entire system. Unfortunately, much of the damage is usually done before the homeowner is even made aware of the problem. There are many ways to prevent water damage to your chimney, but one of the most important things you can do is make sure you have a well-constructed, well-maintained crown or splash.
The crown of the chimney is a concrete or mortar layer that seals the top of the chimney. Unfortunately, many crowns are inadequately sealed, too thin, water-damaged, or improperly sized and designed.
- Inadequately sealed crowns can have openings where water can penetrate the chimney system and wreak havoc.
- When crowns are built without an expansion joint, they can crack due to the force of the hot, expanding flue tiles. The only way to prevent this is to install an expansion joint when building the crown.
- Many crowns are not built to the proper thickness which can cause them to deteriorate rapidly. A good, solid crown should be 2 + inches thick (at its thinnest point). Anything less will be weather-worn and leaky in no time.
- Rain and snow can cause cracking and crumbling of the chimney crown and open up holes and gaps for water to penetrate. This is especially common in a crown that is poorly designed or too thin.
- If a crown is too small for the chimney on which it sits, it can leave spaces for water to settle or access the chimney system. A well-designed crown should not only fit the chimney top, it should extend past it. This design encourages water to travel away from the masonry of the chimney and run off of the roof.
- It should also have an overhang that is at least 2 inches on each side of the chimney and a built in drip edge. This will ensure that water is shed away from the chimney and not directed down into the masonry.
- There should be enough space between the flue tile and the brick of the chimney to allow for the tile to expand both upward and outward. This will keep help prevent the crown from cracking when the flue tiles expand. Some masons will wrap the flue liner with tar paper, but this actually doesn’t allow for expansion and should not be used.
- A quality water repellent should be added to the crown mix for optimal water protection.
- The crown should be sloped down on all sides and finished smooth to maximize water runoff and extend the life of the chimney. Remember, the drier your chimney, the better!
- Weathering is a common cause of edge corrosion and damage on mortar splashes. The edges of the crown should be angled, which will add strength to the crown and prevent chipping.
Unfortunately, sloppy crown work is all too common. Sometimes people try to repair crowns by adding a new mortar layer on top. Unfortunately, if water gets in between those layers, damage will only worsen. The same can happen if the edges of the crown lift away from the brick. Your chimney may already be suffering the effects of a poorly-constructed crown, and may be well on its way to needing extensive restoration work. To protect yourself from costly repairs and for your own peace of mind, it’s vital that you have the quality, condition, and construction of your crown professionally evaluated immediately.
Our Crown & Splash Repair & Rebuild Services:
Splash recovers include:
- Using an industry specific flexible sealant to fill in minor cracks and form a weathertight seal that will encourage water to shed off of the splash.
- 5 year material warranty when it’s the only service done.
- 10 year material warranty when it’s done in addition to a watershield treatment.
- 15 year material warranty when it’s done in addition to a watershield treatment and a big dripper cap or other outside mount chimney cap is installed.
Splash replacements include:
- Removal of the old splash and mortar at the top of the chimney.
- Creation of a slope to help encourage water shedding
- Installation of fresh mortar at the top of the chimney (at least 1″ thick)
- 90 day workmanship warranty against cracks larger than 1/8″
Floating crowns include:
- Removal and disposal of the pre-existing splash.
- Installation of a bond break & expansion gap underneath the new crown and around the flue tile. This will allow the new crown & flue tile to expand and contract freely, minimizing any cracks long term in your new crown.
- Built with a two inch overhang past the chimney to shed water off the chimney to protect the underlying brick from long term water damage
- Drip edge is installed underneath the overhanging edge to ensure that water does not run back onto the chimney.
- 3 1/2″ inches of concrete is poured to ensure maximum strength.
- Made from a special blend of crack resistant concrete to ensure a long lasting life.
- Sloped with an application of a water repellent to maximize water run off and lifespan
- 10 Year Warranty against cracks larger 1/16″
- Brings the chimney up to current codes & Standards. 2015 edition International Residential Code (IRC) section R1003.9.1 & 2016 edition of NFPA 211 Standards for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances section 126.96.36.199.
At Magic Broom, we are crown rebuild experts, and we guarantee all of our work. We don’t just want your chimney protected, we want it looking beautiful. That’s why we put so much effort into providing our technicians with the best in education, techniques, and tools. The difference between a well-designed and properly-crafted crown and an ordinary crown can be 80 years – so it’s definitely worth investing in a professional crown job. When having your crown rebuilt by a Magic Broom technician, you can expect high-quality precision and a leak-proof, durable and beautiful crown job. We guarantee it!
To schedule an appointment to have your chimney crown inspected or rebuilt, please click here.
If there are problems with your firebox, Magic Broom can perform a thorough inspection as well as any necessary repairs to this portion of your fireplace system. You can rely on Magic Broom for quality service and performance.