Here, we’ll take a look at chimney crown repair and replacement.
A chimney system consists of internal and external components. Basically, internal components are those found indoors such as the fireplace, damper, and the likes while external components consist of the chimney stack.
On the chimney stack are several components too.
The chimney stack projects from the roof. At the point where it meets the roof is the flashing. Other components include the chimney cap, chimney crown, and so on.
The chimney crown is our main focus. Here, we seek to discuss its basic maintenance such as repair and replacement.
The Chimney Crown: Meaning And Functions
Before we explore the main point of discussion, it’s necessary to first explain what a chimney crown is and what it does. The chimney crown is the concrete slab or masonry that sits at the top of your chimney.
It’s basically a covering through which chimney flue projects.
Chimney crowns play a crucial role in the basic functioning of a chimney. These coverings serve to keep out all forms of moisture. This includes rain, ice, snow, and sleet. In most situations, you’ll find chimney crows made from concrete.
The sides of the crown project a bit on all sides to guide water from directly dripping on the brick structure or chimney’s body.
Why A Chimney Crown Needs Repairs
The functions performed by a chimney crown must be sustained to guarantee smooth functioning.
When you consider a situation where the crown remains exposed to the elements, you’ll better understand why the crown deteriorates over time.
There’s the case of freeze-thaw cycles that occur yearly. This continued action is likely to result in cracks. A similar situation to freeze-thaw cycles is a temperature difference. This is mostly the case during winter when the flue is hot but the masonry is cold.
This condition continues with damage resulting from expansion and contraction due to temperature differences. Wrong chimney crown construction material can also lead to fast deterioration.
Highly porous materials like bricks or mortar (or both) are most vulnerable.
This is likely to result from a job done by a novice. Such crown will easily give way when faced with constant harsh weather.
Chimney Crown Repair Vs Replacement
Basic distinctions between repair and replacement can go a long way to help you understand what needs to be done. When chimney crowns become problematic or develop issues, one of two things happens.
It’s either the problem is manageable and can be fixed or it will need total replacement.
The preferred option largely depends on findings. As your chimney technician performs routine maintenance, they spot any issues and alert you to such.
Expert recommendations follow as they assess the level of damage and determine what’s best to solve the problem at hand.
Is My Chimney Crown Faulty?
Sometimes, homeowners have no idea about what a chimney crown problem looks like. In most cases, a lot of people only learn about such issues during a routine inspection or when further issues begin to occur.
So, what are common signs pointing to possible chimney crown problems?
There are several of them including rust, cracks, wall moisture, and falling tiles. Other signs include dislodged bricks and mortar joint damage.
Sometimes, in the course of operating your chimney, you may come across certain signs. These may include rust in your firebox or damper. Such symptoms are abnormal and point to the possibility of moisture entry.
It’s important to call the pros or chimney service for immediate inspection to detect the cause. Such inspection will take a thorough look at your chimney crown among other parts.
One of the ways to spot a damaged chimney is by conducting a visual inspection. When cracks are seen on the chimney crown, the next step to take is to have it fixed. In severe cases, cracked chimney crowns will have to be replaced.
When moisture is noticed on your home walls, a cracked chimney may be the cause of such problems.
Such speculations can only be proven by having the chimney crown checked or inspected. Having detected the problem, appropriate actions are taken to have it fixed.
Flue tiles begin to give way when the chimney crown develops faults.
Signs include falling tiles around the chimney base. It’s important to call for urgent help when you sense any problems. The faster the problem is acted on the better.
Dislodged bricks are a real problem as far as chimneys are concerned.
This situation creates an unstable structure that needs to be quickly fixed to avoid further deterioration. Your chimney issues won’t be as worse as this when the routine inspection is observed.
Mortar Joint Damage
Whenever moisture seeps into a chimney structure, it causes a wide range of issues including mortar joint damage. This gradually crumbles the structure with increased moisture penetration.
During an inspection, all possible solutions are considered.
Fixing A Chimney Crown: Cost Implications
When a chimney crown becomes damaged, the cost of having it fixed will depend on whether it can be repaired or not. Minor chimney crown repairs are typically cheaper as opposed to complete replacement which is in response to significant damage.
The average cost for chimney crown repair is around $750 to $1,000.
However, costs will mount significantly for rebuilding or replacement depending on the repair supplies needed. The average replacement cost for a damaged chimney crown is around $3,000.
Procedures For Chimney Crown Repair and Replacement
In a situation where there’s a buildup of debris, such will be cleaned by using chemical cleaners formulated for moss and algae elimination. This costs around $100 to $500.
When the chimney gets cracked and is repairable, such cracks are filled up with concrete or caulked.
A replacement will only be necessary when there are missing pieces of the chimney.
Here, a resurfacing approach to maintenance is carried out. Also in cases where the chimney crown is found to be crumbling, a complete overhaul or replacement job is carried out.
Chimney crown repair and replacement is a key maintenance action that may be necessary at some point. We’ve stated reasons why such tasks are necessary and how to go about them.
With these, you’re able to take appropriate action where necessary.