Your chimney and fireplace are made up of a lot of important parts, all of which need to be in good working order to guarantee a safer and more productive burning season. And one of the biggest things your chimney needs to combat is leaks and water exposure, which makes things like your chimney cap, your flashing, and waterproofing services really important.
But there’s also another piece of chimney anatomy that’s vital to keeping your masonry protected from damaging rainfall and melting snow – your chimney crown.
What Is the Chimney Crown?
So, what is the chimney crown, and where exactly is it located? Well, the crown is located at the very top of your chimney, and it’s meant to send water out and away from the sides of your masonry.
Because of this, it’s imperative that crowns are built to slant downwards slightly, as well as hang over the edge of the chimney by at least two inches. This will ensure water doesn’t merely slide down the walls of your chimney, where it can then soak into the brickwork and cause damage.
What are crowns made from? Well, unfortunately, many crowns of the past were made from a basic mortar mix, which doesn’t hold up well to the elements. These crowns wind up facing a lot of wear and tear, typically cracking and breaking down much sooner than expected.
If you want a crown that will stand the test of time, it should be made from a cement-based mixture. It will also need to be properly fitted to your specific needs and meet all overhang requirements.
Water & Your Masonry
Curious about what exactly happens when your brickwork and mortar are exposed to water and excess moisture?
Well for one thing, your masonry itself will start breaking down. You’ll notice all sorts of decay and deterioration, and your mortar joints will begin to crack and crumble, too. Before you know it you’ll likely need parts of your brickwork replaced, as well as tuckpointing services completed, to get your masonry looking good and standing strong again. And using your fireplace before having these addressed can put you at serious risk of experiencing exposure to harmful fumes or even house fires.
The various components surrounding your chimney will likely suffer, too. Cracks and gaps in your brickwork give your water pathways to pool on metal components (triggering rust and deterioration), and it’s not uncommon to notice issues on the inside of your home, too, like wood rot and stains on your walls and ceiling.
Combine all that with mold growth, clogs, and foul odors, and you’ve got a whole mess of problems on your hands.
Finally, there’s the freeze/thaw process to consider. Here in Poughkeepsie, we know about the freezing temperatures of winter all too well. Every year temps drop below freezing multiple times a season, causing us to do everything possible to stay inside where it’s warm and safe.
But what does this mean for your chimney that’s left outside and exposed? Well, water that’s already been absorbed into your brickwork (they’re more sponge-y than you’d guess) will freeze, expand, then push on your bricks, causing cracks to form.
The water will then eventually melt, leaving behind new openings for even more water to enter. This process typically occurs over and over again throughout these colder months, meaning you’ll finish off the season with a lot more damage than you started with.
In the end, investing in things like a properly built chimney crown, a well-fitted chimney cap, professionally installed flashing, and waterproofing services is imperative to keeping your system better protected all year round.
All About Our Crown Repair Services
If your crown is facing damage, we’d be happy to do all we can to fix it up. That said, oftentimes damaged crowns need to be rebuilt entirely. Fortunately for folks all throughout Hudson Valley, we are experts at both installing and repairing chimney crowns, and we’d be happy to set you up with the perfect fit for your system.
And if your masonry or any other chimney components are facing damages because your crown was broken or deteriorated, we can address those, too! We offer rebuilding services, relining services, and can install any necessary components, like new flashing or a sturdy chimney cap. Be sure to ask about a top-sealing damper, too!
Finally, once all repairs are completed and your system is ready for use again, be sure to schedule waterproofing services. Our waterproofing products are exceptional at keeping water out of your porous brickwork, while still allowing pre-absorbed water (as well as any necessary fireplace fumes) to eventually vent out. Store-bought paints and sealers aren’t vapor-permeable like our products are, meaning water can’t escape and deterioration will only continue to occur.
In the end, there’s simply no point in investing in a long list of repairs only to leave your brickwork unprotected, so don’t wait to get those waterproofing services on the books right away!
We’re Ready for Your Call
From sweepings to repairs to installations and more, there isn’t much we can’t help with in terms of fireplace and chimney care. And if you need your dryer vents cleaned, we’d love to assist with that, too!
Just give our experts a call at 845-245-6787, so that we can be there for you every step of the way. We look forward to hearing from you soon!