How Long Should My Chimney Crown Last?
A chimney crown is a concrete slab that covers the entire top of a chimney, minus the flue openings. Its purpose is to protect the inside of the chimney and, to a lesser degree, the chimney’s exterior masonry by channeling water away from it.
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, has been helping our customers with chimney crown issues for more than 25 years. We’d like to share a little about this very important part of your chimney.
A chimney crown’s lifespan
A chimney crown that’s built properly with high-quality materials should hold up well for 50 to 70 years. If inferior materials were used to build the crown or the workmanship was poor, a crown might not even make it to 20 years.
Events such as lightning strikes, severe earthquakes and major hail storms can decrease the lifespan of even the best-built crowns. Additionally, extreme air temperatures and precipitation can cause a crown to fail earlier than it should.
Among the most critical threats to chimney crowns is water intrusion. When crowns begin to develop cracks, water can move into the spaces and begin a cycle of deterioration. Over time, most or all of the crown can start falling apart, allowing large amounts of water into the chimney system.
Incoming water can affect the chimney liner, interior masonry, adjacent parts of the home, the fireplace damper and more. It can also lead to mold growth, as mold thrives in dark spaces with little or no ventilation.
Consider a Quality Chimney Cap
Chimney caps are full-width components that cover the entire top of the chimney. A good chimney cap not only keeps rain and debris (and animals) out of your flue, it also covers and protects the chimney crown and can add years to its lifespan.
How to maintain your chimney crown
Periodically, you can go up on your roof – if you feel safe in doing so – and check out the crown. Should you notice cracks of any size, get in touch with a licensed chimney repair company and have their masons come out to take a closer look.
In the early stages of crown damage, a waterproofing sealant is often the best way to stop intruding water and keep cracks from expanding from water decay. In some cases, a chimney crown can be patched. In other cases, the crown will need to be rebuilt.
Annual chimney inspections
A chimney inspection performed once a year is the best way to maintain your chimney crown and other parts of your chimney, including the masonry structure itself.
Your inspector will see things you might miss and be able to alert you to early signs of damage and malfunction within the system.
Many chimney inspectors also perform repairs.
Keep your chimney safe and efficient
Oliver Twist is a state licensed contractor that brings decades of experience to chimney repair, inspection and cleaning projects. We know what it takes to ensure that your chimney operates at peak efficiency and provides year after year of safe enjoyment for you and your family.
When it’s time to have your chimney serviced by Southern California’s trusted professionals, give us a call at (714) 843-9944. You can also reach out with our simple contact form.