Usually you don’t give your chimney a lot of attention. After all, it seems to just be sitting there, and you can’t actually observe its function. However, your chimney does more for your home than you think, so indifference may cost you. If you realized that your chimney crown was like an umbrella, keeping water out of both your chimney and your home, then you might pay closer attention to those cracks in your crown that grow larger each winter. After doing a bit of research, you’ll learn that freeze-thaw damage is the culprit and begin to dread the upcoming winter with its accompanying promise to advance the damage. Fortunately, Wells & Sons Chimney Service can come to the rescue by repairing your chimney crown.
What is a chimney crown?
As the masonry surface at the topmost portion of your chimney system, the chimney crown (also known as the chimney wash) serves as a seal by keeping water out of the flue and chimney interior. Being the chimney’s topmost structure, the crown is very vulnerable to weathering and water invasion. While it is the crown’s job to protect your chimney from water leaks, most crowns are inadequately constructed from mortar that cannot hold up to years of weather exposure without facing damage. In fact, crowns will often crack shortly after construction, leaving your chimney system exposed and consequently, vulnerable to the effects of freeze-thaw damage.
What is freeze-thaw damage?
Freeze-thaw damage occurs when the winter weather’s rain, ice, or snow enters your chimney through cracks or holes, and below-freezing temperatures cause this precipitation to freeze and thaw. Freezing and thawing leads to expansion and contraction, in turn causing deterioration to your chimney’s masonry over time.
Since precipitation can enter your chimney system through cracks and missing pieces in your crown, repairing your crown can prevent freeze-thaw damage. Protecting your chimney from the freeze-thaw process can protect it from leaks, damage, and deteriorated masonry and likewise, increase its lifespan. The freeze-thaw process is a domino effect because each time the water thaws, it leaves the masonry with even more damage, in turn allowing more precipitation to enter the chimney that will escalate the damage. Therefore, even small cracks in the crown need to be replaced before they get worse. If chimney crown damage becomes too significant, then replacement of the crown may be required—another reason why it is critical to repair any damage before it escalates and becomes much more costly.
Don’t let this year’s winter get the best of your chimney. If you live in or around Montgomery County, call or go online today to schedule an appointment with Wells & Sons Chimney Service. With CSIA-certified technicians, Wells & Sons guarantees quality chimney crown repair to protect your chimney from the destructive effects of the freeze-thaw process.