A chimney crown is the masonry top of your chimney. It should extend out more than the rest of the chimney, but yours may be flush with the rest of your chimney. It should also slope out, guiding water away from the chimney and protecting the vertical brick and mortar of the chimney.
Sometimes a chimney will speak to a homeowner and indicate that it has some problems that need to be addressed, but not always. Some symptoms that might indicate you have a problem with your chimney are:
Other problems might be harder to diagnose without a Certified Chimney Sweep® making a visit to your home for inspection and annual chimney sweeping. And some of these issues might have other solutions as well, hence the reason it is so important to have a chimney sweep diagnose your problem and come up with a chimney repair solution.
A proper chimney crown is built to last years, even in the Illinois weather. However, the chimneys in most homes, especially newer homes, are not usually built with chimney usage in mind and sometimes not built by chimney professionals. A correct cement crown will be cast and formed with a reinforced Portland cement-based mixture with at least a two inch overhang from the vertical chimney. It will have a bond break between the bricks and the cement, and have an expansion joint around the flue tile(s).
These are all out of your, the current homeowner’s, control. Moving forward, a proper chimney inspection on a regular basis will keep you informed of your chimney’s health.
A Certified Chimney Sweep® will be able to inform a homeowner if a chimney’s crown should be sealed or if a chimney crown needs replacing. If the chimney deterioration is bad enough that there will be a negative effect on your home or chimney system, your chimney sweep will discuss some options with you to properly repair or replace your chimney crown.