Chimneys deteriorate from the top down because of water infiltration. Harsh Northeastern weather patterns cause the crown to degrade as the concrete mortar slowly dissolves. The crown, also called a chimney wash, splay or capstone, is usually the first part of a masonry chimney to require repair. A bad chimney crown that’s neglected will inevitably lead to far more costly chimney repairs.HERE’S HOW:
1. Most chimney crowns develop hairline cracks within a week of construction.
In this geographic area, water repeatedly enters the cracks, freezes and thaws.
2. After 15-20-years the hairline cracks will grow into deep fissures.
3. Water migrates through these fissures and the same freeze-thaw action attacks the underlying masonry. The mortar that binds the brick, stone or block develops cracks and gaps and now the sides of the chimney need to be re-pointed.
4. The freeze-thaw damage advances to the point where the underlying mortar no longer bonds the brick, stone or block together.
5. Because of the decayed crown, the homeowner will have to rebuild the uppermost 2, 3, 4 or more feet of the chimney, or begin wearing a hard hat in his own yard!
The above scenario highlights the need for regular chimney inspections; yet few homeowners have the means to inspect their chimney crown. The mortar decay we’ve outlined above is very common, and unavoidable in our harsh winter weather. The majority of the masonry chimneys we inspect are in either the second or third stage of deterioration described above. Fewer chimneys are in the fourth stage, but this advanced deterioration is too common in older homes. Very few chimneys we see are in the initial hairline crack stage.
While it’s sometimes necessary to totally rebuild a bad chimney crown, we’re usually able to economically repair it and prevent further chimney damage with Crown Coat brushable sealant. Crown Coat is a flexible waterproof coating that prevents water from seeping into the masonry below. It is specially formulated to withstand the severe thermal and weather conditions that confront chimneys and carries a 15-year warranty.
Today it’s all about true relationships, true partnerships, real communication, great work and measurable results. And OK, a few choice words of praise from our clients.
“Extremely knowledgeable, professional and clean. They are not finished yet, as they had to treat my chimney with a chemical to loosen the creosote and will be back on December 20, 2008 to clean it. I was very impressed with two gentlemen who came out to do the work. I have no reason to expect that their work in cleaning the chimney will be any less than their first visit to treat the creosote. I would highly recommend them.”
“This was my second time using Chadds Ford Chimney Sweep. We had our air ducts, dryer vent and chimney cleaned. Kevin was clean, prompt and efficient. I have white carpeting in the living room, and you would never know they were there cleaning soot and ash!”
“The quality of the service was very good. Mr. Knight looked at all four of our chimneys and only recommended that one be cleaned. Although he was running late, he was kind enough to call well in advance and was very professional. We will certainly use him in the future and feel lucky to have found such a great company to work with.”