How Long Should A Chimney Crown Last?
A chimney is as common as a chimney swift flying across the Potomac River, especially in homes in Georgetown, DC, Clarendon, VA, and other neighborhoods along the waterfront. During the winter, our gas and wood-burning fireplaces or heating stoves provide us warmth and comfort during those long chilly winters.
For your chimney to vent the exhaust of your fireplace, heating stove, or other attached heating appliance safely and efficiently, it needs protection from moisture intrusion, local wildlife, and debris blowing in the wind. And one of the most vital elements for doing just that is the chimney crown. However, a chimney crown doesn't last forever, so let's look and see how long a chimney crown should last.
What Is a Chimney Crown?
The chimney crown is the cement surface covering the entire top of a masonry chimney. It plays an essential role in channeling rain and snow away from the chimney so it doesn't cascade like a waterfall down the side and damage the masonry.
How Long Should it Last?
A properly constructed chimney crown that is well-maintained with annual inspections should last up to 50 years or more. On the other hand, we often see crowns that need partial or complete rebuilding within 20 years. A shorter lifespan is usually due to lower-grade materials or neglect.
However, even the most well-built chimney crown is no match to the forces of Mother Nature. Long periods of freezing rain, ice, snow, and a vicious freeze-thaw cycle can shed years off its lifespan. Also, significant events like house settling, lightning, hail, snowstorms, thunderstorms, and hot temperatures can eventually cause the crown to fracture or crack.
How to Protect Your Chimney Crown
Investing in a custom chimney cap is the best way to protect your flue and crown from moisture intrusion. Our custom chimney caps are measured to fit the complete width of your chimney. We fabricate these components right here in our Bethesda, MD, facility.
Chimney Crown Repair/Rebuilding
When the chimney crown has minor damage, such as surface cracks, but is otherwise intact, our masonry experts can often repair it with a waterproof sealant. On the other hand, when there is severe damage, such as significant gaps or missing chunks of concrete, we may need to rebuild part or the entire crown. Bethesda Chimney's masonry professionals are expert craftsmen who will build a chimney crown the way we would construct on top of our own chimneys.
Chimney Crown Inspection
You can help prolong the lifespan of your chimney crown and other vital components with an annual inspection. Bethesda Chimney is your hometown provider of professional chimney inspections, cleaning, repairs, and installations for residential, commercial, and government buildings throughout the Greater Washington DC, Montgomery County, MD, and Northeast Virginia region.
Call 301-969-4444 or 703-935-4444 to schedule an appointment or a free estimate. You can also contact us online to consult with a Certified Chimney Sweep®.