For Chimney Crown Repairs in San Antonio & New Braunfels, Trust Our Experts

When you look at your chimney, it’s easy to see it as one solid and sturdy structure – as opposed to something that’s actually made up of several different parts, all of which need unique types of maintenance. Some of these parts can be physically removed and replaced – like a chimney cap, damper, or chase cover – while others are physically built onto the chimney.

And one of these components that are constructed onto the chimney is the chimney crown. If you’re living in the San Antonio area and are concerned about the state of your chimney’s crown, give our techs a call right away. We offer repair services for these areas, as well as a long list of other repair services – we can be your go-to crew for it all.

What Is a Chimney Crown?

What – and where – is the chimney crown?

Well, like a crown for a king would go on his head, the crown for a chimney also sits on its top. Not to be confused with the chimney cap, the chimney crown is the cement slab that covers the top of the flue. Its main job is to direct water out and away from the sides of the masonry structure, while working with the chimney cap to keep the inside of the system water-free too.

Now, in order for the chimney crown to properly do its job, it needs to be constructed correctly and built from appropriate materials. If things aren’t done right, it will break down prematurely, leaving your entire chimney and fireplace more vulnerable to damage. This is why trusting experts who have been trained and certified (like the team here at Wolfman’s) is so imperative.

What Should a Chimney Crown Be Made Of?

What should a chimney crown be made of to ensure it offers long-lasting protection and can stand up to bad weather and rainfall? All crowns should be built with a Portland cement-based mixture. Crowns of the past used to be made from regular old mortar mix. As sweeps constructed the chimney, they would simply form the crown with the same mortar they used for the bricks, then call it day.

Nowadays, we know better. These mortar-based crowns simply did not last. They would eventually break down, deteriorate, and leave the chimney vulnerable to leaks, water damage, and more.

That said, while material type is certainly an important factor in a crown’s construction, there are a number of other qualities it should have too, such as:

  • Appropriate thickness. All chimney crowns should be at least two inches thick at the thinnest point. This helps to combat the natural deterioration and thinning that can happen over time.
  • Enough overhang. Crowns should be built to extend past the edge of the chimney to ensure water is encouraged to move away from the sides of the brickwork. An extension of two or three inches should be sufficient.
  • No minor damage. If you spot damage in your crown, have it promptly addressed. The presence of deterioration – even minor types – can eventually lead to a lot of bigger and more costly problems.
  • Slanted/sloped design. If your crown was built to lie flat, water will be much more likely to pool and trigger further damage. A sloped setup ensures water rolls off and away.
  • Professionally waterproofed. Has your crown been waterproofed? If not, it should be to avoid water potentially soaking into the cement and breaking things down from the inside. That said, vapor-permeability is important here too, which is why trusting a pro is a must.

As you can see, a lot more goes into the construction of these components than one might assume. Because of this, trusting a tech who really knows their stuff for the job is a must. That’s why homeowners in San Marcos, Kyle, Austin, Schertz, Spring Branch, Helotes, and all the surrounding areas always count on us.

How Do I Know If My Chimney Crown Is Damaged?

As trained and certified chimney techs, it’s not hard for us to spot damage and problem areas throughout a chimney. That said, for those with untrained eyes, things could look just fine when, in reality, there are any number of bigger problems lingering.

So, what can you, as a homeowner, keep an eye out for in terms of crown damage?

  • Cracking: Most often what homeowners will notice first is cracking throughout their chimney crown. If you notice any signs of cracking, gapping, or other deterioration, this is a clear sign of issues, and you should get a tech out to look things over as soon as you can.
  • Missing chunks: Are chunks of your chimney crown completely gone? This, again, is usually more obvious, and it is definitely something that should be addressed sooner, rather than later.
  • Pooling water: Is water pooling either on the crown or in other areas of your chimney (like the firebox)? This is a sign that your crown was either built incorrectly or isn’t able to effectively do its job.
  • Rusted metal: If your metal components are rusting, then water is getting access to your system somehow or other. Having an expert check your crown to make sure water isn’t gaining access that way is the next right step.
  • Interior home damage: Are your interior walls or ceiling showing signs of water damage, like staining, rotted woodwork, or mold growth? A damaged crown could be the culprit.
  • Damaged masonry. Is your entire chimney looking worse for the wear? If your brickwork is crumbling or falling out, and your mortar joints are starting to deteriorate, you’ll want to call in some professional help.

Now, not all of these automatically mean your crown is damaged. For instance, interior wall stains or crumbling masonry could be a result of damaged flashing or a lack of waterproofing services. What’s important is that we get out right away to take a look to discover the culprit as soon as possible.

If it is the crown? We can get it fixed up for you. If it’s something else? We’d be happy to help you out with that too. Our leaky repair services cover flashing repairs, waterproofing, chimney replacement, chase cover installations, and more.

And remember – annual inspections are a must for keeping your system in tip-top shape. While there are certainly a number of things you can watch for, there could be other issues lingering that aren’t quite so obvious. By booking an evaluation with us before every burning season, we can ensure that no hidden issues are present that may cause bigger problems down the line.

What’s Causing My Crown Damage?

Being able to spot damage is important, but so is figuring out why the damage occurred in the first place. Otherwise, you’re bound to keep facing the same problems over and over again.

One of the biggest reasons a crown will break down is because of improper construction. If it wasn’t built right from the start (e.g. improper slope, weak building materials, no overhang, too thin, etc.) it simply will not be able to perform correctly and deterioration is bound to occur – not only to the crown, but to your entire structure.

Other times, damage is more out of your control. Weather can also be a cause for crown deterioration if rainfall is exceptionally high or if high winds cause collisions with your chimney. And while snowfall is very rare here, we’ve had some surprise freezes in the past, and those can be damaging as well.

Finally, natural wear and tear is simply inevitable. But this can be quickly combated by investing in annual inspection and swift repairs. Most minor issues are not expensive to address and can be resolved quickly – if they’re spotted early enough. Be sure to get your inspections regularly booked to avoid bigger problems down the line.

Quick note – be careful who you hire, though. You can invest in an inspection every single year, but if the tech performing it doesn’t know their stuff, you’ll still be at risk for major issues. Hire techs that are well-reviewed, experienced, certified, fully insured, and always put your safety first and foremost – like us!

How Do Sweeps Repair Damaged Chimney Crowns?

How we address crown repairs will firstly depend on what type of damage you’re experiencing, as well as the extent of it. For example, cracking in a cement crown can be fixed in a relatively straightforward way, but if your crown is breaking down because it’s mortar-based (i.e. built incorrectly), then a full rebuild may be in order.

For a damaged system, we typically start by removing any loose pieces or crumbling areas. We’ll also clean the system, so it’s free from dirt buildup, moss, or any other types of debris. We’ll then mix new concrete, using it to build your crown back up to the appropriate thickness and slope, so it offers you that quality protection you deserve.

Experiencing damage to your masonry or other chimney parts because your crown wasn’t up to par? We’d be happy to help with those repair services too. And after all is said and done, you can count on us for quality waterproofing services, which will ensure your brickwork and crown won’t take in water down the line. Call today to get started.

What’s the Difference Between Chimney Crowns, Chimney Caps & Chase Covers?

If you ever look up to the top of your chimney, you’ll see two parts right off the bat – your chimney cap and then either a chimney crown or a chase cover. Because these are all situated in the same areas and they all work to protect your system from water, they tend to get jumbled together – leaving homeowners wondering what the difference between the three actually is.

Here’s a brief overview of each.

Chimney Crowns:

Chimney crowns are the concrete slabs that sit on the top of your masonry chimney.

They’re cement-based, sloped, and extend past the chimney’s edge to keep water away from the outer walls of the chimney.

Chimney Caps:

Chimney caps are metal components that are installed onto the top of the chimney to protect its opening and to keep water away from its interior walls and the liner.

These come in a range of styles, sizes, colors, and material types – it’s all about finding the appropriate fit for your setup.

Chase Covers:

Chase covers serve a similar purpose to chimney crowns, but are most commonly found on prefab systems. Since prefab (or factory-built) units are equipped with a chimney chase, the chase cover is meant to protect the walls of the chase by directing water out and away – much like a cement crown would do for a masonry chimney’s brick walls.

So, basically… all chimneys, prefab or not, should be equipped with a chimney cap and either a chimney crown or a chase cover, depending on the type of system you have.

Clear as mud? Well, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our experts are happy to take your call, answer your questions, then set you up with the best products and services available for your unique needs, budget, and preferences.

We Offer the Highest Level of Care Around

Chimney care is never something to skimp on. If you need services and repairs, be sure to trust the most reliable techs in the San Antonio area – that’s us!

Why do homeowners around here turn to us time and time again? We’re certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), ADA compliant, and we always take the time to put the needs, concerns, and safety of our clients first and foremost.

If you’re not sure where your system stands, give us a call to get your inspection booked. We’ll do a thorough overview, then advise you on the next best steps for moving forward, so you can use your system with comfort, ease, and peace of mind for many more burning seasons to come.

Get started now by calling us at 830-620-9130 or by reaching out to us online. We’d love to hear from you soon.

 

One very important chimney repair to pay attention to as soon as possible is a leaky chimney repair. Don’t wait to give us a call.