A chimney crown is a protective cap on top of a chimney that helps prevent soot and other debris from entering your home. Over time, a chimney crown can become damaged and must be replaced. Here are three ways you will know your chimney crown needs replacement:
Chimney damage: If the crown is damaged, soot and debris can quickly get inside the chimney and cause damage. This can lead to problems with your heating system, including poor heat distribution and even fires.
Cracked or missing crown: A broken crown can allow rainwater and snow to enter the chimney, leading to water damage and even structural failure.
Poor airflow: If there is interference between the chimney crown and the flue liner, airflow inside the chimney will be restricted.
An annual chimney inspection and cleaning don’t always include looking at your chimney crown – even though it’s recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association.
In our experience, most homeowners don’t think about their chimney crown until they experience a problem or are in the process of selling their house.
Our Experience with Chimney Crowns
We have inspected thousands of homes with chimneys. While many are intact, below are a few examples of what we have encountered – especially when the house has a high-pitched roof or the individuals living there cannot get onto the rooftop safely.
This chimney crown was not visible from the ground. It is difficult for the typical homeowner (potentially dangerous) to get up on the roof to see this. DIYers should seriously consider hiring a professional to inspect this for them.
Here is a chimney that looks pretty good, but a crack has started on closer examination. This, too, should be sealed to prevent rapid spread and damage.
Here is a chimney crown that was cracked with severely damaged bricks. The damage to the bricks is most likely the result of the cracked chimney crown allowing water to enter the bricks, freeze and expand, and break them. This is an expensive situation.
Here are some other cracked chimney crowns.
“Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you may have a masonry chimney that needs to be inspected. Chimney crowns are very susceptible to cracking and unfortunately, it’s usually not a “once and done” inspection as this should be inspected every couple of years. If you have your wood burning chimney(s) cleaned and inspected before the start of heating season, this is something that your contractor should be looking at. If you want to try and inspect this yourself, remember that any time a ladder is involved, you and others around you are at personal risk. A roof, no matter how low of a slope, can be very dangerous. This is a type of inspection that should only be performed by professionals that are properly trained and equipped,” stated Dave Christopher, Owner of Integrity Home Evaluation Services.
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We are your Northeast Ohio Home Inspector. Please get in touch with us at 330-815-0013 if you have questions. Then, when you are ready, please Schedule Your Inspection with us!