Chimney leaks are especially common in spring. When chimneys have been worn down by winter’s harsh conditions, they are suddenly hit with a deluge of wet weather. If you notice that your chimney is taking on water this spring, the likely culprit is the chimney crown or the chimney chase cover.
Leaking chimney crowns
If you have a masonry chimney, you should know the condition of your chimney crown. The chimney crown is the concrete portion at the top of your chimney. It seals the layers of your chimney from the chimney’s exterior to the edges of the chimney flue. It helps to deflect water away from the chimney flue and the walls of the chimney.
Unfortunately, many chimney crowns are hastily and improperly constructed from leftover masonry mortar. These improperly constructed crowns wear down quickly, developing cracks that allow water to seep in. Even properly constructed chimney crowns can fail over time. Just like any masonry material, the concrete used for chimney crowns is porous. It draws in moisture. When temperatures drop and the water freezes, the concrete of the chimney crown can crack and crumble away.
Whether it’s due to improper construction or freeze-thaw damage, when a chimney crown breaks down, water makes its way into the layers of your chimney. That moisture can cause warping of your home’s walls and ceilings. It can also cause cracking and spalling of the chimney flue itself.
Failing chimney chase covers
Prefabricated chimneys aren’t safe from water damage from above. While masonry chimneys are topped with concrete crowns, prefabricated chimneys are enclosed at the top by a metal chimney chase cover. Just like masonry crowns, chimney chase covers can deteriorate over time.
Also like chimney crowns, leaking chimney chase covers can come from cheap materials or improper installation. Chase covers that were not cut or installed properly can allow water to enter the chimney through gaps near the flue. Chase covers also can buckle under the weight of snow or water and bow down. This can hold in water. Metal chase covers also can crack or corrode over time, jeopardizing their ability to protect your chimney, fireplace and home from water damage.
What to do about a leaking crown or chase cover
If you suspect water is entering your chimney through the crown or the chase cover, you either will have to call in a professional to inspect the crown or chase cover. You may have to go roofside to inspect the crown or chase cover yourself. If the crown or chase cover is the cause of entering water, you or your chimney professional should be able to spot the cracking, warping or damage. A damaged crown might be able to be patched, or it may need to be entirely reconstructed. A damaged chase cover, meanwhile, will likely need to be replaced.
If you suspect or have identified damage to your chimney crown or chase cover, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service. We can repair or replace your crown or chase cover to keep your chimney and your home safe from water damage.