Chimney Crown Repair
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Chimney Crown Problems
Chimney crowns are susceptible to common deterioration problems. Partially because of their exposure to the harsh weather elements, repairs to chimneys are among the most common needs when it comes to chimney repairs.
Deterioration. Both brick and mortar can be subject to deteriorate over time. While most bricks are hard-fired and should last well over 100 years, many adobe or antique blends are softer and more porous, and may last only 50 years or less. “Spalling” occurs through freeze-thaw cycles, when rain soaks into the brick, then freezes and expands, separating thin layers of the brick from the face. These layers may eventually begin to fall off and be found at the base of the chimney or other exposed walls. Mortar joints can also deteriorate or develop voids prematurely, depending on the type used and the methods employed during original construction.
Cracked Crowns. Simply as a matter of convenience, chimneys are most commonly finished off with a crown built with mortar, although this practice is clearly substandard.Mortar crowns shrink, crack, and deteriorate prematurely, allowing water to enter the top of the chimney. This then may cause brick to pop loose or deteriorate, and contribute to problems with other chimney components and adjoining construction materials.
Chimney crowns should be poured with portland cement or concrete, rather than mortar, or be completely covered with a custom chimney cap.