Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Water and Your Masonry Chimney

There are two important things to think about in connection with water and masonry chimneys: crowns and caps. The first function to keep water out of the chase and away from the chimney. The second are designed to prevent it from entering the flue, but “full coverage” caps protect the entire crown.

Water Damage - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

A Wash?

The crown is the highest masonry component of your chimney. Above it are only the flue liner top (typically clay) and its cap (typically metal). It closes the chase around the flue liner and overhangs the rest of the chimney to direct water away from it. Sometimes called a “chimney wash”, it more than pays for its construction and maintenance with its prevention of much more costly damage.

If a crown fails to do its job and the problem is not corrected, the scale tips increasingly toward expensive repairs. Once water gets into the chimney, it freezes and thaws, constantly expanding little cracks into bigger ones. Moisture reacts with creosote and releases smelly gases, and odorless toxic ones have more chance of slipping through cracked liners to remain indoors.

Water begins its slow and steady destruction of your masonry chimney, rusting metals and rotting woods. Neglected long enough, the whole chimney can collapse if its worst enemy is let in on the roof. A crown in good repair and a strong chimney cap are anything but a wash when it comes to safety measures.

King of the Hill, Top of the Heap

Chimney caps are equally important because they do the same thing for the protruding flue liner. The fact that caps are missing from so many chimneys is baffling, although lightweight ones can be taken by wind and animals. Either lots of homeowners are ignoring the good advice of certified chimney sweeps or there are lots of critters on their really windy roofs! That, of course, also calls for chimney caps.

By on April 20th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment