Saturday, January 14, 2012

Michigan Chimney Crown


Many times as a homeowner or property investor you will find your chimney in need of some minor chimney repair or chimney sweeping.  The first step is gain access to the chimney. If your chimney is 30 feet tall and inaccessible it may be wise to hire a chimney repair specialist. Most reputable masonry contractors will provide you with a free estimate. Once you have gained access to your chimney you can begin the repair process.
The second step is to assess the level of chimney repair necessary. If your chimney crown is cracked this can often times be a simple enough chimney repair to perform for an experienced do-it-yourselfer. The chimney crown is the top concrete part of the chimney.  Any chimney crown repair begins with the removal of the damaged crown. Most Chimney repair specialist will chip away the concrete with a rotary hammer or pneumatic chisel. As a DIY homeowner an older and more manual method may be necessary to remove the chimney crown. For this I would recommend a chisel, 5 lb sledge hammer, & brick hammer. Of coarse the tool necessary for chimney repair and chimney crown replacement are dependent on the size and thickness of the crown.
Once you have removed the chimney crown inspect the flue on the chimney. The chimney flue liner is the ceramic insert that runs up the center of the chimney. If the flue is cracked it may be time to call in a chimney repair professional. Provided the chimney flu is in sound condition you can begin replacing the chimney crown.  The next step in the chimney repair process is the clean and loose debris and dust of the top of the chimney. Use a stiff bristle brush to clean of any particles.
The next step in the chimney repair process is to mix up some concrete. In most cases I recommend that the DIY homeowner use a redi-mix concrete. When I do a chimney repair I prefer using fiber reinforced crack resistant concrete. I have found that the thicker/stiffer the concrete is mixed the less likely it is to run down the side of the chimney this will make for a cleaner chimney repair. When working in a warmer climate and temperatures exceed 80 degrees on the day you do your chimney repair you will want to mix your concrete more thin/loose.
Make sure to slope your concrete away from the ceramic flue liner to allow for proper water drainage. I find that when you make your chimney crown thicker it makes for a longer lasting chimney repair. On Most chimney repairs on chimney crown pour the concrete 4-7 inches thick at the flue and slope it down to a 2 inch edge. Achieving a smooth finish on your concrete can take years of practice to master but with some patience most DIY homeowners can handle this repair
The above information has been provided for the benefit of the DIY homeowner by Mark Allen Maupin  of Brick Repair LLC (248) 895-7752. Brick Repair LLC Is a local Michigan chimney cleaning and chimney sweeping masonry repair contractor with the last 12 years specialized in masonry restoration and repair. We are experts at matching brick and mortar color We offer free estimates for any of the following services: Chimney repair, Chimney construction, Chimney crown repair, chimney cap replacement, Chimney rebuilds, Chimineas Tuckpointing, Natural stone, Limestone replacement, Cultured stone, brick porch repair, Brick porch construction, Brick wall construction, toothing work, pointing and repointing work, grout replacement, and historic restoration. We look forward to the opportunity to help you with and brick, block or stone project.

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