BEFORE & AFTER
Limestone drip ledge is a solid ledge applied to the edges of the brick cavity, measuring around 8" in width, 6 ft long with a 2" reveal on the facing. This ledge works well for the fact the overhang distance is adjustable and chiseled edge provides a wonderful upscale aesthetics as well.
The Chimney Drip Cap is one of the vital components to the chimney crown replacement system. Without a sufficient drip edge on a chimney crown the water has no deterrent from dripping down the front side of the bricks and posing a serious threat to the integrity of the structure. The effects of this action can lead to spalling of the brick and erosion of the mortar joints. As the water trickles down the brick it will find crevices or cracks and penetrate the structure, once this occurs the water can find a pocket and pool up and if the temperature is below freezing the pools of water can freeze and expand in the act of expanding water behind bricks can and will inevitably compromise the integrity of the masonry materials at hand.
The Expansion Joint is a crucial point in the chimney reconstruction process . The expansion joint is a thin 3/8 inch layer of a foam like substance. By installing this material you are ensuring your flue tile has the proper room to expand and contract. As you light your fire in your fire place the smoke raises up the flue tiles, during the heating stage your tile will heat up and swell. When the expansion happens there needs to be the proper room between the concrete crown and the tile to accommodate the growth. Without the expansion joint the crown will crack, when a crack is present water will attack that area and start the erosion process. Once the installation of the concrete against the foam is complete, we trim the foam back to the height of the concrete crown bed, then use a pliable sealant around the perimeter of the tile to create a water tight environment for the expansion joint. The sealant must remain pliable, no glues or caulking should be used, do to the fact that when it drys it can't mirror the expansion process, glues and caulking will dry solid and crack. Only pliable materials should be used as sealant for maximum protection.
A bond brake: The bond brake allows the crown to literally float. When building a crown you don't want the crown to seal tight to the brick cavity. For instance the concrete crown and the brick work have different temperature coefficients. Masonry materials are basically a hard coarse sponges that will soak a significant amount of moisture, concrete and bricks are not the same masonry materiel so they will swell at different rates, the ending result will be a crack in the brick or crown.
Wire Mesh / Re bar: Before applying the concrete to the chimney we install a wire mesh / re bar to the concrete bed, this process will insure a strengthening factor to the crown. As the concrete drys around the wire mesh the crown gains the strength of the steel mesh by weaving between the waffle like material and then becoming one solid unit.
The use of a false flue tiles are strictly for aesthetic purposes. In the early years installers made the mistake of installing the false flue tiles into the cement. This process posses a major risk to the integrity of your chimney crown. Most installers fill the empty cavity of the false tiles with miscellaneous bricks and debris, then cap it of with a layer of mortar. As the mortar begins to age small fractures begin to form and water will find its way in and begin to pool up, as the temperature drops that water will freeze and when water freezes it expands, that action will cause the false tile to crack the crown. All though false flue tile are strictly aesthetic we have developed a process to give the home owner the option to keep the look they have always had. By installing a new tile with expansion joint as well as a made to fit top flashing glued and applied to avoid the water entry into the false tile.