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Top Hat offers complete

Masonry Repairs, caps and Waterproofing

Chimneys sometimes need a little (or alot) of work done. If your chimney needs a little maintenance or needs a full rebuilding, call Top Hat today.

Chimney Repointing and Mortar Repair

Chimneys can get pretty beat up by the weather. The chimney on your house is exposed to some of the most HARSH conditions. Water intrusion, freeze and thaw cycles, and just general wear and tear will harm the chimney structure. Due to the harsh environment that your chimney is in, sometimes your chimney needs a little maintenance. The expansion of the mortar joints and brick during freeze and thaw cycles can cause the mortar joints to separate from the brick creating cracks in the joints and eventually missing mortar. 

This is why repointing is so important. If your chimney structure is still good, but cracks or missing mortar between the brick, block, or stone are starting to develop, Chimney Repointing is a way to maintain the chimney structure and prevent leaking chimneys. Defective mortar is removed usually by grinding, then fresh mortar is put in its place and struck.

If the chimney structure is bad, or if enough of the mortar has been damaged, often a rebuild of the chimney structure is recommended. This can be summarized as follows depending on the extend of damage: Tuck-Pointing and Repointing maintains the structure, Waterproofing prevents further damage,  Rebuilding repairs the structure.

Top Hat chimney in State College, PA can inspect your chimney and let you know if it needs some mortar repair or other chimney maintenance.

Crown Installation and repair

The crown is the very horizontal part of the chimney that helps the chimney shed water.  Over time, they can become cracked and deteriorated allowing water to penetrate the chimney and causing damage – especially during freeze and thaw cycles)  Taking care of your crown now can save you thousands of dollars in damage later.

Crowns can either be built of concrete and come out to the edge of the chimney (technically a “wash”) or they can be poured to have a drip edge.  The crowns with a drip edge are more effective at keeping water away from the brick or stone face of the chimney.

There are also other options to install on this area of your chimney.  You can have a stainless or aluminum cover made and installed.  These are also very effective at shedding water away from the chimney.

Please call the office and we can give you a quote to do this very important work on your home.

Chimney Caps

Rain and Animal Guards are an important addition to your chimney system. They provide several different safeguards.

  • First of all they protect your chimney against the rain. Water is the natural enemy of masonry, the more water you can keep out of you chimney the better. Water can mix with the byproducts of combustion and produce acids that basically eat your chimney from the inside out.
  • Secondly, flue caps keep animals out of your chimney. Squirrels, bats, birds, raccoons, and even ducks… yes ducks, will nest in chimneys. It is important to keep these animals out so that they do not build nests and plug up your chimney causing dangerous situations.
  • The third protection is keeping water out of your house.  Excess water which falls into or soaks into the chimney finds its way into many houses.  Water leaks on the ceiling by the chimney,  wet walls located by the chimney, pooling water running out of the chimney into the home are all made worse by the lack of a proper rain cap on top of the chimney.

Top Hat installs a variety of flue caps to meet your individual home’s needs. Stainless Steel and Copper Caps will last a lifetime protecting your chimney from rain and animals.

Stainless Steel Single Flue Caps

Single flue stainless steel flue caps come in a variety of sizes and fit directly on to the top of the flue tile. In case there is no top tile or it is too short to accept a cap, mounting legs can be installed to attach the cap inside the flue.

Multi Flue Caps

Available in either stainless steel or copper, these caps are designed to fit on a chimney that has multiple flues running through it. These are available in several ready-made sizes, however they can be custom made to fit your individual chimney.

Copper Flue Caps

Copper caps offer the same benefits as the stainless steel caps above, but copper can add a touch of elegance to your home. The caps will weather, over time, to a rustic copper tarnish look that can certainly add an accent to any chimney or home.

Specialty Flue Caps

Specialty flue caps are used for the special needs of chimneys, such as chimneys that do not draft well or existing chimney caps that do not preform as intended. Top Hat can make a determination if a specialty flue cap is needed on your chimney.

Chimney Water Prooofing

Chimney Water Repellent

Water is the natural enemy of masonry structures. Water penetration is the number one reason for most chimney repairs. When bricks and blocks are laid, the mortar joints are usually struck with a mason’s jointer. There are a couple of main reasons the joints are struck. First, having a struck joint makes the masonry look nice. Secondly, and more important, by striking the mortar joints, the mortar is compressed to help protect against water absorption. Over the years, through weatherization, the surfaces of the joints are worn away. Once the surface is worn away, the mortar can absorb water, causing deterioration of the joints and surrounding brick.

Water damage is an exponential process. Once it starts, it will continue to get worse very quickly. The longer you let it happen, the more expensive it is to fix.

For these reasons, we recommend that a water repellant be applied to the chimney periodically to help stop absorption of water. This should be a maintenance service, much like cleaning your chimney. So if it has been more than 5 years since your chimney has had any water repellent applied, give Top Hat a call to save future damage from happening to your chimney. 

Secondly, please do not consider a water repellant the same as waterproofing.  The sealants you can buy in the major box stores are not even close to the same. They work by providing a barrier against water intrusion. This keeps the water from soaking into your chimney. The problem is that this sealant barrier traps the water which is in your chimney already. This water cannot escape, stays at the surface and actually can create MORE damage to your chimney than if you had done nothing.

Our water repellent agent is 100% vapor permeable. It creates a barrier based on an ionic charge and repels water like magnets repel each other when you put the same polarity together. Additionally, since it does not create a seal or barrier, all the water in your chimney is free to evaporate from your chimney and will not create the types of damage that water sealants can create on your chimney.

Top Hat can apply water repellant to your chimney to help prevent water leaks for years to come!

Top Hat's Service Area

State College, Bellefonte, Lock Haven, Tyrone, Phillipsburg, Huntingdon, Centre Hall, Pleasant Gap, Millheim, Penns Valley, Spring Mills, Howard, Port Matilda, Stormstown, Zion, Pine Grove Mills, Clearfield, Milesburg, Lemont, Petersburg, & Avis, Pennsylvania.

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