The function of the crown is to shed water off the top of the chimney and prevent water penetration. When a crown is either insufficient or unstable and cannot shed water, it should be replaced. A new concrete crown should be installed that is thick enough to withstand the elements and extends beyond the edge of the chimney to provide an overhanging drip edge.
A chimney crown can be stable, designed well and yet still absorb and transmit moisture into the masonry. A seal-coat can be a good alternative to crown replacement.
The seal-coat is applied to form a water-tight layer that covers the entire existing crown. This solution will prevent further decay due to water penetration and should be effective for at least five years.