Chimney Demolition

Old 03-01-04, 07:36 PM
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Chimney Demolition

I recently bought a serious fixer upper, we are talking about virtually rebuilding the whole house. There is a chimney that is 3 feet square that appears to be made out of brick and about 100 years old running up the middle of the house. It is for the furnace and hot water heater. I would like to remove it to add some floor space and replace the gas units with direct vent units. The chimney is very tall, about 45 to 50 feet.

Does anyone have any experiance taking down these old brick chimneys? What is the best way to go about it? I'm thinking of just getting a few friends and going at it with sledge hammers. Would a demolition hammer or rotary hammer be worth the cost? Also, is there any danger of all of the hammering on the chimney at the top creating vibrations that cause the chimney to colapse on itself at the bottom?

Old 03-01-04, 07:59 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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Before you start, consider how much this weighs and consider the results of it falling onto the house or a worker. You might want to check with a company to demolish this. See what the costs are. There will be disposal of the old bricks to consider as well.

I would think that scaffolding and small hand tools to take the chimney down a few bricks at a time would be the safest approach.

Hope this helps.
Old 03-11-04, 12:46 PM
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Thumbs up chimney teardown

Ed,I would purchase a good respirator and enclose chimney to contain the dust and soot.I have used just a good 10 lb. hammer for the job,basically a brick at a time.hope this helps,Don
Old 03-11-04, 07:34 PM
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My ancestors started our family's ornamental and architectural salvage business shortly after the Civil War as "Purveyors Of Fine Used Brick" and in my 80+ years I have recovered the bricks from hundreds of old residential and commercial chimneys of every height.

A hammer and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment: respirator, gloves, eye protection, etc) and ALL other safety measures are job #1 ..... BUT based on the limited information you have offered and from my experiences I am very concerned that your chimney may possibly also provide support for some of the girders, joists, ridge beams or the other collateral framings of your 100 year old home. It's NOT unusual for chimneys of that era and in your area to also play a structural load bearing role of some sort.

PLEASE check it out before you do anything.

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