Brick Pulling Away from House


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Old 10-05-06, 05:59 AM
J
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Brick Pulling Away from House

I've got some problems with the brick chimney on our house. Over time the chimney has settled and a couple of cracks have appeared on the exterior of the chimney. One thing I noticed (we just bought the house) is that this settling is taking some of the wall brick with it. Around an adjacent window a 2 square foot area of brick is beginning to pull away from the house by about maybe 3/8". The past owners didn't do much about it other than slapping a nice wad of caulk to fill it.
What's the best way to get this brick back snug up against the house?

Thanks,
Joe
 
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Old 10-05-06, 07:03 AM
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Brick Pulling Away from House

Jack -

Is this recent or was it there when you bought the house? I don't know if you had a home inspection when you bought the house or not, but the inspector should have referred you to an engineer.

A chimney moving away from the house indicates a structural problem. Your chimney may continue to pull the brick away, so you should determine the cause before spending money on a "patch job".

If you sel in the future, it will be evident to an inspector and put you at a disadvantage if it is discovered in the course of an inspection after the offer is submitted (your price wil go lower because of the repair cost.).

If this is the same house you posted a question on about the interior of the chimney/fireplace, I would definitely get professional advice (engineer, not a chimney sweep).

Dick
 
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Old 10-05-06, 07:13 AM
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I had a structural guy come out and proposed to install a couple of jacks and bring the chimney back into proper position.
Yeah, I'm the guy with a trashed fireplace. I'm really irritated that this wasn't brought to our attention in the inspection. I also question whether I could go back on the previous owners as this wasn't divulged to us during the sale. They obviously knew about it as you can see a patch job done.

Because the repair quote was so high (4500 to fix the fireplace/liner; 2800 for the jacks), I'm considering taking the entire fireplace and chimney out and just framing in the wall.
I'm only gonna be in this house for maybe 1-2 years and I hate to dump a bunch of money into this.

So, if I remove the chimney/fireplace, can I salvage the brick pulling a way, or should I just have a mason take it off and start over?

Thx,
Joe
 
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Old 10-05-06, 10:37 AM
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Brick Pulling Away from House

Did you have a home inspection by a certified home inspector or was it just not disclosed by the seller?

If you remove the fireplace, save the brick from the fireplace. A mason could use them to cover the opening and repair the veneer near the window. When the fireplace moved, it probably pulled out the brick wall and the brick ties used to tie the brick to the wood frame probably pulled out or broke.

Dick
 
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Old 10-05-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry
Did you have a home inspection by a certified home inspector or was it just not disclosed by the seller?
Yes, he was state certified. I just went back to his report and all he stated under Fireplace was "Damaged mortar"; "Missing Damper" and a subnote stating: Cracks in mortar at face of fireplace. He also noted under the Structural part: "No settlement noted" and under Exterior: cracks in brick at chimney

As far as the seller is concerned they told us nothing verbally or in writing. The sales contract states "as is" but never was this condition noted, so we were unaware of these issues. I know that real estate contracts require the seller to divulge all known problems-- they didn't do that with the chimney. Like I said earlier, it's been patched so I know they knew about it.

Joe
 
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Old 10-09-06, 07:20 PM
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I am not sure about your standing in law. If the chimney moved and was repaired, then there is no defect. If it is still moving, you may have a case, but with the items noted on your inspectors report, I think a court would assume that you exercised due diligence and were aware of the defect. Any pursuit would be to the inspection service, and, as noted, if the settlement was static, you are out of luck.

Due diligence would presume that you should consult with a structural engineer before purchase. The defect (if there is one) was visible and noted on your inspector's report.
 
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Old 10-09-06, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscarborough
I am not sure about your standing in law. If the chimney moved and was repaired, then there is no defect. If it is still moving, you may have a case, but with the items noted on your inspectors report, I think a court would assume that you exercised due diligence and were aware of the defect. Any pursuit would be to the inspection service, and, as noted, if the settlement was static, you are out of luck.

Due diligence would presume that you should consult with a structural engineer before purchase. The defect (if there is one) was visible and noted on your inspector's report.
The more I think about it, the less I want to deal with any legal issues-- whether I win or loose, I don't have the time or the patience. I'm just gonna line the flu with stainless, stick an insert in the fireplace, put a new cap and damper on, and grind out/replace the few bricks that are cracked. Where it's pulling from the wall, I'll monitor that. If I see more movement, I'll get a mason out and repair it. I figure this house is 35 years old... it isn't moving too fast.
 
 

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