Crumbling chimney


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Old 09-10-07, 07:04 AM
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Crumbling chimney

I read all the posts and other material I can find and it looks like I have a classic neglected chimney problem - cracked crown and crumbling bricks. The good news is that there is no signs of any interior damage in the house.
http://public.fotki.com/MarcCindy/chimney/chimneypic.html

While I understand that the best solution would be to remove/replace several layers of bricks and replace the crown I have a few of questions. I'm still not sure whether I'll do this myself or hire out. I got a few estimates that range from $500 - $1500 with the higher one redoing more layers of brick.

1. I read where there should be a space between the flue and crown which is filled with a flexible sealant. I suppose I'll need to remove the existing crown and put in new concrete. How much space should be left and how do you form the concrete to get the space?

2. Is there any way to patch the bricks rather than removing layers and then replacing them? I suspect I'll have problems finding similar bricks plus I don't feel comfortable doing the removal/replacement myself.

3. Other suggestions? Trying to save some money but don't want to get more damage.
 
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Old 09-10-07, 07:23 AM
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Crumbling chimney

Hire someone to do the job right for $500-$1500 if you feel they are qualified.

Working up on a chimney, climbing ladders and getting the right material up there is not as easy as you think. If you do it yourself, you will feel good and understand whay people charge what they do for that kind of work.

I have a crushed tibia (3 months in hospital/therapy) that has been the source of unending problems. - Special shoes, ruinng my "good leg" so it is now my "bad leg", limiting how far I can walk, where/how I can fish, how I have to sleep and many other problems. I only fell off a 10' roof and landed the wrong way (uprightand flat footed) and was lucky since it could have been worse if it was my heel.

Dick
 
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Old 09-10-07, 05:02 PM
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Sorry to here about your accident. Hope you're feeling better.
 
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Old 09-10-07, 07:27 PM
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Crumbling chimney

Best to have it done by someone familiar with the job. It is much easier and faster for them to do a good job and minimize the trips. Make sure they are insured.

It is easy to fall and it can happen before you realize what is going on. Lugging things up and down just make it easier.

Dick
 
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Old 09-10-07, 07:39 PM
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Unless brick are falling out of the wall, the mortar can be repaired in situ. Remember that even if you hire someone to do it right, their right may be different than your right.

Personally, I would not spend the money to correct the issue with the brick without solving the problem with a correctly built crown. Search the bia.org Brick Industry Organisation, for "tek notes" then "chimney".
 
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Old 09-11-07, 05:24 AM
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User "twelvepole" had a good post on crowns at
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=107297.
My first question is directed at his statement: "The nature of a chimney is such that the flue liner gets warmer than the outer bricks and chimney crown. The flue will expand at a greater rate than the masonry surrounding it, so it's necessary to leave an air space between it and the crown. To prevent water from entering this air space, flexible sealant is installed between the flue and crown. " How do you leave this space when forming the crown?

My second question had to do with whether the bricks themselves could be repaired in place. I'll also need to repair the mortar.

Another question is again directed at twelvepole's post "The crown must also be protected with flashing. The flashing is installed so that it wraps from inside the flue, over the flue edge, behind the crown and out the bottom of the crown. Any moisture that makes it past the sealed opening is diverted outside the chimney by the flashing." Does this mean there is flashing underneath the crown effectively having the crown float on top of the flashing? I can't even imagine how one would do this.

Any takers on these three questions?
 
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Old 09-12-07, 05:02 AM
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Since I didn't get any answers I've decided to use a simple DIY approach to repair the chimney. I'll use the Brushable Crown Repair over the crown once I've made sure the crown itself is solid. For the bad bricks I'll use a concrete patch with red colorant added after removing the loose parts of the brick. Then I'll go over all the bricks with a Brick Water Repellent product.

I generally enjoy reading the DIY posts over my morning coffee.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 12:44 PM
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Is this a diy forum? Then why do I see hire a pro? How much money is needed in material, maybe $50 which includes a good sealer? So help the poster out and share your knowledge and tips so he and other people with a similar problem can tackle the job their self.

I hate seeing this stuff. I can see if itís a structural thing that can injure and possible kill people but this is not that.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 06:06 PM
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John anytime there is a chance to burn your house down, it is not to be done lightly. What I hate is when I see dangerous and technical work done because of advice given on the internet.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 09:30 PM
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Tscarborough, I understand your point, however, the op isn't making any modifications to the chimney. So if the op had to replace some bricks and the crown, I feel that an avid diy'er is capable of completing that task. A little guidence and help from the pros around here would only make this job go alot smoother. Furthermore, I would hope that the required permits would be pulled so a final inspection could be performed when the job is finished.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 09:39 PM
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I provided him with the exact specifications to redo the crown. If that was not sufficent then he is endangering himself and his family in the attempt.

Repairing a chimney does not fall into the same category as sticking rock on a wall as an accent, or filling the joints in a driveway.
 
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Old 10-25-07, 06:15 AM
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I really enjoy reading the posts in various forums and often get a lot of good info from them. However, I only use this as one of many sources for doing a new DIY job.

In this case the pros would never do what I did so could not help with the approach I used. The pros advice would have me do a much more complex but complete redo job which is also what I would get if I hired someone. I think the job I did looks pretty good and more importantly solved the underlying problem of a bad crown and crumbling bricks even though only time will tell for sure. I estimate I saved at least $500 and enjoyed doing the work.

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