Help Please - My Brick Chimney Needs Work

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  #1  
Old 04-18-10, 11:45 AM
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Help Please - My Brick Chimney Needs Work

I need help repairing my brick chimney. The outside has numerous small cracks and the faces of some of the bricks have fallen off. There are no bricks missing and it seems structurally sound other than the surface problems. (Though I realize this could be indicative of far greater sub-surface damage).

Photos can be seen here: http://s578.photobucket.com/albums/s...photo/Chimney/

I had a chimney cleaner take a look at the flue from inside and he said it was fine to use. We used the chimney all winter long with no problems. But I live in Buffalo, NY and I'm concerned about the winter precipitation to continue to damage the outside brick.

What can I do?

I'm not certain if I should use a surface sealer, a water repellent, or a penetrant. Or, should I use a surface bonding cement and go right over the face of the problem areas and then apply some kind of penetrant.

Obviously I need to keep my cost down, but I don't want to make things worse. Any advice?

Thanks!
 

Last edited by ajaxsg; 04-18-10 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 04-18-10, 07:45 PM
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The only thing you could do at this point to make it worse is apply a surface sealer. It would act like a rubber glove trapping moisture in, you donít want that. A vapor permeable sealant or breathable sealer/repellant will buy you some time. Get the loose brick spalls off then buy a tube of clear silicon and a cheap caulking gun to seal the cracked bricks up, then hit it with the sealant.
Eventually you will have to replace the bad bricks unless you plan to stucco over it.
 
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Old 05-02-10, 09:00 AM
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Stucco Over Chimney

Thanks so much for the response.

I am planning on applying a layer of terra cota-tinted (to kinda match the brick) surface bonding cement over the whole area. It's a quickcrete product. I was hoping you could help me.

First -- if I use this cement coating, which I think is the same thing as stucco, do I have to worry that this coating will, as you put it in your post, act like a rubber glove and trap moisture?

Second -- Do I still apply the silicon caulk and permeable sealant?

Third -- Does this all fit together like...

-Remove loose brick
-Apply caulk and permeable sealant
-apply surface bonding cement
- clean up

Or do I apply that permeable sealant over my bonding cement?

Sorry to write so much here, I just would like to get it right.

Thanks for any help. I'm a little lost here...
 

Last edited by ajaxsg; 05-02-10 at 09:06 AM. Reason: clarify
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Old 05-05-10, 03:58 PM
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When the previous work was done they didnít go down far enough on the rebuild and or there is water coming inside the chimney somewhere again. The top looks like its still tight on the rebuild but I would specifically check your chimney cap(should be concrete) itís a usual suspect where water gets into chimneys. Check the flashing at the roof line as well to make sure everything is in order.

I would skip the cement, more trouble than its worth you hit it on the head. If you were to do so you couldnít seal it for a month, but forget that the bricks are crumbling. Once the core is exposed its down hill in a hurry for brick. The deterioration is extensive that corner is in bad shape. Those bricks need replaced.

If you were to clean it up and seal the cracks it may buy you a little time. However if you have water coming inside from the cap for instance, you really didnít do much and the deterioration will continue. The good become bad and the bad get worse then it turns into a structural matter not to mention more money.

There is not much a DIYselfer can do other than have a pro come in. Im sorry but there is no quick, easy or cheap fix to your problem. For the rest of the chimney to have a chance, all the issues need to be addressed.

Regards,
Smitty
 
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Old 05-06-10, 08:27 AM
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Chimneys always cause trouble

I agree with Smitty on the pro coming out to redo the brick chimney.

If you want to encapsulate the chimney with stucco, I would recommend checking all the bricks and remove the faces that are loose or cracked. My suggestions is to use mechanically attached metal lath before you put stucco up. This way it holds the stucco together and won't break according to the brick behind it.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 05-11-10, 07:32 PM
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No Chimney Cap

Thanks again.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've just investigated to find THERE IS NO CAP ON THE CHIMNEY. We've owned our house for two years now. That's two years of snow and rain going into the thing. (I'm installing one this week).

Think that the addition of a chimney cap might make things a lot better? I could still remove all the loose brick pieces and then caulk them with (clear?) silicone, then hit it with the permeable sealant.

It sounds like that's my cheap option. Is that right?

Thanks a ton.
 

Last edited by ajaxsg; 05-11-10 at 09:09 PM.
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