Need help tuck pointing chimney.

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  #1  
Old 04-28-15, 09:58 AM
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Need help tuck pointing chimney.

Hello guys, I am going to be repairing our chimney onvtop of our 100+ year old house. I am almost certain this is not the original chimney job although I am not sure when it was done last.

As you can see in the photos, the mortar is falling out of the joints and cracked in some places and I think it causing a leak in our attic.

The bricks are ALL solid, no damage, no cracks. Thankfully!

My questions:
#1 - Will type N mortar work to repair this?

#2 - I know that I need to remove all loose mortar, but do I need to grind out all the joints can I just fill over spots where it is still solid with new mortar?

#3 - Do I need to seal the brick face/motar joints once everything is set up and dry?

#4 - Is that the proper cap for that application and is it really supposed to be attached with mortar just like they did?

Thanks for the help!

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What is this they originally used? It doesn't look like the right stuff.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-15, 03:04 PM
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Type N mortar mix should work. Remove the loose mortar. I would go in about 3/4". I like to mix a bonding agent with the mortar mix.
 
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Old 04-28-15, 03:17 PM
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A whole lot wrong on that chimney.
No a cap is not mortared.
There's no crown that overhangs the top of the chimney so so water does not run down the sides of the brick.
Someone had to have used to dry a mix to have that much mortar be missing.
That flashing is a mess.
 
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Old 04-28-15, 03:41 PM
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Thank you for the help. I have been told this could need a complete tear down and rebuild. Is this true or can it be salvaged by tuck pointing and maybe adding a proper cap?
 
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Old 04-28-15, 03:49 PM
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I missed one of your questions. Don't seal the chimney after you replace the mortar. I don't think that you need a complete rebuild. However, has anyone looked to see the condition inside the chimney?
 
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Old 04-28-15, 07:01 PM
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It looks like small trees are growing inside of the metal cap. Not a good sign, indicative of the flue not having been inspected (or cleaned) in years.

For starters, you should remove the metal cap and existing junk mortar job holding the cap in place. Then form and pour a concrete crown, having at least a 2" cantilever (and drip edge on the underside) on all four sides. Crown thickness should be at least 2" around the perimeter, sloping upwards towards the center to provide drainage. You may have to extend the flue to compensate for the new crown thickness; the crown should be at least 3" thick where the flue penetrates it. If the flue is shot, then you need to address that before doing any tuck pointing on the brickwork.
 
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Old 04-28-15, 08:32 PM
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No trees are growing at all in the cap, you are seeing trees through the cap that are outside. Sorry for the optical illusion!

As for the rest of your advice I greatly appreciate it! Thank you!
 
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Old 04-28-15, 09:16 PM
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My bad. I confess to having failing eye-sight. But I'm also not used to seeing trees growing bent over, at such orientation as yours. Out here, everything grows straight up, with a few of my older Doug firs reaching 130' tall. I have 5 shorter cedars in our rear glen, only 80'-100' tall.

But it does bring up another question--when is the last time you inspected the flue, or cleaned the chimney? Looking again at your pix, don't be surprised if your leakage is the result of poor (or non-existent) flashing at the base of the chimney.
 
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