chimney repair

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  #1  
Old 08-09-19, 12:14 PM
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chimney repair

I peeled away some ivy to discover the situation shown below. What is the remedy?
Important to know that I live in earthquake land (So Cal). Many thanks.

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Last edited by PJmax; 08-09-19 at 06:45 PM. Reason: resized picture
  #2  
Old 08-09-19, 12:27 PM
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Here in the southeast I'd chisel out a little more mortar and repoint it. I don't know if your locale changes things.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 12:51 PM
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I recently did exactly what marksr suggests on my chimney and all in all it was pretty easy. I'm sure a pro would have made it look better than I did, but nobody is up on my roof looking at mortar joints so it's good enough for me.

I followed up by waterproofing the brick with solvent-based ChimneySaver.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 01:21 PM
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Chiseling and repointing it as MArk said is what I would do too. And if you want a bit bigger project, although not that bad, it looks like you could use a new crown. I don't know, maybe what you have is common for that area where you don't have to worry about freezing, but elsewhere a proper crown tapers away from the flue, which it looks like you do have, but it's concrete, not mortar, is about 1-1/2" thick at its' shallowest points, and overhangs the bricks by an inch or two, often with a bit of detail at the outside bottom corner so that water drips there rather than running back to the chimney.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 04:13 PM
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Will chiseling and repointing restore structural integrity to the chimney? The cosmetics don't much matter to me. And is there an "extra sticky" mortar you'd recommend? As for the crown... not only does it not freeze here, in recent years it scarcely rains.

Thanks to all.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 03:31 AM
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I don't know how much structural integrity is gained or loss by just repointing but it will be better than it is now.
I don't know about stickiness [that might have to do with the consistency it's mixed] but some mortars are stronger than others. I've always heard you should use the softest mortar that will do the job.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 09:11 PM
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Angle grinder and appropriate blade and a Mortar Rake tool for angle grinder will allow you to remove the mortar without causing more damage to the chimney. You will have to repair vertical and horizontal mortar lines. Start at the bottom where the problem is the smallest. Repair a three or four rows of mortar and leave if be for a day. Come back at another time and work your way up. If you start work at the top or start chiseling , you may find the bricks all coming loose and the problem a bit more of a problem.
Buy a bag of Mortar mix. The color might not match your existing Mortar. Mix up a cup full or two. Make sure it is not too runny and force it into the joint.
You will want to clean the old Mortar out right down to the brick and about 1/2 to 3/4" deep.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 11:49 PM
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Thank you all. I'll do as you recommend.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 07:01 AM
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How did the project work out? Did you use an angle grinder or just chisel it out?
 
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Old 10-15-19, 11:47 AM
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Repairing chimney mortar

Just had a bricklayer looking at a similar problem on my chimney a few minutes ago. He pulled out a loose brick and showed me the deterioration behind it where the mortar was damp and had the consistency of powder. He said water was getting in and any patching would be temporary at best. He also said that removing other loose bricks with an angle grinder would most likely create other damage because the bricks are over 40 years old. He was willing to attempt some patching , but wouldn't guarantee it would hold up. (It's possible he just wanted to sell me a complete rebuild.) He also said sealing should never be done on a brick chimney since the bricks are intended to breathe and sealing prevents that and keeps existing moisture in which weakens them. I'm located in upstate New York.
 
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Old 10-15-19, 11:53 AM
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The ChimneySaver waterproofing I applied contains siloxanes, which allow the brick to release trapped moisture, while at the same time keeping rain out. Once I applied it my leaks stopped.
 
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Old 10-15-19, 02:42 PM
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Just an observation.

Looks like the crack gets bigger as you go up the chimney.
Is the opposite side cracked the same way?

If yes then your chimney is cracked and falling away.
I do not think just re-pointing it would be a solution.
The mortar would have to be chipped out.
The two haves moved back to where they should be and then re-pointed
Or perhaps some type of cap would hold the top together so it does not do this again.
Also I do not see a cap on the top
 
 

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