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  • Chimney Rot - need advice guys

    I am working on taking care of some loose ends at my house. one of them that I have put off ever since I bought my house is a problem with the bottom 2 feet of the chimney. The bricks are flaking and falling apart.



    So where do you even start with this. I dont even know who I would have quote out the job???

    And out of curiosity how the heck would they do this repaired. They would have to prop up the chimney somehow while doing the masonry work.

    Thanks everyone,

    Josh
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  • #2
    Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

    Josh, short of a complete demo and rebuild, could you tack on some mesh build a form and pour a cement collar about two to three inches thick and maybe a foot higher than the rot? Do you know why the bricks rotted, moisture, water bleeding up from the ground? Do you have a chimney cap to prevent rain water from seeping in the chimney and collecting on the bottom?

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    • #3
      Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

      Josh, the simplest solution is to nail on some galvanized wire lath and stucco it using ''''quickcrete" mortar mix. It will take several coats of "stucco" to do it. PM me if you want more info or instructions.
      Jim

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      • #4
        Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

        I am pretty sure the damage came from a leak years ago. The cap seems to fine.

        When you guys talk about a complete demolition is that just of the bottom of the chimney or the entire thing?

        If its a legitimate way of fixing the problem I am all for quickcrete method as long as thats an acceptable solution.

        Josh

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        • #5
          Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

          Can't tell much from that one pic but looks like just some surface flaking and no structural cracks. Unless you have loose bricks or your mortar joints have turned to sand, I would just go with what PK said.

          You might want to stick a Micro in the chimney just to see what the liner looks like and count the dead birds on the bottom..

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          • #6
            Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

            Its actually loose and flaking past the surface. I am pretty confident I could easily chip away at a brick until its gone.

            Good idea on the micro. I'll try and check er out over the weekend.

            Thanks for the feedback so far everyone.

            Josh

            Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
            Can't tell much from that one pic but looks like just some surface flaking and no structural cracks. Unless you have loose bricks or your mortar joints have turned to sand, I would just go with what PK said.

            You might want to stick a Micro in the chimney just to see what the liner looks like and count the dead birds on the bottom..

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            • #7
              Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

              Josh, I don't have the construction expertise to say for sure what you should do but I have a feeling if it was that bad at the base you would have to demo the whole thing. That's why I suggested the concrete collar, but that to might not be sufficient. I'm sure you will get better advice from the pros. Can you get a mason to give it a look? P.S., I think the mesh and quickcrete is more for appearance, doubt it would really add the necessary stability to carry any load.
              Last edited by Frankiarmz; 07-17-2009, 05:45 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                Looks like brick spalling to me Josh. As you probably know, all brick is not the same.

                Different porosity and freeze thaw cycles can cause what your seeing. Don't know if I've seen it much or ever on interior brick. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. Seems like I remember reading that fire could also get the brick in position to begin spalling. (Guessing that though, don't remember where I heard it.)

                You might need a "good" mason. Where I'm at that's very hard to find. Tons of guys that lay brick and are good at it. Not so many that understand the science behind masonry work.

                Why it occurred, I can't say. From the 1 pic. it doesn't make much sense but the results do look like what I describe.

                Porosity rating of the brick exposed to a freeze/thaw cycle to begin the degradation & breakdown of the brick.

                Remedy-Speak to a good mason for ideas. I'm guessing brick replacement on at least the lower half of the chimney.

                (P.S. Do you have many fuel fired appliances going into the chimney?)

                J.C.

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                • #9
                  Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                  only 2 appliances. Furnace and hot water heater.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                    Josh, when it starts to flake, the structural integrity is about over. A bricklayer can assess the job and see how far up, the chimney is in trouble. As far as telling you how it's gonna get fixed, that'll be up to the bricklayer. No sense on even trying yourself, since the trouble is at the base on up. Water is more than likely the culprit, which causes this kind of a problem. Good thing the water doesn't freeze inside the bricks or it would have cracked/busted right open and all over.

                    Now if it was my job to do, at my home. I'd cut open the mortar joint at a strong point, slip in some angle iron, weld up the corners and add some legs that would also be on a (all welded) base (this stops the leggings from busting thru the flooring, it also depends on how big the footing is). Depending on the height, you may have to put in some cross braces too. When finished with the job, I'd stand back and take a gander at what I just did, crack open that beer and say to myself, damn it didn't collapse on me, job well done..... LOL

                    Make sure the base cannot slip away from the chimney....

                    Also, the legs will keep you going straight up, with no deviation....
                    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                    http://www.contractorspub.com

                    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                      josh i've laid those puppys. time to call in the professionals. masonry contractors. figure what you would like. to save chimney or rip it out put in a metal chimney. call all of them in phone book. at least several. your chimney can be saved. when we drive down the road and see a a sway back roof line there is usually a chimney in it. the chimney is pulling the house down. breid

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                      • #12
                        Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                        Honestly... I would love to get rid of the old chimney.. Just dont know how much it would cost for the job. Guess its time to find out.

                        There is a small leak in the attic where the flashing around the chimney isnt so great. So there are a few reasons I would like to get rid of the old thing.

                        Josh

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                        • #13
                          Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                          Originally posted by Josh View Post
                          Honestly... I would love to get rid of the old chimney.. Just dont know how much it would cost for the job. Guess its time to find out.

                          There is a small leak in the attic where the flashing around the chimney isnt so great. So there are a few reasons I would like to get rid of the old thing.

                          Josh
                          Are you getting ready to sell this house soon? Some of these jobs you're doing at your house, it almost seems like you've done something wrong and this is punishment. Some really labor intensive jobs as well.


                          There should be a cleanout underneath where the flue pipe from the furnace/water heater connect into this chimney. That is fire brick you're dealing with and it should only be sub-surface that's coming off, nothing more.

                          If you pull your cleanout and there's tons of bricks doing the same on the inside as much as the outside, install a flue liner and direct connect it to the two gas fired appliances. This makes what is going on in the inside of that chimney, immaterial.

                          Slightly tap with a hammer, along with wire brush that exposed brick until you get a good amount of the loose off.

                          Get a small bag of mortar mix (no stones) and either Acryl-60 or PolyBlend. <<< Those are two of the strongest bonding agents used in concrete adhesion. The product looks like milk when you mix it.

                          Drivet is another product that has those bonding agents already mixed into the mixture already.

                          Put the product on fairly stiff, let it tighten up, then shave it down to follow the wall texture the brick already looks like.

                          Then paint it to give it that completed look.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                            Thanks Dunbar...

                            I think I am gonna take bunch more pics. I will take some of the inside of the cleanout and see what the brick integrity is like on the inside.

                            I am not selling the house soon. Just trying to fix the basement up to expand our living space. Getting smaller every day the boys get bigger

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                            • #15
                              Re: Chimney Rot - need advice guys

                              If the chimney is not lined, and gas fired appliances are being feed into it will more than likely only continue to deteriorate, as the temperature of the flue gasses are not enough to drive off the water, and they will eat the chimney from the inside out, and the mortar joints, gas burns and a major by product is water, as the hydrogen and Oxygen reunites during the burning of the fuel and air. It also creates an acid in its self.

                              and if an old oil burner was once used the sulfur on the inside may have turned into sulfuric acid and eating the masonry away,

                              this give a little more info, http://www.csia.org/HomeownerResourc...9/Default.aspx

                              http://www.ugi.com/gas/safety/chimney.html


                              http://www.hutchschimneyandstove.com/1130166315/
                              Last edited by BHD; 07-19-2009, 10:52 PM.
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