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Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 18, 2018 12:21PM
1960 build house. There is no fireplace, so the chimney was originally used to exhaust CO2 from the furnace and water heater. Those have both been replaced; the new gas furnace vents through a new PVC pipe directly to the outside, and the water heater is now electric. The entry to the chimney in the basement was sealed off, probably when the appliances were replaced. Chimney cap crown area (on top outside) has deteriorated to the point where some the mortar is cracked, and some bricks are starting to become loose, and as evidenced from the wet spot on our ceiling, water is now getting into the house. The roof is newer and the flashing looks good, so I'm pretty sure the water is just seeping in between the cracked mortar and making it's way inside, then over a bit to where I see the spot on the ceiling below. I went up into the attic and verified this where I could see the brick weeping.

Since the chimney is not being used for anything, is it reasonable to assume we could have the top several layers of brick removed and then have the top sealed off too? I know there needs to be some kind of vent or else the rest of the brick will deteriorate, but maybe that could be a new hole made into the side that is exposed inside the attic? Chimney that vents into an attic sounds like a horrible idea, but if the bottom and top are sealed, maybe not? Would be convenient for a cable chase.

Really I am interested in whatever option is the cheapest at this time. At the moment I have a nice brown tarp wrapped over the top until the rain stops, so that is really cheap, but not a good long term solution. Luckily no HOA.

Any suggestions or experience to share?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2018 02:36PM by mikebw.
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 18, 2018 12:56PM
Since the chimney is not being used, you can definitely remove it. And yes, they are definite sources of leaks as they fail. I've rebuilt three of them in my life, basic masonry work plus flashing and caulking and whatnot. Good luck, work safely !
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: billb
Date: September 18, 2018 01:24PM
I tore mine right out all the way to the basement.
No more water leaks or maintenance. No penetrations in the new roof, no more heat losses from air leaks, reclaimed floor space.

I tore one out at my mom's house and replaced it with 2 stainless steel triple wall Class whatever that is safer and pretty much maintenance-free.

Stainless steel to code is the way to go.


Capping the top just below the roof line is common but I think energy-wise just remove the whole thing.



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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 18, 2018 01:55PM
Quote
billb
I tore mine right out all the way to the basement.
No more water leaks or maintenance. No penetrations in the new roof, no more heat losses from air leaks, reclaimed floor space.

I tore one out at my mom's house and replaced it with 2 stainless steel triple wall Class whatever that is safer and pretty much maintenance-free.

Stainless steel to code is the way to go.


Capping the top just below the roof line is common but I think energy-wise just remove the whole thing.

We actually have a wood burning stove on the other side of the house with a stainless tube running up along the outside.

I had not thought about removing the whole brick chimney. Ours seemed to be built onto the outer wall, so it's not really taking up interior space as far as I can tell. Also not terribly interested in patching a hole in the roof overhang where the chimney penetrates currently. Thanks for the idea though.
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: billb
Date: September 18, 2018 02:07PM
Quote
mikebw
Quote
billb
I tore mine right out all the way to the basement.
No more water leaks or maintenance. No penetrations in the new roof, no more heat losses from air leaks, reclaimed floor space.

I tore one out at my mom's house and replaced it with 2 stainless steel triple wall Class whatever that is safer and pretty much maintenance-free.

Stainless steel to code is the way to go.


Capping the top just below the roof line is common but I think energy-wise just remove the whole thing.

We actually have a wood burning stove on the other side of the house with a stainless tube running up along the outside.

I had not thought about removing the whole brick chimney. Ours seemed to be built onto the outer wall, so it's not really taking up interior space as far as I can tell. Also not terribly interested in patching a hole in the roof overhang where the chimney penetrates currently. Thanks for the idea though.

Isn't that what is leaking ?



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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 18, 2018 02:11PM
Quote
billb
Quote
mikebw
Quote
billb
I tore mine right out all the way to the basement.
No more water leaks or maintenance. No penetrations in the new roof, no more heat losses from air leaks, reclaimed floor space.

I tore one out at my mom's house and replaced it with 2 stainless steel triple wall Class whatever that is safer and pretty much maintenance-free.

Stainless steel to code is the way to go.


Capping the top just below the roof line is common but I think energy-wise just remove the whole thing.

We actually have a wood burning stove on the other side of the house with a stainless tube running up along the outside.

I had not thought about removing the whole brick chimney. Ours seemed to be built onto the outer wall, so it's not really taking up interior space as far as I can tell. Also not terribly interested in patching a hole in the roof overhang where the chimney penetrates currently. Thanks for the idea though.

Isn't that what is leaking ?

As best I can tell, and apologies if I didn't explain this very well, the leak is happening because the chimney crown (cement cover on top of the bricks) is cracked, and water is getting down through the bricks and mortar into the attic, then to the ceiling. There is nothing wrong with the roof or flashing around the chimney.
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 18, 2018 02:16PM
Cheapest fix (good for a couples years) would be to tar or rubber seal the crown if that is where the leak is. That may give you time to set aside money for the removal.



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Re: Chimney question *now with pics*
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 18, 2018 02:24PM
Snagged a few pics from the attic while it was raining-





and then looking up the bricks to the roof-


Just looking at those my first guess would be flashing, and probably anyone would agree, but the crown needs work for sure. Should've taken some shots from up on top while I was doing the tarp.

Also, bonus pic of the Speedaway sled I found up there-
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: billb
Date: September 18, 2018 03:06PM
That chimney has been repaired in the past, likely for the same problem you're having now.
The bricks are different and the mortar is different.

I would just tear down the chimney to where it was rebuilt before and have the roof repaired.
It's actually pretty easy.

Guy across the street knocked a concrete block chimney down from the outside side of his house that was used for a wood stove years ago and hired someone to patch the hole in the large overhang it had gone thru . I don't know when he showed up in the morning but he was done and gone by noon.
I did my own but it was a hole in the middle of the roof. A square piece of plywood, I got lucky and there was nailing for it and I was done.
Mine had been skim-coated with mortar - probably because it needed repointing or tearing down and redoing.



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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 18, 2018 03:57PM
Cool sled ! Yep- what billb said.
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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 18, 2018 05:01PM
can you imagine someone selling a sled like that these days? they would be liable for every accident.
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Re: Chimney question *now with pics*
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 18, 2018 05:26PM
Seeing it with photos -- What Bill said.

Be done with it



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"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: September 18, 2018 05:44PM
Damn…you found Rosebud…
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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 18, 2018 07:12PM
Looks like bad flashing to me, water not coming from inside. But that's just a guess. Maybe fix the flashing and you're done.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: September 19, 2018 06:15AM
Quote
mrlynn
Looks like bad flashing to me, water not coming from inside. But that's just a guess. Maybe fix the flashing and you're done.
I was thinking the same thing. Is there a cricket (like a mini dormer) on the roof to divert water around the chimney, or does it just have layers of flashing on the area where roof and chimney meet?



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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 19, 2018 11:30AM
n/m



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 11:32AM by Bill in NC.
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Re: Chimney question
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 19, 2018 11:31AM
Since this chimney is already blocked off & not used, best (permanent) fix is to demo the chimney down to at least below roof level

Then cover hole with plywood/paper/shingles so you have one less roof penetration to worry about.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 11:31AM by Bill in NC.
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Re: Chimney question *now with photos*
Posted by: billb
Date: September 19, 2018 11:43AM
The chimney doesn't need a vent. If not used it could/should be capped off. To keep rain water out.
If there's no heat going up it to drive out moisture you'll have potential troubles with freeze/thaw damaging mortar joints and flue tile (if there are flue tiles). Slowly crumbling and falling down like a mini- Grand Canyon.

If there's no cap at all now I'd at least go get a flagstone to cover the top to keep rain out.
You could wire brush the brick and skim coat it with mortar.

If this is one of those half in-half out chimneys then remediating removing the whole chimney is a bit of a project. Not terribly expensive , just not as simple as patching a hole in the roof.


Whether there is some good rubberized coating you could paint it with to fill failing mortar joints - I don't know. If there's movement of bricks because the mortar joints are that bad nothing will last very long.

Build a wooden box over it to cover it temporary ?



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 11:45AM by billb.
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