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Old 09-09-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


Bought the house like this a couple years ago, finally doing something about it. Here is the video: http://youtu.be/f7LGVifNmfM

I need a minimum of 26 bricks (I counted several just split in half, but not flaking out) and essentially repoint all joints on the upper half. This is my hopeful assessment, what is your opinion?

- How much would it cost via small business?
- Can it be DIYed?

To buy a season (this fall and winter), can I bandage it up with stainless banding (antenna mount kits) and seal up all the cracks?

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Old 09-09-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


I re-pointed my chimney about 5 years ago due to same exact reason as yours.

Water would get behind those mortar beads then freezing and thawing would crack mortas/bricks, etc.

I think at the time, several quotes I received were in the $1,200 range (tear and rebuild from the roof level) so I decided to do it on my own.


Few things I remember:

1. You will inevitably need to replace some (or many) bricks; since you are not replacing the entire chimney, you will need to shop around to get some bricks that match your existing color/shape
2. You will need to setup a small scaffoling to work safely (I made mine from 2x6 and 2x4)
3. You will need some concrete tools (mason's trowel, pointing trowel,etc.)
4. Have a blue tarp and duct tape on hand to temporarily enclose the chimney in case you don't finish in a day and/or weather is bad
5. That clay liner is very fragile so chisel with care!
6. Make sure to cover the roof with heavy duty canvas drop cloth to prevent (accidentally) dropped bricks from tearing shingles and to prevent mortar staining.
7. After mortar has been cured, apply clearcoat to minimize future water penetration

Good luck


Last edited by allthumbsdiy; 09-09-2012 at 09:50 PM. Reason: missed a step
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


Cool, I remember some guy who quoted when I bought the house, only thing I remembered was he said bricks maybe hard to find. Google should help with this. Or back up plan is take the front porch apart and rescue good brick, same brick, same issues. However, the rest of the house's masonry is nearly perfect.

I can probably pay for it all by doing the same thing next door... She has same brick because it has the same pattern and her chimney is eroding like mine lol


Thanks for the reply
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


I really know little on this subject.
Just wanted to say thanks for the video!!!!!!
Mkaes it easy to see what you are dealing with.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


Google not going to do much to help you find the brick.
Take one to some local brick yards to match them up.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


You probably should tear it down within a few courses of the roof & relay it. You will likely have even more broken brick by the time you're done. You may even need to replace a flue tile or 2, but they're not really that expensive. The good news is that they're wire-cut brick, and it should be relatively easy to find a close match, at least one that can be blended through-out the chimney which is another benefit to taking it all the way down.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


All thumbs and WTP? Where are you? You might want to update your profiles so we know what weather you experience.

What concerns me is it is only the upper half of the brick facade on the chimney that seems compromised. I assume this is a working fireplace so your first concern should be whether there is adequate support for the core of the chimney all the way down--and that it is intact.

Have you had a mason or chimney sweep out to look at this whole thing? I get nervous when I see only upper course of the brick on a chimney failing. It almost looks like it might be moving too much and partially responsible for the mortar and bricks failing. That top cap is another unhealthy clue.

If they pass on it, and assuming those base courses of brick are sound, square, plumb and silly stuff like that? You should be able to build back up. Go slow so you do not crack your chimney or all your work is for nothing. If the brick is not properly supporting your actual chimney, or if it is rocking around, then you have other issues and will be back at this in a couple years.

I am both DIYer and contractor I guess although becoming the latter years ago made me much lazier at trying things I guess. When I started putting the kids of subs through school I figured they owed me to fix a thing or situation now and then. "This is for your place and you do not plan to pay us?Of course we will drop everything and rush right over." Never worked out. Ungrateful bastards say I.

I sub chimneys and masonry out no matter which hat I wear and especially for something like a chimney that could burn your house down? I don't think they should be DIY projects.

Now then, you mentioned other neighbors with matching problems. I bet a mason would cut you and others a deal if able to work on several neighboring jobs at the same time!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:24 PM   #8
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
All thumbs and WTP? Where are you? You might want to update your profiles so we know what weather you experience.

What concerns me is it is only the upper half of the brick facade on the chimney that seems compromised. I assume this is a working fireplace so your first concern should be whether there is adequate support for the core of the chimney all the way down--and that it is intact.

Have you had a mason or chimney sweep out to look at this whole thing? I get nervous when I see only upper course of the brick on a chimney failing. It almost looks like it might be moving too much and partially responsible for the mortar and bricks failing. That top cap is another unhealthy clue.

If they pass on it, and assuming those base courses of brick are sound, square, plumb and silly stuff like that? You should be able to build back up. Go slow so you do not crack your chimney or all your work is for nothing. If the brick is not properly supporting your actual chimney, or if it is rocking around, then you have other issues and will be back at this in a couple years.

I am both DIYer and contractor I guess although becoming the latter years ago made me much lazier at trying things I guess. When I started putting the kids of subs through school I figured they owed me to fix a thing or situation now and then. "This is for your place and you do not plan to pay us?Of course we will drop everything and rush right over." Never worked out. Ungrateful bastards say I.

I sub chimneys and masonry out no matter which hat I wear and especially for something like a chimney that could burn your house down? I don't think they should be DIY projects.

Now then, you mentioned other neighbors with matching problems. I bet a mason would cut you and others a deal if able to work on several neighboring jobs at the same time!
Hi sds, I am living in St. Clair Shores, MI. House built in 1954. The chimney is only used for furnace exhaust and it doesn't appear to have had a fireplace ever. I have been in a few houses in my city, basically the same construction and layout, they don't have real fireplaces either. I will double check the basement for a cleanout to know for sure (I keep picturing my parents basement I think its throwing me memory off).

Maybe I can find some cheap bricks to practice with? I can build a mini chimney at ground level (or build a sweet firepit or pizza oven). Then send you guys a video to see if I am a fail.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Brick Chimney Assessment via HD video - Repairable?


Thanks, I forgot to include basic information in my profile.

I live in central NJ with typical northeast weather.

I usually get my chimney checked and cleaned every 2 years because I do periodically use the fireplace (some hardwood, some dura logs, etc.)

When I first started out, I expected to remove maybe top 4 courses but I kept on going until I found a solid layer (ended up replacing about 9 or 10 courses I think).

If at anytime I felt I had compromised the clay liner or that the entire structure was not solid, I would have stopped and called in a pro.

Regarding spare bricks, I was able to save and re-use about 90 % of the bricks by taking time to bring them to the ground and carefully chiseling off the mortar.

For them remaining pieces, I got them from a house brick patio that was being demolished and asked the owner for some bricks. The color was pretty close but the size did not so I ended up getting little creative and laid them with a slightly different look.

One mistake I made was that I did not clean off excess mortar as I laid the bricks. When I finished and cleaned them up, I noticed I had stained those bricks. oh well.


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