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Old 12-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


The chimney is used only for water heater venting. There was water leak aparently for several years before I moved into the house. Got the chimney re-sealed outside (looked like broken cap from lightning strike possibly and resealed the flashing). With this fixed, now the inside repairs need to be done.

The water seeped into the bricks through cracks, etc. and now what remains is a mess of some sort. The plaster walls pealed away exposing some of the damage. Some of the bricks actually are powdery when you touch them and I really don't know how to address this.

I can fix the wall easy enough but I don't want to just cover up the bricks if there is something that needs to be done to ensure that this does not become a problem in the years to come or when/if I go to sell the house.

We have had two or three people come out but no one really wants to deal with the job - either saying they will send quotes and then never do or simply taking 10 second look and saying not to worry about it... I will be glad to do this myself if I can but I don't really know how to assess how serious it is. Any and all advice is very much welcome.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


That's efflourescence your seeing, and here's a link to a fix.

http://www.deckerhomeservices.com/wh...lorescence.htm

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


my only concern is that it seems more than just surface deep and the brick turns powdery. I will certainly look into the sealers/treatments that are mentioned in the article. I appreciate it.

This is on a chimney that goes through the inside of the center of my house - I am curious as to how much of the wall I should open up in that closet as it hugs the angle of the roof as well. I suspect I should probably go downward along that corner and see how far down the problem goes. I haven't seen evidence anywhere lower than the exposed spot so I am hopeful.

Any concerns of structural issues here?

Thanks again for the article.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


From those pictures it's what ever they tryed to cover the brick with that's failing not the bricks.
Google "Parging" it will explain how to recover them.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


if that is anything like my chimney = you DON'T want to go in the attic to see what it looks like = you will be shocked.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


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Originally Posted by Bluethunder33 View Post
my only concern is that it seems more than just surface deep and the brick turns powdery. I will certainly look into the sealers/treatments that are mentioned in the article. I appreciate it.

This is on a chimney that goes through the inside of the center of my house - I am curious as to how much of the wall I should open up in that closet as it hugs the angle of the roof as well. I suspect I should probably go downward along that corner and see how far down the problem goes. I haven't seen evidence anywhere lower than the exposed spot so I am hopeful.

Any concerns of structural issues here?

Thanks again for the article.

You've got the right idea,about seeing how far down you have to go to clean it up,then do the sealing before you do the parging,if you intend to cover it again,personally i'd leave it open for a while after you do the fix,you need to be sure there's no further water intrusion.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


You will probably have to DIY it, no good mason would touch it with a 10 foot pole. First step is to remove the parging, then assess for existing moisture, then fix that issue, THEN you can think about restoration.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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You will probably have to DIY it, no good mason would touch it with a 10 foot pole. First step is to remove the parging, then assess for existing moisture, then fix that issue, THEN you can think about restoration.
Quick question - why would no good mason touch this job (too simplistic for their skill or something else)?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


Because once you touch it, you own it, and there are more problems there then a simple water leak.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #10
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Because once you touch it, you own it, and there are more problems there then a simple water leak.
If the advice given by others does not match up with what you may be seeing from the photos or what I have described, any elaboration or input would be appreciated.

I do believe the water leak is now addressed and fixed - this was done in the spring so there has been adequate time to see if further moisture has occurred, which I don't believe has.

Since no good mason will touch it, I HAVE to touch it and am perfectly willing to but don't have the slightest idea. The recommendations here have been helpful thus far but certainly if there are other views on it, I am all ears so that this does not become a larger issue that it already may be.

Thanks again everyone for the input and I will look forward to any more that might be out there.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #11
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


You need to replace any really crumbly bricks as the sand/cement render will blow again in time. Also hack off any loose or hollow render in the area.
Rake out the mortar joints for a better key and also give it 2 coats of PVA/water. One to seal and one to get tacky before the scratch coat.
Use 4/1 sand/cement for the scratch coat and 5/1 sand/cement for the top. Then apply the plaster finsh.
Then post another photo.
I would take the job on if you didn't have my correct name and address.

Last edited by stuart45; 12-11-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


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Originally Posted by stuart45 View Post
You need to replace any really crumbly bricks as the sand/cement render will blow again in time. Also hack off any loose or hollow render in the area.
Rake out the mortar joints for a better key and also give it 2 coats of PVA/water. One to seal and one to get tacky before the scratch coat.
Use 4/1 sand/cement for the scratch coat and 5/1 sand/cement for the top. Then apply the plaster finsh.
Then post another photo.
I would take the job on if you didn't have my correct name and address.
Thank you very much - I will take a little time to go through your recommendations as I don't yet have the lingo down for brick/masonry/etc. work but I do appreciate it.

I am wanting to get more of the column exposed this weekend so hope to post more photos at that time.

It must be quite a mess if no one will touch it - structurally though, the column should be OK or should I be worried to have my family in this house? Feel free to tell me that I am over-reacting. I admittedly have no clue about this type of repair.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


Structurally I am sure it is fine (at until you start messing with it), it is just one of those problems that is hard to get right for what someone is willing to pay, plus the assumption of risk for call-backs.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #14
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Brick repair inside house - can I DIY?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluethunder33 View Post
The chimney is used only for water heater venting.
This may be the root of some of the problem.

Assume gas or oil fuel?

What type and size of liner is in that chimney?

My bet is there is none and it is about 8" x 8".

Way to big for a water heater flue. The exaust is condensing out before it can get out of the chimney and is slowly deteriorating the chimney from the inside.

My advise is to call out a chimney expert (chimney sweep) and get his opinion on it. You may need to have a liner/sleeve installed to correctly vent the exaust.

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