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Old 04-19-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


I have two masonry questions. I think the rough winter in the northeast has caused these problems.

1. At a corner of my house, the top layer of the concrete foundation is falling apart. The damage is about 9 inches tall, with a crack extending upwards from there.
http://imgur.com/WCtWXmc

Is this damage structural? Can I fix it myself? How do I stop the crack(s) from spreading? What caused this and how can I prevent more of it from happening in the future?


2. The bricks near the top of my chimney aren't doing so well. Three sides can be seen in the two images below. The fourth side is not damaged.
http://imgur.com/TdTqx4m
http://imgur.com/SKPdv6q

In some cases the full portion of the front of the brick has fallen off. In others the bricks are crumbling into pieces. The damage seems to be confined to the top few courses of brick. I am not assuming I can fix this myself.

Do I need a chimney guy? A mason? Both?


Last edited by JKeefe; 04-19-2014 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:43 PM   #2
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


Moistures getting in causing spalling.
That chimney cap should have extended out beyond the sides of the chimney.

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Old 04-20-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


Joecaption's recommendations are dead on. That chimney cap is way too small, allowing water to drip off of it and land on top of the bricks. The water work it's way through the aged mortar and damages it. If you experience a lot of freezing/thawing conditions this will add further damage as it creates expansion in the mortar. The scope of work for the repairs you need can be done easily on your own. You'll need good weather for several days, a proper mix of mortar and replacement bricks. You can purchase a new stainless cap or have one custom made for you at a roofing supplier. Be sure that the new cap is flared out so that water is not land on top of the top face that the cap sits on.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


Hi guys,

You can see the metal caps on the flues from the ground where I took these pictures, but there is also a sloped concrete cap (or crown? I'm not sure of the terms) above the top course of bricks, which covers the full area of the top of the chimney.

I don't think this changes the advice I've been given, but I wanted to make sure. I don't think taking on this work myself would be appropriate, since I have zero experience with masonry or chimneys. I think I need to call a chimney guy.

Any comments on the foundation issue?
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:30 PM   #5
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by JKeefe View Post
Hi guys,

You can see the metal caps on the flues from the ground where I took these pictures, but there is also a sloped concrete cap (or crown? I'm not sure of the terms) above the top course of bricks, which covers the full area of the top of the chimney.

I don't think this changes the advice I've been given, but I wanted to make sure. I don't think taking on this work myself would be appropriate, since I have zero experience with masonry or chimneys. I think I need to call a chimney guy.

Any comments on the foundation issue?
Generally the mortar on top of the bricks will have a very slight slope to it for water runoff but the cap itself should be flared and much larger than what is on there.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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chimney and foundation masonry questions


Should look more like this.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...lectedIndex=40

You need a mason not a "chimney guy".

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