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nj-user 04-07-2012 08:46 PM

Chimney -- is repair possible?
I own a property that has a badly damaged chimney. My guess is that the only real option is to have a new chimney built to replace it. But, just in case, I thought that I would post here to see if there is any possibility of repairing this one rather than replacing it.

This is a side-by-side twin home, so this is actually two chimneys instead
of one -- one for each house. The height of the chimney is about 10 feet up from the roof line. Here are two photos:

Is there any chance that this chimney could be saved by removing the
existing stucco, then maybe doing a complete re-stucco (that included
filling in between the bricks, etc) using wire lath, and add a new cap? If
so, is there a special type of cement that would be used for this?

Or, if removing this chimney and building a new one is the only option, do
they make cement chimney blocks that are preformed for a double chimney like this one? The only preformed cement chimney blocks that I see are either square or rectangular, but only for one chimney not two chimneys like this one.

Does anyone have a rough ballpark figure of what it might cost to have a new double chimney built (about 10 feet high) to replace this one? This is in southern New Jersey.

joecaption 04-07-2012 10:55 PM

No one here can give you an ansewer, you really need to have some local masons take a look at it.

Evstarr 04-08-2012 08:02 PM

It very likely contains two separate flues. From your pics I'm surprised it hasn't tipped over already. It looks like someone stucco-ed it instead of tuck pointing it. If it were my house i'd have it taken down at least to the roof and re laid. What the inside looks like is anyone's guess and what it would cost can only be given you by someone local.
So see above and get some local masons out to guide you on the proper fix.

nj-user 04-11-2012 08:17 PM

Chimney -- is repair possible?
This is just an update to answer some of my own questions in case anyone is interested or finds the information to be useful.

Two different chimney repair companies each said that it "may" be possible to try to repair this chimney, but both strongly recommended against it. One, before looking at the chimney said that sometimes they can repair and save old chimneys like this one by wrapping them with wire lath and then applying a double coat of waterproof cement, depending on the condition of the bricks. But, after looking at my photos of the chimney, he said the bricks are too damaged and the chimney is too far gone to try to save it -- it needs to be torn down and a new chimney built from the roof line up, with new flashing, etc. He said it is not stable enough and is in danger of falling over. The other company said it may be possible to try to repair the chimney but the repair probably wouldn't last very long.

The two different chimney repair companies that gave me estimates so far, and each one independently quoted the same amount to remove the existing chimney and build a new one from the roof up including flashing etc. -- they each said $4,000.

joed 04-11-2012 08:45 PM

That chimney had a repair done to it in the past now it needs to fixed properly.

nj-user 04-15-2012 10:48 AM

Chimney -- is repair possible?
Here's what I learned yesterday by doing more research on my own after receiving the estimate for a B-vent chimney:

I found out that there is a difference between a "chimney" and a "vent". The first link below describes that, although it is dated 1991.

I also found out that the height requirements vary with chimneys and vents depending on the type of construction and the type of boiler, furnace, etc. that is being vented into the chimney/vent. The second and third links below describe that.

Basically, for any masonry chimney, or a Type L vent, that is being used on an oil-fired, coal, etc. type of boiler, the height requirements are that it must go up at least two feet higher than any point where the roof is within 10 feet horizontally from the chimney/vent.

BUT, for a Type B vent, which is only for gas-fired boilers etc. (which is what we have), the height only needs to go up about 2, 3, or 4 feet above the actual roof line where it comes through the roof -- depending on the slope of the roof. After reading that, while driving around, I see lots of metal B-vent "chimneys" that only come up two or 3 feet off of a sloping roof, even when they are on the low side of the roof. I found that to be VERY interesting!

Here are the 3 links:

One thing I figured out after seeing a guy who was maybe 5' 8" or 5' 9" tall from the last chimney company actually walk up on the roof and stand on the roof itself next to the chimney and reach up to almost the top, is that it would be easy for us to take down the existing chimney. At most, maybe a roof jack ledge on the high side of the roof to stand on and reach right up to the top and take down the chimney piece by piece, brick, by brick. They are so loose they will come off by hand or maybe with a very light tap or pry bar. Or, I have a large Werner "A-frame"(?)-type ladder that we could place on the porch roof next to the chimney and reach the top of the chimney from there without even getting up on the top roof where the chimney is located. So, the cost of the demo will be almost nothing. Then, all that will be left is to drop a metal B-vent down in each flue, connect it up at the bottom, do the right cap routine at the top, and it's done -- no scaffolding, etc. will be needed.

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