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bmasub 12-03-2009 07:57 AM

Chimney repair question
I have a house built in 1953 in need of some chimney work. I bought it about 5 years ago, and at that time we noticed that there was water leaking (very slowly and in hard rain only) in both the chimney for the fireplace (which is newer) and the chimney for the furnace.

After tarring up the flashing, the furnace fireplace has never leaked since, but it became obvious that the problem with the fireplace chimney was that the cement in between the bricks was in need of work, and that it might need re pointing.

Basically, you can see that water runs down the outside of the chimney and into the attic in hard rains.

This morning after some particularly stormy weather, I actually heard and saw water dripping into the fireplace. So I guess my question is, is that likely to be the same issue with re pointing needing to be done?

I am guessing it is since the cement does look like it needs work in places on that chimney.

Also, since winter is coming on, should I worry about doing it myself or having someone else do it soon, or will I be able to wait until spring?

The house is a ranch with easy roof access.

Any thoughts or advice is welcome!

Bob Mariani 12-03-2009 10:17 AM

you do need to re-point the joints. Then use a water sealant made for brick. But you most likely need to have the chimney cap built correctly since this is the main reason for failure in the first place. Search the web to see details of how these are to be built. Look at yours and you might see that the required lip over hang and drip edges are missing. As far as water entering the attic it means you also need to redo the chimney flashing.

bmasub 12-03-2009 01:03 PM


Thanks so much for your reply.

From memory I think I know what you mean about the cap, and it is nice to have confirmation about the pointing.

Do you have any thoughts on whether a compete amateur should try the DIY route, and how long it might take if I did?

I am inclined to try it as long as it can wait till spring.

Bob Mariani 12-03-2009 01:24 PM

It must be done technically correct. But it is a DIY project if you do your research. And you have the tools to work safely. The cap and repointing is about $1000 - 1500 in work. About 2 days time. The flashing will take another 4 hours. I would do the flashing immediately since water is entering the house causing more damage.

bmasub 12-04-2009 04:18 PM


Thank you again. Your help is appreciated.

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