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Old 05-12-2009, 09:56 AM   #16
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


My last house(single story) - 100 years old - the chimney was soft above the roof line. I took it apart & rebuilt it. Below the roof line it was OK & I repointed where it needed it. The new roof was actually higher then the old roof
My chimney had a liner for th eheating system (gas)
That was the only thing it was used for

Repointing will not be enough to increase the strength of the chimney IMO

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Old 05-12-2009, 11:22 AM   #17
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


I'm not sure where the inspector was pushing. I know he was on the roof at the time.

I'm not sure about the number of flues. I need to ask about that.

It doesn't have a liner. Never has, nor does it have a cap. Basicly the chimney is just a liability now. I was quoted $1800 for the liner and $1600 to rebuild w/ capping.

Thanks for your input. I just wanted to make sure I thinking right. The seller is a contractor and I know he probably knows more than I do about these things.

Last edited by frogme; 05-12-2009 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:46 AM   #18
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


He also has a vested interest in down playing the severity of the chimney damage. So his opinion has no worth.
Ron
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #19
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


Excellent point!
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:33 AM   #20
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


I too am having issues with an older chimney. I have an old victorian farmhouse built in the late 1800-early 1900's in the arts and crafts style. The fireplace is in very good condition, and my grandmother burned fires in up until about 20 years ago. I recently inherited the house and have been bringing it back from a state of disrepair. I have consulted 5 different chimney services. Each has told me something different. The first wants over $6,000 to rebuild the entire chimney, damper, ash dump door, and all. The sweep said that the whole thing shifted when he put his ladder against it and that it was unsafe to use. So far he's the only one who has actually gone up on the roof. However, when I checked the other flue in the other chimney that he supposedly cleaned, there was a pile of junk just sitting there when I opened the cleanout door.
Another recommended rebuilding, but said that it was "silly" use a steel liner since when you rebuild it you can build a new clay liner. A third said all that was needed was a little repointing. A fourth said that the liner is definitely cracked (this I believe because he actually used mirrors and climbed into my firebox) but said that he would't get into the job because it was too big for him to handle and stopped there.
From the ground you can actually see a little space between a few of the bricks, but none are missing and they look to be solid- no degredation. I have no idea when they were last serviced. I found a business card stapled to the stairs next to the other chimney in the house dated OCT 1946, so possibly then.
I am looking into possibly installing a wood burning firplace insert to assist in the heating of my home, as the one sweep that I believe- the one who said that the job was too big for him- said that it would be a lot cheaper , that I would still be able to see the fire so my aesthetics would be preserved, and that it would greatly reduce my heating bills, which would be great as where I am in Mass has the most expensive utility supplier in the state.
My question is who to believe, and what exactly should be done for an insert? Is there a way I can tell for myself? I'm leery of building inspectors, having dealt with them at my previous job and having found several of them to be less than trustworthy. The other issue is that I'm frightened that one will find something in my house that will cause us to have to move out or pay exhorbitant amounts in fines or repairs. I know practically nothing about home owning, as I stated previously I inherited this house from my grandparents, and I don't want to get taken to the cleaners. If anyone can offer some sound advice or has experence, I would appreciate it immensely. Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:06 AM   #21
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


Nobody on the internet can tell you who to believe as we haven't seen the chimney.
Is there a way for you to to tell? Sure. Look into the base and see if the liner is indeed cracked. Just because he looked at it with mirrors doesn't mean it's true. If the chimney did indeed "move" when someone put a ladder on it, there's a serious problem. This is easily checked out.
There are many chimney companies that are down right thieves and liars. If you can't discern the chimney's condition be doing an exanimation of it, I would call in a mason not affiliated with any chimney company and get his opinion.
I find it odd that with all the guys you had there, that there was no diagnostic repair continuity.
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 05-21-2009 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:44 AM   #22
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


Ron6519,
Thanks for replying. Sorry I rambled on so much, I am just very confused and emotionally charged right now, and I dislike dealing with people who are not forthright. This has been ongoing since March. I've actually climbed into my firebox myself to look and see what was going on, and the flue is indeed cracked- pretty badly from what I can tell. The damper looks okay- it's cast iron- but there's so much debris around it I can't tell what's erosion and what's just junk. The pin that holds my clean out door is snapped, but the door itself is solid and it's case is still very solidly mounted in the base. There's some mortar missing at the rear outside edges of the fireplace, and between one or two bricks in the basement in one small section.
Someone I spoke to mentioned a shelf outside the fireplace?
And how do I determine what the outside structure of the chimney needs? I know it needs a cap, but the company that I am purchasing my wood burning insert from is going to provide me with one when they put the pipe/liner in for the exhaust.
I guess I'm just looking for guidelines about how to determine what a chimney/fireplace needs in order to be safe to have a wood burning insert installed so that I can judge for myself who and what is best for my home, because as you said, no one can tell me who to believe. But in order for me to judge, I need information. And at present, I am flying blind.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:22 AM   #23
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


You get on a ladder and check out the structure from top to bottom. You look at the bricks and mortar. Is the mortar soft? Are the bricks loose? Bring a screwdriver up with you and probe the mortar. Does it crumble?
Does the whole chimney move?
You would do this BEFORE you buy and install a fireplace insert and liner.
Putting this in an unsound struture is inappropriate.
Post pictures of this chimney. Especially above the roof line, but below and to the side as well.
It sounds like these guys were blind or stupid or both.
Ron
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:51 PM   #24
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


same problem, basically, some mortar has fallen out between lower bricks, and bricks along the roofline (and a couple above) are "spalling" - the faces are falling off.

3 contractors, 3 solutions, confused like everyone else:
1. tear it down and rebuild with concrete block
2. repair (?) lower bricks and repoint chimney
3. bolt (?) cement board all around the chimney to hold it in place (about half the price of 1 and 2 - but?)

All say metal liner should be added.

Chimney currently has a clay liner and a woodstove insert. No one recommends taking the chimney down and replacing with metalbestos chimney because a complicated "adaptor" is needed. ?

I'm sorry, no pic of chimney posted, but I'd love to get the opinion of you knowledgeable people about the 3 options above - and any others.

Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:53 PM   #25
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


My 1927 house has a 2-flue unlined chimney. I've been told the chimney needs to be re-built up from roofline. This is to allow insertion of an aluminum liner in the gas flue (for the furnace) and a stainless steel liner for the woodburning insert we're putting in.

I've been quoted $7,800 + tax to have the following work done:
1) disassemble chimney to roof line
2) rebuild as per original construction
3) supply and install new chimney cap flashings
4) supply and install flex liner to gas flue to include connections in mechanical room and termination work at top of chimney
5) insulate approx. 2-3' in gas flue
6) supply and install extended concrete drip edge
7) supply and install 2 new contrete hooded pots and mortar wash
8) supply and install vertical wildlife and rain deterrents to side openings of new hooded pot installations
9) supply and apply 761 brick and masonry sealer to exterior of chimney from flashings to crown
10) remove debris to dedicated dump site

I've attached photos of the chimney and fireplace. Does this amount sound reasonable for the work to be performed?
Attached Thumbnails
Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-6-.jpg   Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-7-.jpg   Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-14-.jpg   Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-13-.jpg   Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-10-.jpg  

Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?-2666-nanaimo-11-.jpg  
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:48 PM   #26
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


There is a method of lining a flue using perlite concrete. An inflatable tube is inserted down the flue and the concrete pumped around it. The tube is deflated later. This is good for at least 30 years.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:29 PM   #27
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


Yes, I've read about this method of lining a flue, but I am not aware of its use in Canada. Also, this method requires that the entire chimney be opened every two metres (and at any bend) to centralise the form. This may mean mess and disruption within the building and subsequent re-plastering and redecoration. So I think it might end up costing more than rebuilding the chimney from the roof up.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:46 AM   #28
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


I would be surprised if this method was not available in North America as it's been used here for over 30 years and we are usually about 20years behind you. If you have any doubts about the cost of works get a number of estimates, at least 3.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:21 AM   #29
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


do you have a fireplace? If not, hows your boiler? New gas boilers dont use a chimney and you can tear it down and repair the outside with whatever you have out there.

Just a little outside the box thinking not seeing the situation youre in.

g-luck
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:26 PM   #30
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Chimney repair: rebuild or repoint?


Yes, we have a fireplace. We're having a woodburning insert put into it. As the chimney is unlined, a stainless steel liner needs to go in first.

The company with the $7,800 quote says the chimney has to be rebuilt up from the roofline. Another company said that my chimney is good for 30 years. He says all that's needed is a concrete drip edge and a wildlife/rain deterrent. I'm waiting for his quote, but I doubt it will be more than $2000. Obviously, much less expensive than a partial rebuild.

Considering that the woodburning insert we chose is high-end, this will save us at least $6,000. I'm getting a third opinion on the chimney tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what he has to say!

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