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Old 08-04-2010, 01:46 PM   #16
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


I'd agree that in reality, you "should" be able to handle the whole job if you wanted. Let's be honest, it's not brain surgery, but it does require being a fairly picky person to do a good, asthetically pleasing job. I think the big question is if you really feel comfortable working at these heights, or if there is a way you can easily scaffold it.

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Old 08-04-2010, 02:05 PM   #17
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


I would have to rent scaffolding. I would consider that in the cost. I'm not sure how much repointing there is, and thus how much labor cost would be involved. That's why I want to consider all of my options and am trying to learn a bit more about some of your guys' thoughts on the repointing so I can decide if that's something I want to tackle myself or leave to the professionals.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #18
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


Here's one of many threads that pertain to tuckpointing here:
Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing

Try searching the word "tuckpointing" for many, many more archived here.

If you have a more specific question, I'd be willing to give a shot at the answer. But, quite honestly, I hate tucking, and don't really care for typing a whole lot either, so I don't really want to lay out the entire process here when it's already well documented within this very site.

Good luck with the project.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:23 PM   #19
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I can certainly appreciate that. I've read a lot of articles and will look at the link you posted. I guess my specific question is with regard to the pictures I posted. Looking at those pictures, is it recommended that anywhere there is a crack in the mortar, and any place where the face of the brick has come off need to be repointed (and of course if the mortar is soft or crumbling)?
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #20
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Looking at those pictures, is it recommended that anywhere there is a crack in the mortar,

Not necessarily every hairline crack needs to be tucked IMO, but certainly anyplace the crack is larger, and the mortar is softer and crumbling.

and any place where the face of the brick has come off need to be repointed (and of course if the mortar is soft or crumbling)?

There is no long term repair to the crumbling faces that I know of, short of sawing the brick out one by one & replacing with the same like kind. Or, rebuilding from scratch with new brick. I'm sure neither is in the cards financially, so I would merely try to repair the current condition with minimal tuckpointing, and most importantly, a proper concrete cap.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #21
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


Ok, so I FINALLY have quotes rolling in. The first quote is recommending:
  1. Replacing the cap with a limestone cap that extends 2" beyond.
  2. Installing a drip edge.
  3. Cutting out and replacing any spalling bricks.
  4. Some tuckpointing.
  5. Spraying on a stain remover.
  6. Spraying on a sealer.
Is all of this really necessary? The quote I received was astranomically higher than I had anticipated.

Thank you for your guidance!
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:21 PM   #22
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


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The chimney hasnít been used in perhaps 10 years.
I know someone else mentioned eliminating the chimney...and I know you were opposed to it, but with it not being used in so long it would be an option to consider.

Unless the fireplace opening is sealed every winter, all winter, there is probably quite a bit of heat loss up that old chimbley.

Is the furnace using the same chimney?

Just a thought.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #23
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I don't think the furnace uses the chimney. It is fairly insulated from the house with some Styrofoam insulation. It's on the outside of the house, so trying to remove it wouldn't work very well. I think it would hurt resale value as well.

Any thoughts on this list? I know that stain removing & sealing weren't listed by others on this forum previously. And is limestone really necessary?

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:25 PM   #24
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


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I don't think the furnace uses the chimney. It is fairly insulated from the house with some Styrofoam insulation. It's on the outside of the house, so trying to remove it wouldn't work very well. I think it would hurt resale value as well.

Any thoughts on this list? I know that stain removing & sealing weren't listed by others on this forum previously. And is limestone really necessary?

Thanks!
You need a cap and it should extend beyond the bricks on all sides. The limestone is probably pre cast. Due to the weight, it probably comes in 2 pieces. The concrete caps I've seen are usually poured in place. I don't think one is better then the other. Is the limestone cap cheaper?
If the chimney has 2 flues coming out, the boiler probably uses one of them unless you switched to a direct vent boiler.
Stain remover is just cosmetic, not a necessity. Sealing the brick, might be benificial if it would stop the deterioration.
I would not remove the chimney.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:36 PM   #25
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


That's helpful. I'll call and see if I can determine where most of the cost is coming from.

Our furnace has it's own vent through the roof, so I don't think anything is using the chimney, unless we start a fire in it.

I've read that sealing or painting brick can cause more problems than it prevents. Is this accurate?
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:58 PM   #26
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


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I've read that sealing or painting brick can cause more problems than it prevents. Is this accurate?
Painting brickwork can seal in moisture and cause problems, but sealing with a siloxane sealer will allow it to breathe.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:30 PM   #27
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How serious is this Chimney stack brick problem (pics)?


Player, FWIW, I make chimney caps all the time for customers. I usually make them from galvanized or aluminized steel , but occasionally I use stainless steel or copper for special purpose caps. Any of these materials will outlast all of us.

The advantage to using a metal cap as oppsed to mortar is that it keeps all the rain and snow on the outside and it keeps the top 2 courses of bricks from becoming dislodged.

I usually make the cap out of 16 gauge material & 4" tall with a drip egde. With galvanized and stainless steel they are welded seams with a 2" collar around the flue pipe. Copper caps are soldered and also water tight w/collar.

If you get a chance I encourage you to call around to local sheet metal shops and get a price quote. If a customer calls with accurate dimensions I can give them a quote over the phone and usually have it done within a day or two.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:02 PM   #28
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Is a siloxane sealer common, and what should be applied? Or are there other good options out there? Can it just be pressure washed to prep for it?

A metal cap sounds nice, but it sounds pricey. Is it (compared to a masonry cap)?
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:10 PM   #29
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Is a siloxane sealer common, and what should be applied? Or are there other good options out there?

It's definately becoming more common as time goes on, yet you'll be hard pressed to find it in a "big box" store. Check with a local masonry/conrete spply house.

Can it just be pressure washed to prep for it?

Be careful with pressure washing, as it can drive alot of moisture into the brick, especially if they're soft/absorbant. Let it dry for a few day at a minimum before sealing.

A metal cap sounds nice, but it sounds pricey. Is it (compared to a masonry cap)?
Metal can certainl be a cheaper alternative, as the majority of the work is faster & more efficient (ie: it's done in a shop vs. rooftop)
The steel cap has to be bent to allow for itch to effective long term though IMO.
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