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We have a 19 year old home. A brick mason has told us that he cannot find the cotton wicks or "weeps" where the moisture should leave the chimney bricks above the roofline of the house.

He suspects that the "box" built of lumber and plywood around our three fireplace vents might be rotting from the moisture that has not been able to escape over these 19 years. We need a new cap and vents, but he is warning us that he might find bigger issues when he opens the cap of our large chimney.

IF the box has rotted away, he says we will need a new chimney (three stories tall). Does this sound reasonable? I have never heard of this problem, but this is our first brick home.

Thanks!
 

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Not sure how anyone could even guess without some pictures.
Never once seen cotton wicks used in brick work.
Trying to picture what your talking about when you mention plywood around the vents.
 

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Normally there are no weeps at the roofline, the chimney is more or less solid brick construction down to the slab. If you have fake or thin bricks over wood construction, weeps are never used in that application.
 
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