Crumbling bricks

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I have read other posts on here where people have found crumbling bricks in the gable end/party wall in the loft.

I have that too.

I have repointed the lower bricks as the mortar was rotted but bricks fine.

Above, a few bricks are in a bad way and will be replaced.

However, on the chimney breast I have a bigger problem. The top (bit nearest the roof) is solid brick and mortar. The bit at the bottom (near the loft rafters) is solid as is the mortar.

However, in between, the bricks are in a bad way. Two are missing (hole into chimney breast). I planned to remove the bad bricks one by one and replace. However, I am worried that by taking out any more bricks, the whole lot might collapse.

Through the hole, I can see that there is a similar hole on the oposite side on my next door neighbours side.

As the chimney is on my property, how does his hole affect things?

I think this is beyond my skills.

1. Will a builder be likely to be able to repair the breast? My fear is that the whole thing will need to be taken down at great cost.

2. Any ideas of the sort of costs? I know you cant see the exact thing, but am I talking 1 grand or 10?

3. Is this urgent to fix?

Thanks
 
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First off don't panic It's very common and unless its crumbling terribly not urgently dangerous or anything.

The missing bricks are dangerous though if the flue's are in use as you can understand the potential fire risk and also carbon monoxide issues.

Chimney brests are pretty self supporting structure so removing a few bricks at a time from the face is not problem. So replace them as you see fit and don't worry if you have already replaced a few bricks here and there succesfully it is probably not beyond your skills.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly you need to determine the reasons for it's poor condition. It has been at some stage been, or may still be, too damp for some reason. All Flues that are not in use should be capped with a ventilated cowl and ventilated at the bottom also. In your case it would be well worth a look at the pots, flashings and especially flaunching on the stack too.
 
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Thanks

I have started by repointing the majority of healthy bricks.

I then plan to replace some crumbling bricks, then get a builder in to deal with the chimney as I am still worried that it might fall down if I take out one brick too many.

Then up on the roof to repair the flashing and repoint chimney.

The roof was replaced 3 years ago. Think that it must have leaked badly, causing the damage.
 
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sounds good. remember to cap the pots if not in use and most importantly check the flaunching around pots as this is the area that will let in most water.
 

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