Does my chimney need rebuilding? (lots of photos)

Discussion in 'Building' started by theopposite, 11 Aug 2017.

  1. theopposite

    theopposite

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    Hey,
    So today I had some scaffold erected around my chimney with the intention of repointing it then applying Stormdry masonry sealant. I suspected the chimney had become porus because there is a damp patch in the bedroom upstairs where the ceiling meets the chimney breast.

    However, when I got up there this afternoon, I was rather shocked to find a number of bricks with big cracks, holes and splits. Plus the whole chimney seems to be crooked with what looks to me to be a fairly pronounced forward lean. In fact it seems to splay out a little in most directions!

    So now I'm wondering if it could do with rebuilding? Or is the state of the chimney not that bad for an old house? Clearly some bricks need replacing. Is the lean something to worry about?

    I'm just a DIYer so I need more qualified advice. Obviously I'd rather not rebuild it due to cost, but if it's necessary then it'll have to be done.

    It's a Victorian terrace house.

    To be honest, the only reason I decided to repoint it myself is I had such a hard time trying to find someone reliable to do it for me.

    Anyway, here are a whole bunch of photos which hopefully give some idea of what it's like.

    Any thoughts? Cheers.

    CHIMNEY FROM GARDEN
    [​IMG]


    FRONT / SIDE
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    SOME CLOSE UP SHOTS
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    FORWARD LEAN
    [​IMG]

    REARWARD LEAN
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. footprints

    footprints

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    OK so I'm not an expert but it does look somewhat rougher than the one I just had rebuilt. I had the same thing messed about with the soaker's and listings treated it with water proofer nothing worked.
    I suspect the cracked bricks simply soak up water and no amount of spraying or fiddling with the pointing (looks like it has been an ongoing problem for some time by the piecemeal bits of repair) so far mine seems OK but it's only been a couple of months so I shouldn't tempt fate:whistle:.
    As a guide my stack was triple pots and cost around 5 grand, I was shocked at the price but when I saw the amount of work and scaffold involved I felt a bit better;).
     
  4. theopposite

    theopposite

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    Cheers. Yes, these things are always more expensive than you think.
    This is the first time I've got up close to the chimney. It's looks ok from ground level!!!

    I suspect the same with regard to the cracked / damaged bricks so I know at the very least they'll need replacing.

    Who decided to have the chimney rebuilt? You, or did the builder recommend it?
     
  5. bobsuerita

    bobsuerita

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    i would be more worried about about the bodged (mastic to joints ) slates above the back gutter too the chimney i would say your damp maybe coming from there
     
  6. footprints

    footprints

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    WE decided to bite the bullet after paying out several times for work, no one wants to guarantee to cure it and we kept getting the same things suggested that had been done before.
     
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  8. theopposite

    theopposite

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    Ah yes, those dodgy tiles. They were like that (minus the mastic) when we bought the house. The guy who did the flashing around the chimney told me about the bodged tiles and applied the mastic as a precautionary measure. No water gets through them. The felt inside the loft is broken near them so I can actually check the underside of them when it's raining.

    I'm pretty much sure that the water/damp is getting through the chimney itself, and having just now had a close up look, I'm not surprised considering how it looks.

    So now I have the almost impossible task of finding a reliable and competent person/company to repair/rebuild it.

    Footprints - Did the chimney rebuild solve the problems you were having?
     
  9. CJRatch

    CJRatch

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    I personally don't think it looks that bad and a good rake out say 30mm and a re point along with any cracks in bricks siliconed / mortared up and stormdry (This is very good Ive used it before although expensive) applied I can't see how the chimney will leak. The flashing looks okay. The lean you mention has probably been there since it was built.

    This will be cheaper than rebuilding although as you've already forked out for scaffolding rebuilding costs shouldn't be to extortionate if you were to go down that route.
     
  10. vinn

    vinn

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    OP,
    There's no urgent need for a rebuild, it would depend on your future plans for the property.
    The lean has occurred over many years from weather conditions.

    Raking out, repointing & damaged brick replacement might work. The stack was built with sand & lime mortar. Sweep the two flues.

    The whole of the flaunching should be removed, and two pots with appropriate terminals can be set in new flaunching that covers the whole stack footprint.

    Replacing and re-arranging the damaged and out of course fibre cement slates (Eternit?)
    will depend on future plans.

    The back gutter should be a min. of 200mm wide to give space for a foothold.

    The stepped one-piece cover flashing is wrong - for slate roofs it should be soakers covered by stepped flashing.



    Whatever, do all or any work while the scaff is in place - dont ever allow workers on the roof without a roof ladder.

    FWIW: the standard of building work has plunged in the last so many years to a state of almost anything goes - gimme the money.
    There are virtually no apprenticeships, & anyway young people dont want to go into the trades, which creates a lack of any kind of workers: good, bad or indifferent.
    I used to thoroughly teach the apprentices their trades, esp ref. safety but its a losing battle.
    After all the effort and expense they drift away or come to work stoned out of their minds & get sacked.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2017
  11. footprints

    footprints

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    As I said too early to tell yet so far so good(y)
    We have faffed about with it for 10 years, tried everything and spent a fair bit of cash, that's why we decided to demolish and rebuild. It depends on what you have tried so far and whether you want to try a few cheaper options first. The bricks on our house are very porous and have lots of small cracks in them naturally the outer wall does get pretty soaked in heavy rain but the cavity keeps the inner skin dry (that's why cavity wall callers get short shrift at our house!) the old DPC in the chimney was felt and chances are not doing much.
    The new one has two lead trays built in. Boy are they heavy B*****s:p Lead trays.JPG
    Our Chimneys are not in use they would need a liner if we decided to go back to using them.
     
  12. Red_Shift

    Red_Shift

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    Houses near me have simply rendered the chimney but that might not be aesthetically ok for you
     
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