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Stuff falling down old chimneys

Discussion in 'Building' started by MisterBoy, 5 Sep 2020.

  1. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    We live in an 1860ish brick Victorian house... Fireplaces in every room, mostly uncapped.

    Bits fall down all the chimneys every now and then. We had a wood burner installed in the front room with a metal plate and flue liner but the other fireplaces are not used.

    You can hear bits fall down then every now and then, rattling down the chimney and landing in the fireplace or on the metal plate. Pebble sized mostly but a month ago about 1/4 of a brick landed in one hearth!

    If we don't plan to use the chimneys, other than maybe more wood burners, is this something to care about our is it quite normal and that's WHY we install flue liners?
     
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  3. jacko555

    jacko555

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    Not normal.
    Get it checked with cctv.
     
  4. kingandy2nd

    kingandy2nd

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    I had the same at my old 1900s house - even had the half a brick crash down into my bedroom fireplace in the middle of the night!

    The brickwork at the top of the chimney had come loose as the mortar had weathered away over the years as the concrete cap was cracked. Needed the chimney pots, etc removed, repointing/repairing brickwork on the inside top courses and then re-capping with new pots.
     
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  5. ted456

    ted456

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    There's lots of recent posts in this forum about flues etc why not read up on them?
     
  6. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    interesting. Like a long endoscope type thing, or what? Something I could hire/buy and do myself?

    yikes. Our pots are high enough to need scaffold or cherry picker, definitely don't want to do that unless needed. How did you find this out... Was it obvious externally, if I could find a mate with a drone?

    Now I know, maybe I will.
     
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  8. kingandy2nd

    kingandy2nd

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    I had a builder go up on the roof to inspect. The damage / issues were buried under the cement cap so I don’t think anything other that a close up inspection would do.
     
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  9. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    Could be jackdaws - they love nesting in unused chimneys. We had ours swept about 18 months before the fire was fitted and all the chimneys capped. B****s had been in again and chimney had 2 bin bags of twigs, coke cans and various other bits of rubbish in it again. Get the unused chimneys capped! (and it stops the rain going down)
     
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  10. SFK

    SFK

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    Misterboy,
    Presuming you have a chimney sweep cleaning your stove every year, get them to also inspect your other chimneys.
    My chimney sweep has CCTV camera as part of his service if needed for small extra cost (so far not needed by me).
    SFK
     
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  11. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    @mrrusty I've seen them in one pot where the grill has come off but the others are protected so I think it's unlikely.
    When we moved in I thought the various chimneys were capped top and bottom (one per room but only one was still used) but from closer inspection I don't think any are top-capped, and only a couple are at the bottom.

    @SFK ah that's a great idea thanks. We are due to get the flue swept for the woodburner the first time before it starts getting used again. I'll ask the sweeps I know if this is something they offer. Definitely seems to make sense.

    Although the chimney with the new burner in has a steel plate so we cannot easily look in the chimney itself, but he could look at the others on the same stack at least.
     
  12. SFK

    SFK

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    Pleasure.

    >>> Flue liners are not to stop dropping bits.

    Wood burning stoves burn hot in the stove and (compared to an open fire) cool in the chimney. This makes them more efficent at heating room.
    BUT This cool chimney leads to risk of more wood artifacts (eg resin) sticking to the bricks, which are hard to clean and can result in fire.
    Metal flues that are regularly swept mitigate this effect.
    SFK
     
  13. DIYnot Local

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