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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Repaired Chimney

When we bought our house back in 2004, we knew it was going to need some work in a few years.  Well, all that work seems to have hit in 2012, now that the house is 29 years old. 

We can no longer put off replacing the roof.  And it's a big roof.  We also have 4 skylights that started leaking, and a brick fell off the corner of our chimney into the pool (no one was near the pool - so no one was hurt, but still!).  Probably years of hail damage.

There are gobs and gobs of other projects that need to be taken care of, but we knew The Roof was 2012's most critical project.

We had three companies out to give us roof quotes.  We chose our company, but found out the chimney needed some really serious work done, and that had to come first.

2 masons came out and studied the issues and BOTH DECLINED the job saying they just couldn't manage the job.  This was going to be a BIG job.  Uh oh.

Then the mason that our roofing company recommended came out, and agreed to take it on.

Of course, they were ready to start the chimney repairs THE SAME DAY that my sister and nieces arrived.
It all worked out though.

I took these photos, but actually had to ask David to send me an email documenting what we had done to the chimney because it the laundry list was so long that I knew I'd mess up the description.

So here is David:
The mason tore down the structurally weak brick.  He repaired all the bad brick on the chimney, poured a new cap, sealed it with a water repellent and put on the 4 chimney covers.

We didn't build it back the way it was because 1) it was a dumb design in that the steel rusted and started to collapse under the weight of the bricks, and 2) the steel is very heavy and he didn't know a safe way to get it into position.

And there you go.  The top 3 feet of the chimney were in horrible, horrible shape.  We're lucky we didn't have more bricks fall onto our decks or onto the roof. 

We are thrilled that this project is complete.  It's been a long time coming.

And now, some photos.

Before - you can see the spot where the brick on the front left corner fell off, tumbled down the roof and landed in the pool.  And our roof really needs to be replaced - it's so obvious in this photo.  And that's the broken skylight that drips a steady stream when it rains.  Oh, and the house needs to be painted.  OK, stop looking.

Our mason was pointing out various issues including these structures hanging down from inside the 3 windows in the chimney.  Apparently they're not supposed to be drooping.  And they're corroded.  And chimneys weren't sealed back then and desperately need to be.  And we've had at least 2 squirrels fall down the chimney into our bedroom fireplace.  Need I go on? 

You can see the space in between bricks towards the top.  Apparently this was the case for several feet of bricks, much more visible the higher you got up.

One morning, sitting on the computer upstairs, I started watching the machinery arrive.

Serious scaffolding.  Removed most of the fence from around the pool pump and (broken) pool heater.

This was a serious job.

I snapped this as we were leaving to go to lunch one day.
I felt pretty bad heading out to lunch with family while they worked way up high in the 100* heat.
I did not envy them, but thank goodness they would take on our job!

And the finished chimney.

Finished.  Safe.  Cleaned.  Squirrel Proofed.  Sealed.
Ready for New Roof and Skylights later this Fall!


Joanne Barragan said...

Good move on repairing and replacing the roof and the chimney! Now, you have a safe and sturdy roof above you. Old structures and properties have these kinds of problems. Because of age and other factors, some of the parts, like the roof, start to give away. By repairing and replacing these parts, you are ensuring a safe and quality home for your family, and the repairs can increase the value of your home. [Joanne Barragan]

Noreen Saint said...

Aside from the quality stemming from a new roof, you'll also have the delight of having a new and improved home! Joanne has a good point, a chimney at home requires a lot of safety and you wouldn't have to worry about it this time.

Noreen Saint