Hello. We recently bought a house which has a very tall stone fireplace in the living room that is pulling away from the concrete block behind it. It is on a wall with a vaulted ceiling, so it goes from 8' tall up to 14'. These are real stones that were pulled from the surrounding land, not lightweight fake stone. So, there are many tons involved in this. I am a general contractor, so I am pretty handy and have the tools, but I just do not have very much knowledge when it comes to masonry. I am basically wanting to remove the stone SAFELY, then I will have a professional mason come and inspect the condition of the block and fireplace itself, and if it is in good condition, I will be refacing it with a flatter and less heavy stone.
So, my main question is:
What measures should I take in safely removing the stones to insure that the whole thing doesn't come crashing down? Thank you.