Leaning Chimney in Attic

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by April, Jan 8, 2020.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Jan 8, 2020 #1

    April

    April

    April

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas
    Hi!

    I have a leaning chimney that ends in the attic. Home was built in 1900. Is this dangerous? If so, what options are available as far as bracing or removing it?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Jan 9, 2020 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,753
    Likes Received:
    713
    Welcome.

    A photo would help.
    What is the material the chimney is constructive of?
    Is there an abandoned fire place beneath?
     
    April likes this.
  3. Jan 9, 2020 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,715
    Likes Received:
    3,368
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    some where built wonky.
     
  4. Feb 9, 2020 #4

    April

    April

    April

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas
    8BB4CA66-74D5-4442-8FF1-1469B4067457.jpeg Photo:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2020
  5. Feb 9, 2020 #5

    April

    April

    April

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas
    EC01AB3D-8BC5-4542-A2BE-2CD3D1B54502.jpeg Photo 2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2020
  6. Feb 9, 2020 #6

    pjones

    pjones

    pjones

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Vancouver Canada BC
    Sure looks dangerous to me. With no support at the top it looks like hazard with seismic movement.

    Was it built with that bend in it or has that occurred from damaged bricks below?

    If you don’t remove it then at the least screw down some thick plywood in the attic underneath it all the way around so if you have an earthquake or if they decide to fall then the bricks won’t fall through the ceiling onto somebody. Top of the ceiling jousts or above the insulation if it’s thick. It would be best to have it removed though.

    Looking at it you could remove it by hand without any tools.

    Edit: added some info and replaced info I deleted by mistake.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    April likes this.
  7. Feb 9, 2020 #7

    April

    April

    April

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas
    Thank you for the reply! Yes - I actually found that out about 5 min after posting the photos...mortar is very old and comes right apart, so it’ll be a pretty simple fix. Thank you!
     
    pjones likes this.
  8. Feb 9, 2020 #8

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,382
    Likes Received:
    1,918
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    At some point in time the chimney was abandoned. Most likely when the new roof was put on. New furnaces and water heaters can be vented out the side of the house with PVC pipe now.


    I had a similar chimney and a year or two ago I had a new roof put on and I had them take the chimney down below the roof line like yours is and then while the hole was still open I took the rest down to the attic floor level and handed the bricks to the guys on the roof that tossed them to the ground.


    You need to take that down to the floor level and cap it off.


    It will be some work unless the attic has a window. You could rope off the area below and drop them one at a time, otherwise you need to get a 5 gallon bucket and carry them down and out a few at a time. the only other option I have seen people do is drop the bricks down the chimney one at a time and just leave them in there.


    I would opt for taking them out and then repurpose the bricks into something else.


    They will come apart easy all you will need is a claw hammer and maybe a old screwdriver. Just go slow until you get 6-7 rows off. There is a lot of weight there.


    Mine is so much nicer now not having to work around it when I’m up there.
     
    April likes this.
  9. Feb 9, 2020 #9

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,715
    Likes Received:
    3,368
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    Yes it should be taken down to the ceiling height for sure. They just did what they could reach from outside.
     
  10. Feb 11, 2020 #10

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Illinois
    I think as you demo the leaning part, you can just toss the old bricks down the unused chimney.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2020 #11

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,382
    Likes Received:
    1,918
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    That's a good idea but then you cant use the bricks for a garden walkway.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2020 #12

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Illinois
    Sure you can.

    Just haul them up from the basement, when you start knocking down the chimney down there, or just blow a hole for access.
     
  13. Feb 11, 2020 #13

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,382
    Likes Received:
    1,918
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    I would never suggest taking it down past the attic floor unless you were doing a gut job below. The little floor space you pick up isn’t worth it IMO.


    It is likely plaster and lath covered in the living areas and sometimes they were structural for the first floor framing.


    I use mine as a chase for my antenna wire to get to the basement and out the hole where the water heater used to vent.


    IMO knocking a hole in the bottom could be kind of risky with that old construction and the weight above. If I were going to try it I would set up a video cam just in case and maybe win the 10k on American Funniest Videos.
     
    Jeff Handy likes this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder