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Tom Raymond

Can this be fixed?

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This is the chimney from this morning's inspection. Sorry for the big images, but I think they show the condition far better. Full masonry fireplace with gas logs.

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The cap is broken nearly in half and has obviously been leaking for a long time and the missing spark arrestor isn't helping any.

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There is severe effloresence(sp?) all over, but worse on the broad faces. I have never seen the salts build to this kind of thickness before.

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There are two horizontal cracks:

Outside

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Inside

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I didn't see any evidence of water in the fire box, but this is in the crawl directly under the opening.

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Is this as simple as a new cap and a little pointing, or has it been leaking so long that it could be a complete tear out and rebuild?

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From the pix I would say a new liner, some crown repair and repointing, and she should be good to go. My guess, $2,500. $4,000 if you need two liners.

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I should have included a shot down the liner. Here it is.

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Ben, the crawl floor is concrete. Kinda stupid, the whole area is just shy of 16 x 20. In 1974 when they built it, it would have cost around $500 more to go the extra couple feet.

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Looks like steel lintel over the fireplace opening is probably rusting, jacking-up the masonry, yes? (due to chronic rain penetration). That can be tough to arrest 100%...

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A new cap and top section of tile flue should do the trick. Recommend that a expansion joint is put between the concrete cap and clay tile flue, this should help prevent the cracking of the tile. A cover and screen will also help keep out the rain and birds.

With the gas logs, was there a hold open clip on the damper? If no, I would recommend one be installed for safety. How was the operation of the damper? After all these years with an open top many damper have given up the ghost in my area, don't now how much rain you get there.

Of course, all this should be done by a highly qualified tradesman that understands the proper way to rebuild a chimney. Wonder if we have some illustrations on this forum showing how to build or rebuild a chimney?

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