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Question DetailsAsked on 6/3/2018

is cracked and loose bricks on the chimney is a structural problem

I have a chimney connected to the heating unit. just few bricks on the top is cracked and loose. It has come in the inspection report. we have a contract to sell specifies house is as is condition except any structural issues.

The house is 50 years old.

Is this structural

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2 Answers

0
Votes

If chimney is solid brick construction, definitely yes.


If a brick veneer over concrete, then probably a matter of interpretation - not "structural" in terms of being part of the house support, but could be interpretated as "structural" in terms of part of the "structure of the house" is falling apart.


If I was the buyer I would require proper repair under the contingency terms of the contract - you as the owner can come back to the buyer saying it is not structural, which would then require a structural engineer or master mason independent evaluation of whether this is "structural" or "surficial" - probably well over 75% likely to say yes unless just a veneer of bricks with no at-depth damage - though determining that would require digging into the chimney a bit which would then have to be repaired, so between that and the cost of the evaluation, I would advise the owner to just get it repired right off after the buyer identifies it as a contingency item to be repaired.


I do have to say selling "as is" but excepting structural problems from that exception was an odd thing to do - largely negates the "as is" provision (which automatically reduces offering prices) and opened up the interpretation of what is "structural" - not a good thing to do in a listing.


Repair should include evaluation of whether it is failing at-depth (requiring at least a partial rebuild at the top) or just weathered joint mortar requiring "structural repointing" - which removal and replacement of the joint mortar to depth, not just a mortar overcoat filling in missing mortar, which does no good if bricks are cracking and falling out.


It is also likely that the crown of the chimney (the mortar dome on top) is cracked and letting water in, which is likely leading to the cracked and falling out bricks - and that would be normally considered "structural" in that its failure leads to water intrusion which causes structural damage - rotting of roofing and/or framing.


Cost of course depends on specific case - but repair of crown and replacing a few cracked bricks, and repointing the portion of the chimney above roofline (usually the first to go) is typically a $500-1500 ballpark job depending on whether only the surficial brick layer or just the top few courses of bricks are involved, or if he has to go to the liner (usually 2 layer of brick unless just a veneer layer). Complete removal and rebuild of the portion above the roofline, ifneeded due to significant deterioration, commonly int he $1000-2000 range except for massive or multi-flue chimneys - assuming the flue is intact.

Answered 5 months ago by LCD

0
Votes

If chimney is solid brick construction, definitely yes. If a brick veneer over concrete, then probably a matter of interpretation - not "structural" in terms of being part of the house support, but could be interpretated as "structural" in terms of part of the "structure of the house" is falling apart. If I was the buyer I would require proper repair under the contingency terms of the contract - you as the owner can come back to the buyer saying it is not structural, which would then require a structural engineer or master mason independent evaluation of whether this is "structural" or "surficial" - probably well over 75% likely to say yes unless just a veneer of bricks with no at-depth damage - though determining that would require digging into the chimney a bit which would then have to be repaired, so between that and the cost of the evaluation, I would advise the owner to just get it repired right off after the buyer identifies it as a contingency item to be repaired. I do have to say selling "as is" but excepting structural problems from that exception was an odd thing to do - largely negates the "as is" provision (which automatically reduces offering prices) and opened up the interpretation of what is "structural" - not a good thing to do in a listing. Repair should include evaluation of whether it is failing at-depth (requiring at least a partial rebuild at the top) or just weathered joint mortar requiring "structural repointing" - which removal and replacement of the joint mortar to depth, not just a mortar overcoat filling in missing mortar, which does no good if bricks are cracking and falling out. It is also likely that the crown of the chimney (the mortar dome on top) is cracked and letting water in, which is likely leading to the cracked and falling out bricks - and that would be normally considered "structural" in that its failure leads to water intrusion which causes structural damage - rotting of roofing and/or framing. Cost of course depends on specific case - but repair of crown and replacing a few cracked bricks, and repointing the portion of the chimney above roofline (usually the first to go) is typically a $500-1500 ballpark job depending on whether only the surficial brick layer or just the top few courses of bricks are involved, or if he has to go to the liner (usually 2 layer of brick unless just a veneer layer). Complete removal and rebuild of the portion above the roofline, ifneeded due to significant deterioration, commonly int he $1000-2000 range except for massive or multi-flue chimneys - assuming the flue is intact.

Answered 5 months ago by LCD




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