Project Description

This family called us because their brick chimney was pulling away from their house. They wanted to safely use their fireplace and turn it into a true focal point of their home. This project turned into a major, but important, chimney repair.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • We wanted to maximize this family’s budget while giving them a safe and functional fireplace.
  • Upon inspection, we discovered that there were major structural flaws with the chimney – it had never been attached to the house. While proper construction techniques would have called for tying the chimney into the structure by securing it with brick ties, this house was actually sided and then the chimney was just put up next to it. Over time, settling naturally occurred, and the lack of a proper footing caused the chimney to pull away from the house.  Issues continued on the inside of the chimney as well, which presented multiple fire hazards in the poor condition it was in.

Solutions

  • Rather than replacing the entire chimney structure, which would have cost significantly more, we coordinated our efforts with a company that specializes in repair work. We stripped a section of siding off the house and cut away some bushes that were impeding repairs.
  • The repair was accomplished by installing two helical piers – essentially large screws that provide foundational support for a structure. The chimney itself was then hydraulically lifted and properly attached to the house.
  • Once the chimney was correctly attached, we repaired the siding, trimmed and sealed around the gap.
  • On the inside, we worked with a chimney sweep to clean out the chimney, and properly caulk and mortar its interior. Interior cracks were sealed so this family can now rest assured that their fireplace is safe to use.
  • For the scale of this project, it was completed very quickly. It took about a half day to secure the chimney, and the remainder of the project was completed within a week.