Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Chimney repair

When we bought this house, we knew the chimney needed some work. The inspector said the chimney needed repointing and so that's what I got some quotes for. I had inspected the bricks when I was up on the roof to recaulk the flashing, so I was pretty sure that it just needed to be repointed. I had wanted to put a metal cap over the chimney too, to keep the water off the concrete. The first quote was $1600 for the repointing plus $400 for the chimney cap (plus tax, of course!), which I thought was very high since I thought it might be 4-6 hrs of work.

The guy who came for a second quote said the chimney needed to be taken down and rebuilt. I wasn't here when that guy came but I just didn't believe that because none of the bricks were loose. His quote was $2800 plus tax.

I didn't like either of those quotes, so I called another guy who came and quoted $450, including tax, for the repointing, including some areas in the carport.

Guess who I hired to do the work? Pretty obviously it was guy #3.

I took this photo after the mason had ground out the mortar with his diamond tipped blade. This cleans out the old, deteriorated mortar and creates a deep crevice so the new mortar has a good surface area to bond with.

This is the other side of the chimney. The metal chimney cap indicates the location of the flue from the old oil furnace. That is no longer in use so I just wanted him to remove it and seal up the hole.

There was a layer of mortar on top of the chimney concrete cap pieces that was all cracked and somewhat loose. The mason was going to remove that and apply a new layer of concrete. If needed, we can get a metal cap later.

This is the area under the car port and you can see how the brick is all wet, which I presume is because the chimney was full of cracks so water could penetrate it. Fortunately it didn't seem to come into the house. There were some large holes in some of the mortar here, so the mason was going to repoint those too.

In this photo, the mason has filled the gaps with the new mortar. He had to let it set up for a while so then he could tool it, to shape the mortar between the bricks.

This photo was taken after the mortar was jammed into the spaces between the bricks, but before it was tooled -- in other words, when the mortar was setting up.

It was raining quite heavily later, so I couldn't take any more photos. Because of the rain, the mason wrapped a tarp around the chimney to protect the mortar from getting washed away. He said he will be back on Friday to remove the tarp. I will take some photos then.

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