The most cost-effective way to rebuild a chimney that cannot be repaired by chimney tuck-pointing is to tear it down and rebuild it. There are certain things you should do to make sure your new chimney is built to last. Here in this article we will discuss all the steps involved for rebuilding a chimney.
Your first step should be to pick the right materials for the construction. This will increase its durability if you use a brick that’s solid and without holes. It is known that cored bricks (with holes) tend to have a short life because moisture can accumulate inside the cavity and begin to weaken the joints from the inside out, which is especially problematic in colder regions. Therefore, you should choose a solid brick whenever you can.
The next step is to demolish the chimney. It is vital to protect your chimney first by putting down a cloth tarp around it in order to prevent debris from falling on it. The best tarp to use is cloth, because plastic vinyl ones can be slippery. If you slip and fall, it may result in serious injuries or death. You must remove the concrete cap first after you have placed your tarps, or else you risk a landslide of masonry units falling through your roof or all over the place. To pick them up, you will need to cut them into sections first, since they are very heavy.
As soon as the concrete cap is removed, the next step is to remove the brick. If you are going to remove a brick, you should use a drill with a pick attachment and simply pick at the joint underneath the brick until it breaks and you are able to grab it. As your roof pitch is different from the placement of the chimney, you might need to use a bucket to collect debris or you might be able to throw the bricks to the ground in a roped-off area below if it is safe.
When you remove the chimney shaft liners, be sure not to break the clay flu liner in the middle so that you will not send debris down the chimney shaft and then have to clean it out. In order to get the brick to a secure chimney rebuilding point, it may be necessary to reach further below the roofline or to perform some work in the attic.
You are now ready for chimney rebuilding, so start laying bricks on your building materials at your roof. Keeping the courses level and plum will ensure a long-lasting and visually appealing chimney. In case you are using clay flue liners, place one at a time until you reach the top, and then place the next one on top of it. Continue doing this till you reach the desired height. For most areas, the building height must be at or above the roofline within two feet for proper venting of vapor fumes. In general, you need to build your building the same height it was, but check with your area code if you’re not sure.
Once you have installed all your bricks and flu liners, you must pour a concrete cap on your chimney. This is one of the most important parts of the chimney. If you need an extra bit of drainage, build a form around your top course of bricks with 2 X 4’s and fill it up with concrete up to the top. Put a slight slope on the cap so that water will drain away. If your form is being filled, you may also wish to lightly tap it during pouring. As it sets up for a few hours, remove the form and use a small concrete float to smooth off the edges in order to seal all holes as well as make the cap look good.
Installation of Chimney Cap
In order to finish off the chimney install a draft cap, which might also be called a bird cap. The purpose of these is to reduce back drafts that can push fumes into your house. They also serve to keep rain out and animals from getting into your house. They are fairly cheap and available at just about any home improvement store. To ensure your chimney is water-tight, flashing must also be installed around its base.