Huff and Puff and Blow Your House Down!

Sometimes even a brick house can be blown down…

Do you remember those intense thunderstorms at the end of June? Well on our way home after one of the storms we saw that unfortunately a neighbor’s tree had come down in the garden. When we got to our house though we were happy to see everything appeared intact. However when I went out to the alley to bring in the trash cans, I noticed some bricks and a chimney cap in the middle of the street…

Hmm, I wonder where those came from?! And when I looked up I could see the cap of our back chimney was missing!

So as the sun was setting, up to the roof I went. Luckily we can put a ladder on our 3rd floor deck for reasonably easy access, because more rain was in the forecast for the following morning.

This chimney was an old kitchen chimney that is long since abandoned.

The base of the chimney had been stucco’ed over however the mortar at the top 5 exposed brick courses that corbel out to form a decorative top is cracked and deteriorated. The strong wind was able to take the cap by dislodging a few bricks. Luckily nothing was damaged by the pieces that fell 40′ to the alley below but we were not going to take a chance of any more bricks falling.

One by one I reached out and carefully removed all the loose bricks down to the stucco. I then had to carry heavy bags of bricks down our creaking ladder.

To temporarily seal the top we covered the top of the chimney with a thick trash bag and ratchet strapped it down. Long term I think we will knock the chimney down to the level of the roof and roof over the top. But that is not a task for tonight…

This was an unexpected project but at least I got a nice view of the city night skyline.

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