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Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

(OP)
Ok, hi all.
I'm an aerospace engineer (no giggling at the back by you civil enfìgineers please winky smile, remember we giggle at you lot in the sme way ! )

I think you'll find this post very interesting (and shocking) as it goes along.

I live in an old house (rented) where the ground floor part of a chimney (well of 2 chimneys ctully) has(have) been removed.

I'll start easily so as not frighten you all (that'll come later in the discussion)

How should he upper part normally be consolìdated after a demolition down below ?
Let's just say for the moment that the upper part's structural integrity is not exactly 'robust'.

What SHOULD be done in normal circumstances, in terms of support/reinforcement up top when the lower part is removed ?

Pointers to any guidelines/normes whih my existrelating to how it should be done would be greatly appreciated.

Let's just say it's a question of life and death ! (I'm serious)

thanks

J

RE: Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

Many old houses had heating by stoves, no furnace in the basement. Those chimneys were supported on a shelf just up from the stove. The shelf was attached to the studs in the wall with horizontal 2 x 4's and diagonal struts at an angle up from that same wall. What holds up, your chimney is a question I suppose you have. Maybe its non-vertical chimney construction making some use of nearby walls, who knows, The least you can do is put in that shelf thing I described with the chimney now only held by friction against any walls. I'd do some temporary supports before attempting to build any shelf under the remaining chimney or disturbing what bricks remain.. 4 x 4's struts going up near vertically from a substantial support, such as a floor, to the underside of what remains may do it,with some wood wedges used to get a tight fit. Then build your shelf. I'd hire an experienced carpenter if there is any question about this work.

RE: Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

Call your local building inspector for a visit.

RE: Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

Chimney removal can be very dangerous. Often the chimney was actually built as a separate structure which only ties into the main wall every 7 or so courses. So removal of the lower section can cause the whole lot to collapse and fall vertically.

If only one section is removed then you need some really big strong brackets bolted into the outer wall to help hold it up. If the section allows sometimes a 45 degree angle of brickwork can help but it really should be all our nothing when it comes to chimney removal.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Lower Chimney Breast Removal in an Old House

You should have a structural engineer look at the project.

Normally, chimneys are removed starting at the top. The bricks are chipped off and allowed to fall into the chimney. The bricks fall down into the fireplace and are removed there.

Quote (MrFEMcredible)

I live in an old house (rented) where the ground floor part of a chimney (well of 2 chimneys actually) has(have) been removed.

The above comment doesn't make any sense as the chimney is very heavy and needs some type of support.

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