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  1. #1
    Ted Kriner's Avatar
    Ted Kriner Guest

    Default Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    In 1992 my wife and I purchased a split built in 1959. We are located in Western NY where the winters can be pretty harsh. About 12 years ago we learned that our masonry fireplace was improperly constructed and posed a fire hazard. This discovery was made by a contractor we had called to give us an estimate on repairing the chimney which had begun to spall rather badly. The brick and mortar were otherwise structurally sound. The cost to restore the fireplace and chimney was beyond our means, so we had a woodburning stove insert installed with a 7 inch stainless steel concertina-type flue that exits just above the tile flue at the top of the chimney. The tile flue is roughly 10x10 inches. In conversation with one of the owners of the chimney service company that installed it I asked if it would be feasible to sheath the spalling brick exterior of the chimney with furring strips, OSB, Tyvek, and siding. He indicated it would be okay to do that. I eventually did just that. As a temporary measure I covered the OSB with striated cedar shakes to match the rest of the house. I intended ultimately to re-side the house in vinyl--including the chimney. This required a fair amount of work and about $500.00 out of pocket--including my self-fabricated galvanized chimney cap. The cap is quite ugly, by the way. I intend to have it replaced by someone with the correct tools and skills.

    My wife and I are now purchasing a new home, but have not yet put our current house up for sale. I am having belated misgivings about the sheathing. I want to be sure I'm not handing a fire hazard to the next owner. I described the installation to the home inspector after we went through the new house. He didn't seem to think there was a fire hazard, but was concerned about moisture build up. If necessary, I'll tear off the siding and sheathing and fill the holes made for the anchors. I'd hate to do that, but I'd hate it much worse if someone lost property or life because of something I did or failed to do.

    Does this sound like a safe installation? If not, can it be made safe?

    Thanks.

    --Ted

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    Sounds like a mess. Go to a local chimney specialist and have him come over to inspect and give a report in writing that you can leave on the counter top for prospective buyers to see.
    If all is well as is and they want to change back, fine let them.
    If it needs fixing now, disclose or repair.
    Difficult for anyone to say yes or no from a post.
    Really would have to see pics before/after and still would have to look at it in person.
    you're post is confusing. Was the liner decayed or the exterior surface. Why cover it in the first place?


  3. #3
    Ted Kriner's Avatar
    Ted Kriner Guest

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    The exterior was spalling badly, as I stated. Structurally, the chimney is sound. The siding was an inexpensive cosmetic alternative to repairing/replacing the brick.

    The fire hazard was at the front of the firebox where refractory mortar had been packed over (actually on the underside) of the wood framing of the living room wall. That mortar had fallen off and exposed charred 2x4's. That was re-covered at the time of the installation of the wood burning stove insert.


  4. #4
    Ted Kriner's Avatar
    Ted Kriner Guest

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    I forgot to mention that the liner was intact. Sorry about that.


  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    First thoughts are that the masonry chimney is now just a conduit for the chimney liner. I agree with a previous post that said to get the chimney cleaned and inspected by a chimney specialist and make the report available to buyers. If the chimney inspection turns up no problems you have nothing to disclose but having the chimney cleaned and inspected is one less thing a buyer has to spend money on. Plus HI like to have a recent service report that takes the monkey off of their back.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    Ted, get some quotes on repairs to firebox, new ones! you're gonna need em.


  7. #7
    Ted Kriner's Avatar
    Ted Kriner Guest

    Default Re: Siding Over Masonry Chimney with Insert

    Thank you for the comments. I have a chimney service coming this Friday for an inspection.


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