Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Hello all, I hope you are well!

    I have snooped around on this site many times to see what the pros say about certain things, great site!
    (Never thought i'd need to join though..)

    I've got a little issue I'm hoping you might be able to help with..

    I live in Dallas, TX. Have a single story home with a concrete slab foundation built in 1986. I have one fireplace on an exterior wall.

    The wall tiles to the left of the fireplace have bowed out and created a good 3/4" gap between the fireplace and the wall, just to the right of the right side wall tiles against the fireplace I have a horizontal AND vertical crack that are connected. The vertical portion is about 3mm thick and the horizontal portion looks like it was dragged over itself.

    Since this is an exterior wall, I can see the foundation on the outside all along the wall and around the fireplace section, There is about 3 to 4 inches of visible slab and none of it is cracked or broken. I think the slab is intact and well.

    Any ideas? I'm thinking the frame around the fireplace didnt like the 45lb TV hanging on it for the past 2 years....
    I noticed the bowing when we bought the house 3 years ago, but it wasnt bad at all, then today I moved the curtain and found the cracks, so not sure how long they have been there as we never open that window. And never payed too much attention to the wall...

    Any input is greatly appreciated! Here are a few pics..
    (Tape is to block the breeze)

    THANK YOU!!!
    -Robert







    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    I don't think a 45 Lb. TV would cause this problem most likely the support for the chimney and insert hare failing, recommend you have a chimney sweep have a look first and next consider hiring a qualified engineer. Depending on the material the chimney is made of you could have a serious problem. Hope this is helpful.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Hi Robert,

    Looks like a Prefabricated Fireplace with the Mantel , Tile attached directly attached to the drywall.

    Weight attached to the wall above could have caused this separation from the framed chase.

    Fireplace should not be used before a Sweep gives his OK.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  4. #4
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    The third pic shows a previous repair. The crack came back. We have movement.


  5. #5
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Thanks for the replies!

    Wow, I never even noticed the repair. Sure enough, its been patched up before, exact same lines! So now my wife can't blame the TV!!
    I was about to put a TV that was 80lbs before I found all this....
    Guess I should wait on that :-)

    I won't use the fireplace until the issue is resolved.

    Do chimney sweeps look at these structural issues?
    Or should I go straight to a pro?

    This is a bit odd for me, i'm a 100% do it yourself person.
    Only time i've had someone else in this house since we've owned it is when Home Depot delivered a fridge and oven and when I had an A/C PM done..

    But this seems to be above my head. far above my head!

    Outside of the chimney is about 20' tall and just has the cheap ole plastic siding on it. Its sitting on its own little section of slab, but I don't see any cracks in the corners where it might have seperated from the main chunk of slab.

    Thank You everyone for your time and help!


  6. #6
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    And yes, it is a prefab fireplace. I'm not 100% sure how they frame around it... I originally thought maybe the lack of supports where the fireplace is caused the issue with the TV weight on it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Let's put it this way. You say the slab doesn't look like it is sinking or moving. So if the opening for the fireplace had been framed properly, you would not have cracks and movement there. I can't be sure, but it looks like maybe the mantel is sitting on the tiles, with nothing much behind it.

    It sounds like you have a metal chimney with a framed enclosure. If so, the weight of the chimney is not a major factor, although the whole structure is suspect at this point. The chimney sweep can tell you if the chimney is supported by the fireplace insert.

    There should be clearance between the wood and the metal, how much depending on the manufacturer's specs.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    I have somewhat found the issue....

    I dug out some of the grout around the tile/fireplace to get an extension mirror in there.

    The picture below shows the wall studs I can find in red. This is only the walls studs, NOT the fireplace box frame.

    The fireplace frame looks like it should be secured to the wall studs, but on the left lower side (blue arrow) the wall stud bows inward, Where the box frame right behind it stays straight, with my mirror I can't see any spot under 5 feet that these are secured together. Right where the wall bows out the worst, I can see a joint in the stud that looks like its seperated on the sheetrock side. I'm quickly coming to the conclusion the wall frame was not secured correctly and was built with low quality wood. I can see 2 joints in the bowed stud within 14 inches

    With the left side popping out, it pulled the right side in causing the crack.






    I'm going to tear the tiles down and get the fireplace out to see what it looks like behind it. Although we have Family coming to town for Christmas, so the wife won't let me do it until next year :-(

    But again, im not a pro so who really knows haha
    Thanks again!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hall View Post
    .
    ]I have somewhat found the issue....

    I'm going to tear the tiles down and get the fireplace out to see what it looks like behind it.

    But again, im not a pro so who really knows haha!
    .
    Robert,

    Removing the tiles and sheet rock sounds logical ,

    Disturbing the fireplace other than complete removal and blocking it off is best left to The Pros.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  10. #10
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Yea, i'll get the fireplace out and take a good look from behind it all.
    Hopefully it will just be a badly bent stud and it can just cut a small piece out and re-support it and add a couple extra supports to be safe.

    Otherwise, i'll have to suck it up and call a pro.
    Time will tell.

    Thank You everyone for your help!


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Usually, the fireplace insert will come with a manual that shows the correct way to frame the opening. Try a Google search for the manual. There should be a doubled header across the top resting on jack studs, short legs on either side that support the header. One reason for doubling 2X4's is to counteract the tendency for a single stud to twist and bend.

    Note to house flippers reading this. These are simple reasons for spending a couple of bucks more before the drywall and paint goes on.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    The crack in the drywall on the right side of the fireplace looks like foundation movement (very common here due to the drought)
    Before you start tearing stuff out, call for a professional to look at it in it's current condition, lest you destroy the evidence of what is going on.
    While it is a good idea to have a chimney sweep take a look at the fireplace, he won't be able to tell you about the structure.
    Was the fireplace original to the house or added later?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Robert Hall Guest

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    The fireplace is original to the house, not an add on.

    Yea, I might get a pro to take a peek at it first and go from there....

    Or I'll take good pictures and tear it up and go from there....

    HAHA


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Homowner: Bowed and cracked wall around fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hall View Post
    .
    The fireplace is original to the house, not an add on.

    Yea, I might.

    tear it up and go from there....

    HAHA
    .
    .....

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •