Main House Exterior – Back Chimney – Structural Assessment

While preparing to repair the parging on the back chimney, we had to remove a lot of the existing parging.  Doing this exposed some issues that we felt needed to be addressed before any new parging was added.

The first issue was that it appeared that there had been several coats of parging added over the years, giving the chimney a more “rounded” look, rather than nice crisp straight sides.  Secondly, the upper part of the chimney looked like it was wider than the bottom.  It appeared that the mortar at the top had failed, allowing the bricks to move further apart.  And, lastly, there was a metal tube type thing attached to the very top that didn’t seem like it belonged.

Some of the brick separation is evident in this photo.

The back chimney viewed from above.

Close up of the thick parging.

Since the thick cap of parging on the top of the chimney had some large cracks in it, it needed to be removed.  We figured that by removing it, we could get a better sense of what the next task would be.

After removing a big chunk of the top parging, it was evident the chimney was in really bad shape.  The next course of action would be to take it down to the roof line and rebuild it.

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