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Lkg for products to seal leaky chimney crown + mortar/sides?

Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:33 pm

You can skip to the bolded parts near the bottom to get to my questions about product recommendations, if this is too long:

In the winter I noticed that there was some water up against a couple of the sides of the chimney (masonry) in the attic during rain storms. There was also one spot on the inside of the roof that was damp.

I had a roofing guy come; he checked the entire roof.
He ended up doing the following:
- replacing some iffy shingles in several spots, including where the wood of the roof underneath the shingles was damp.
- installing new pipe collars around pipes. (old ones were worn)
- sealing base of chimney with a lot of roofing cement and fabric
- I bought and had him install (since he was up there anyway) a chimney cap (previous owners should have done that years ago).

A few days later when it rained, I still noticed leaking that was wetting the chimney walls (only in the attic), so he came back and sealed the top (crown) of the chimney and even the sides of the chimney (above the roofline) with some kind of heavy duty
concrete (water) sealant that comes in a tube that is inserted into a caulk gun.
That seemed to do the trick; I didn't see any signs of leakage during a subsequent rainy day.

Now, about 8 months later, I went into the attic just to check everything, since it has been raining all weekend and it is supposed to continue into tomorrow. 3 - 5 inches predicted.

The entire roof itself is fine, including the spot that had been damp before his repairs.
However one side of the chimney wall is once again wet near the top where it meets the roofline inside the attic.
It is a little wet in one spots on the other side, but mainly all on one side.
Due to the heavy continuing rain, the water is even running along a beam, only in the attic fortunately.
Luckily this is not threatening the rest of the house and the base of the chimney in the attic is okay; only the upper portion is wet / damp, along with part of the small wooden support beam right up aginst the chimney.
The one beam that runs from the center of the attic to the edge of the attic is pretty wet (due to water running down it as a result of starting up by the chimney), but it isn't really dripping or anything, and the thick attic insulation would catch the slight drips if any.


I wanted to know if this chimney area leak is most likely from cracks in the crown, since the roofing cement at the base was a thick layer and should still be doing its job, besides which, the concrete of the chimney seems to be wet and not the inside of the roof, all located in the attic.
I suppose it could also be coming in from the side of the chimney if the mortar between the bricks is getting old and allowing rain water in (house is a 1960s house; mostly renovated inside and out, but the chimney is original).

I checked the ceilings and walls in the house by the chimney and where the beam crosses the house and they are all bone dry thankfully.


If anyone knows of a good concrete crown sealant, that can also be used to seal the sides of the brick chimney and mortar, I would appreciate it.
(Mmaybe the mortar on the sides, if deteriorated, is letting water in).

I looked at lowes.com - HomeDepot.com was down a few minutes ago - but couldn't find anything immediately.
I found one product (from Chimney Saver) that costs a whopping $138 for a tub of sealant; for that price, I may as well pay a chimney / roofing guy a little more to seal it using products he has on hand.

I'll probably drive out tomorrow to check the stores.
I won't be able to apply the sealant till Monday at the earliest if the rain has stopped and the outside of the chimney (above the roofline) is dry by then.

Any concrete / brick water sealing product recommendations, and / or names of stores that sell it, would be greatly appreciated!


Thanks.

I found this:
http://geocelusa.com/php/retail/product.php?prdb_product_id=26&prdb_category_id=78
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Postby bill on Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:49 pm

Veff,

There is a damp proofing product that I learned about recently but I can't remember the name. When I get to work on Monday I can try to get the product name from a roofing contractor for whom I have a lot of respect.

FYI, at work we made a sample stone panel for a chimney on a house that we are building. We applied the above sealer to the stone and it made the stone veneer glossy so architect rejected it. We agreed to leave the stone natural but the architect had to sign a waiver stating that any masonry absorption issues are his problem. He understood because raw masonry, in general, will absorb moisture. Stone and unglazed brick even more so than glazed.

Assuming you had all the cracks filled during the prior repairs you are heading in the right direction with the sealer. Some people use Thompsons water seal and apply it annually. Thompsons water seal has a low luster sheen when compared to the product that I mentioned above.

If the mortar is failing on your chimney, the long term solution is to remove it to below the roof line and rebuild.. The mortar below the roof line is normally in much better condition unless the original mason made a weak mortar mix.

The downside of using a non-cement sealant is that you can never again apply a cement type patch material to the chimney because it won't bond to the sealant...


Never used Pro Flex so nothing to offer on that product.
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Postby VEFF on Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:42 am

Thanks a lot Bill!
I always appreciate the time you take to provide knowledgeable advice and input!

- I read somewhere online a few days ago about someone who used
Thompson's WaterSeal; he later noticed that pieces of his chimney (pieces of brick) were crumbling; he didn't even think about the Thompson's application.
Then the person's father used Thompson's; his chimney also started to shed (not sure how many weeks, months or years it took to start deteriorationg).

Apparently the concern was that the waterseal (this particular one at least; maybe not right for chimneys or brick work) didn't allow the bricks to "breathe".
I am not sure what to make of that.
Maybe your roofing contractor can comment on it and on the following:

CONTRACTOR 1:
1st contractor showed up and wanted to sell me a chimney liner for $1,600
My current one is clay and my gas furnace and water heater vent through this chimney.
They handed me a sales brochure, but I have NONE of the symptoms of a problem flue outlined in THEIR own brochure.
My CO detector also has not sounded EVER and I have no concerns about the flue, at this time at least.
I also read on a forum that most people who are told to get a new chimney liner (90%) are ripped off into getting it done when it really wasn't necessary.
(My gas fireplace vents out the side of the house; it uses its own separate
drafting system and does NOT use the chimney).
I asked him about the leak, which is why I called them. (He actually tried to convince me that the leak, which is VERY clearly only from rain - the chimney is bone dry when it isn't raining hard, is "probably" from the clay flue.
They never sent another crew and I am not interested in this company anymore anyway considering their tactics - I specifically called about a roof leak and they send a liner salesman!!
They would, however, as part of the price do some of what contractor 2 (below) is going to do:
They would
"reflash above existing with Karnac winterized flashing cement",
"reface the apex crownmasonry collar at top of chimney"
and
handwritten under 'addtl work' section:
"repair exterior of chimney PS (< parts?) needed"


CHIMNEY CONTRACTOR 2:
Came today.
They showed me - we all went on roof - the source of the leak: bubbling of the flashing cement (installed only about 9 months ago) at the part where the roof meets the chimney from below.
In addition, they recommended a new crown and repointing the two rows of brick at the top; I also asked about the sides of the chimney (NOT composed of bricks), since I think that could be absorbing water too (what do you think??). He said they would/could re-stucco the whole chimney (sides) below the crown.
They will also put a **much** thicker layer of roofing cement.
The cost is $750.
My dilemma is that perhaps waterproofing professionally would be enough, as far as the chimney work (new crown, re-stucco and repointing) is concerned?
Since the chimney (inside attic) is only wet on the side where the flashing cement was bubbling, maybe chimney repair is overkill; however, it is old and since they are there anyway, I may want to pay somewhat more now
than having to pay for a whole new job down the road.

I told him I didn't want flashing to be done (not that he recommended it since he isn't a roofing guy) now, since it would have to be redone in a year or so when I redo the roof, which I said needs to be replaced in 2 years.
He actually thinks the roof (i.e. the shingles) has 4 - 5 years left.
He told me that trees (i.e.branches) are the biggest culprit of roof shingle problems, which I know (I have one tree that might need to be trimmed in a few years; no biggie).


My dilemma is that if I have the roofing cement applied, even a thick 4 - 5 inch layer (can you ask your guy if that makes sense, or is there sauch a thing as too thick?, it may still deteriorate relatively repidly, but I don't think it makes any sense to pay for an expensive flashing job now, only to do it all over again when the roof is redone; in that case I might as well redo the roof now, since I won't be paying for flashing twice.

I am inclined to get the chimney work done, still got two contractors coming for estimates, but if I do so, I want to be sure that the flashing cement (UV rays break it down etc. - meant for small patching underneath shingles etc.) area will hold up at least a couple of years.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thankfully EVERYTHING (no exaggeration) else inside and outside the house has been redone in the past few years between myself and the previous owner.
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Postby Dartman on Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:49 am

Have the thing restuckod, then apply thompsons or anything similar that has a oil/petroleum base. I restore chimneys for a living and that's what we'd do, also get a full sized cover that fits over the whole top, not just the Liner terracotta thing at the top if it has one now instead of just a top with a cement crown. The water can absorb throught the cement/brick as it gets older, it is like a sponge, once it's full the water has to come out somewhere.
Make sure the roof and chimney flashing is good and doesn't have any rust throughs any where especialy at in the back where the water can pool up before washing down the roof, it'll find the easiest path and get in. The least we charge is around 400 to do a tiny furnace chimney if it's a simple repoint with no extras and it goes up from there if you want a cover, water seal, flashing, etc. As far as a flex pipe liner goes if you ever have to have the furnace replaced it will be required to be added, as for now you are grandfathered in, but it is possible since you all ready have the teracotta clay liners all the way down that may count the same as a metal liner pipe, depends on the rules at your loacation. The liner will keep the condensation from the gas fumes off the brickwork which will over time destroy the flues and bricks from the inside out, that's why new installs require some kind of liner now, plus it is a positive conection so the CO doesn't leak into your house from any cracks it may have.
I have seen cement brick flues where the inside of the bricks are so eaten away that they are only 1/2 an inch thick at the center and they used to be full sized bricks when built...
Have the thing repaired properly now and when you do finally get the roof done nobody will have to go back up right after to fix the thing and mess up your new shingles. Also make sure they will redo all flashing after it's done as many roofer will only do the roof flashing and skip the counter/chimney flashing part, they hate doing chimney flashing. I do flashings as well.
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Postby bill on Fri Oct 14, 2005 6:16 am

Veff,

I went back and reread some of the old thread ..

It would be really helpful if Dartman and I could see the chimney. That way I'm not making assumptions or misinterpreting the existing conditions. Would it be possible to provide a pic of each side of the chimney (above roof), the cap/ flue projection and one from the attic where the chimney penetrates the roof?

It wouldn't feel good to give some bad advice from 300 miles away...
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Postby VEFF on Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:31 am

Thanks a lot for all the info Dartman.
You wouldn't happen to be near north NJ?

Thanks Bill. I agree.

Guys,

I'll take my camera with me if we go up today when another company is coming by (working from home today).
If not, I may venture up there this weekend from the 2nd floor deck, depending how comfortable I feel with the ladder setup.

Regarding the cap question, Dartman:
I had an 8x8 inch (pretty sure that is the size) standard chimney cap ($20 at HD or Lowes) installed in Jan or Feb.
For the life of me, I don't understand why everyone doesn't installed a chimney cap for additional water protection. They also prevent birds and animals from getting stuck in th chimney.
Since it is a small shimney, the cap shields a fair amount of the crown, but probably not the edges.


They did put a new Rheem Criterion II gas furnace and GE Profile water heater in, about two years ago (maybe less), but were probably just doing it to increase resale value (they also had new vinyl siding put on and new water heater, 200 amp electric panel, new windows, central air, electronic whole house air cleaner, electronic whole house humidifier etc.); that is probably why they didn't install a new aluminum liner inside the existing clay flue - it is something that doesn't visible increase resale appeal and value for most (not all of course) people, who would probably never think to ask. I also had a bunch of relatively big upgrades done around the house; so the only things that haven't been redone in the past couple of years are the roof (shingles), chimney and garage doors.

Anyway, should I just ask for a quote for them to waterproof it and reflash it (hopefully with something like "Black Jack SuperFlash Neoprene
elastomeric roofing cement; although they may not have that on hand).

PS: There is no flashing at all; the roofing cement is the substitute.
Prev owners didn't do any work on chimney and probably occasionally patched it; there was some small evidence of prior leakage in kitchen duing the inspection; this has gone away with the roofing cement prev owner was asked to apply as part of our contract, based on inspection findings, and with the follow up work I had done ($450, which included a bunch of new shingles applied in three parts of the roof where they might fail sooner than the rest or were already slightly compromised (one spot), new pipe collars. redoing flashing cement (maybe not all that well in hindsight (bubbling evident yesterday...) and putting silicone on chimney crown and sides where he detected (very) small hairline-like cracks and minor erosion in brick, stucco and / or mortar.

The ironic thing is that the upper side of chimney (where roof comes down into it and where water must pile up due to lack of a wedge) is bone dry; the area BELOW the chimney is where it is getting damp (mainly at both corners).

Considering we have had probably 8 inches of rain in the past week (8 straight days or rain, with two very heavy rainfalls); it didn't do too badly.
Nothing is getting beyond the chimney inside attic; it was dripping when we got 6 inches on Saturday; but I put some newspaper around the edges in the attic to absorb the water.


I wish I knew if the chimney itself was fine; in which case it might simply be the flashing (bubbling at the bottom); I tend to think the chimney may be absorbing a lot of moisture (been think that since last Saturday. which you conformed can happen; I also read up on it this week.
I would love to have it waterproofed, as long as it can breathe.

The thing is: is all the chimney work necesary if
a) it is waterproofed
b) the leak is only on the lower roof side of the chimney and not the upper roof side; this MIGHT (can't be sure obviously) that either
- the flashing cement simply needs to be patched (part of their estimate), or
- that only part of it is allowing water in.
The prudent thing is to get the whole thing done, since each subsequent visit would have a minimum cost attached and it might be more cost-effective, in the long run, to get it all done now.
I don't mind getting it all done, but would hate to have unnecessary work done...
Hopefully I can take some photos for you today!
At the very least, I will take some shots from the deck with the zoom set to maximum (3X optical); they won't be great since it is located almost dead center (of/on the roof), but better than nothing.



The story of some disintegration in two chimheys after Thompsons' WaterSeal was applied tend to worry me obviously, BUT if you have seen no negative side effects Dartman; I will be a lot more confident.

How long have you been using it?


Thanks again for the feeback guys!
I really appreciate it; I would hate to spend $750 (or less if other estimates come in somewhat lower AND I feel confident in their ability and demeanor) and find out there is some work I should or should not have let them do.
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Postby VEFF on Fri Oct 14, 2005 6:36 pm

Update, now that 3rd contractor came over.

nailman said: [Q]I would reccomend the same as before. Try this if it corrects the leak it will carry you until you put your new roof on, then it can be properly flashed. Tucked pointing should probably be done if you think you will stay in this house for a while. I would do the repairs separety so that you know what the problem was to begin with. Hire a mason to do that.

I also had a liner put in the chimney flue a few years before the leak due to a fire in the flue cracking the clay tile. It cost about $400.[/Q]

Thanks for the feedback.
I am a bit leery about going up on the roof by myself, but once the rain stops (8 straight days; some of them with constant and /or heavy rain, I will see how the ladder I have works out and maybe try it from the second floor deck.
A telescoping ladder would have been better.

Contractor 4 came today; he didn't go up on the roof, or even in the attic.
His estimate ($350 + 6% sale tax) includes the following items checked
- reflash above existing (above existing roofing cement in my case) with winterized flashing cement (they use fabric under the roofing cement, to preserve the strength).
- reface apex crown
It also includes 'additional work' (some of this is repated from above): cement jacket the exposed bricks (two layers at top of chimney), reface the cracks plus crown, reflash above existing

I like the idea about getting it fixed in multiple steps for the reason you stated, BUT:
1) it means I have to go through the whole process if getting estimates again
2) waiting while the leaking, possibly continues
3) it will cost a lot more than having one company do it all right now.

I think the $750 work, by contractor 2 (see details in earlier post) is overkill, since the chimney flashing is probably the only major culprit
IF I stay in this area and in this house, then once I get the roof redone in a year or two, I will obviously get proper flashing and counter flashing done when the roof is replaced (i.e. new layer of shingles).
I think the $350 of repairs to the chimney should be good enough, consdering the extent of the current problem / symptoms.
I have one more contractor coming Tuesday; I'll see what he says and maybe call one more firm if I think it might help to decide on what to do.


At least the rest of the roof is doing well for a 16 year old roof; I checked and couldn't find any leaks; one very minor trail of water running along a few feet of a cross member (wasn't even wet to the touch), which isn't bad after 8 days of incessant rain AND considering I used a poly (plastic) blade roof rake last winter to rake off hard frozen snow to reduce weight on the roof after a massive snowstorm left big piles of windswept snow on the roof.
At the time I didn't think about the fact that the blade might scrape the coating on the shingles (not knowing much about shingles at the time) and that the hard tugging with the blade to get the frozen snow to loosen might compromise the tiles in some way; I guess I was fortunate (although they sell metal rakes which are much worse; poly blade is specially designed not to cause damage) considering there are no leaks under the shingles, except by the chimney (due to flashing; didn't even scrape snow by chimney because warm fumes melted any snow in the vicinity of the chimney).

Anyway, I'll be happy when the work is done.


The one thing I am still wondering about is that I asked contractor 4 about waterproofing; he said in his experience it didn't work...
Hmmm.
I could ask them to apply it as part of the job.
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Postby Dartman on Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:56 pm

If you dont have any roof flashing at all, or counter flashing on the chimney either no wonder it leaks. When they do the roof in a couple of years have them do the roof AND chimney flashing properly. If the old stucko is all cracked and missing in spots have it redone and do apply a water sealant. I have never seen a chimney degrade due to just applying water seal every year or so, in fact I think it helps them last longer as the outside of the bricks dont absorb water as long as the sealant lasts. It will bead water just like a freshly waxed car in fact. We have accounts that we just go back once a year or longer and redo the sealant. I have seen it stop pesky water leakes. I have been doing this work for 18 years, I retired my Bosses last year and their cousin who is a great Boss took over.
The very worst thing you can do to brickwork is paint it, that really seals in the moistier and the mortar joints can turn to dust after a period of time. water seal doesn't seem to stop the system from breathing, it just keeps the water from getting in.
The Tar does tend to harden up, turn brittle, and crack after a while, so that may be part of the problem too, and who knows how many times they patched it up like that.
As far as the liner, out here if you have a proper clay liner they dont make you put in a flex pipe as far as I know so thats probably why they didn't in your house either. The contracter is required by law to do it on a new install if there isn't something that all ready applys as one, they can get a huge fine and all kinds of bad things if they get caught doing something improperly.
I'm in the Portland Oregon area so I dont think I can take a look, or I would #-o
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Postby bill on Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:46 pm

"PS: There is no flashing at all; the roofing cement is the substitute."

Aha!

I would do what Dartman mentioned except I would pay someone to properly flash the chimney now. The tar based flashing cement never last long and is only good for a very short term. I think that was covered back in the spring.. If the flashing is installed properly it can be reused when you shingle the entire roof.

*Have the roofing contractor remove approximately three feet of shingles around the entire chimney.

*Build a small cricket on the ridge side of the chimney.

*Install new shingles in the repair area and flash properly. No nails should penetrate the step flashing into the roof deck. I don't know how Dartman installs the step flashing but the norm around here is to have five inch vertical and horizontal legs that are ten inches long. Most asphalt shingles have a five inch exposure so it works out that ten inches maintains the seven inch lap. When you replace the shingles on the remainder of the roof a good contractor can weave the shingles into the new flashing so the shingle color will match..

I think it is in your financial interest to stop the leaks now. Even though the attic space dries quickly I wouldn't take the risk of mold spores getting a toe hold or allowing the freezing weather to further damage the chimney..

Regarding the sealer, there are good and bad points that would take a long time to explain. In your case I would use it because the brick has been parged indicating that there has been problems in the past. I suspect that the horror stories you read regarding the Thompsons was related to poor application or excess water was trapped in the brick from a leaking cap and then it froze. Just keep in mind that Thompsons is good for damp proofing but it won't fill a quarter inch void. That's when you need to point or parge.

Notice in the pic how the mortar is out to the surface of the stone. Also, that's how the counter flashing should look when installed properly.



Dartman, I know you mentioned that you restore chimneys and flash them for a living. Have you ever seen a tar sealer last more than a year? Maybe it's the climate in Virginia but it never lasts very long here.
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Postby Dartman on Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:13 am

It kinda depnds on where its at and the quality of the product applied and all that yada yada stuff. It doesn't last long out in the open. I usually have a allready done area that had good roof flashing and probably old step flashining installed. I usually cut a groove into the chimney and use pre bent 6 inch metal that comes in 10 foor lengths, measure out what I need and run it against the chimney as tight to the roof and flashing as I can and mark my cuts. I bend the ends around the front and back like a X-mas present and each side is one continous peice, then I use silicon and glue it in place and seal up the openings and seams. It is way easier after the brickwork is done to cut in single peices then to cut individual steps like the masons do. I can go right over the old stuff if it's still good or cut out the steps and use my metal alone. It sounds like you know a lot more about the roof side of things, I mainly deal with the bricks and replacing the metal myself.
And yes if the roofer knows his stuff he can just work his roof flashing under the new chimney flashing. I have left my stuff loose before so the roofers can remove it, do their roof flashing, then seal my stuff over the top. I probabaly have some photos here of me and a small furnace chimney we built and I flashed if you guys want to see them.
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Postby bill on Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:48 am

Dartman wrote:It kinda depnds on where its at and the quality of the product applied and all that yada yada stuff. It doesn't last long out in the open. I usually have a allready done area that had good roof flashing and probably old step flashining installed. I usually cut a groove into the chimney and use pre bent 6 inch metal that comes in 10 foor lengths, measure out what I need and run it against the chimney as tight to the roof and flashing as I can and mark my cuts. I bend the ends around the front and back like a X-mas present and each side is one continous peice, then I use silicon and glue it in place and seal up the openings and seams. It is way easier after the brickwork is done to cut in single peices then to cut individual steps like the masons do. I can go right over the old stuff if it's still good or cut out the steps and use my metal alone. It sounds like you know a lot more about the roof side of things, I mainly deal with the bricks and replacing the metal myself.
And yes if the roofer knows his stuff he can just work his roof flashing under the new chimney flashing. I have left my stuff loose before so the roofers can remove it, do their roof flashing, then seal my stuff over the top. I probabaly have some photos here of me and a small furnace chimney we built and I flashed if you guys want to see them.



Sure, I would like to see some pics. I think I seen your method before and it worked well. It would probably help Veff out and save him some money. Sorry I didn't think of it.

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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:04 pm

Thanks a lot guys!

That is very interesting about using just chimney flashing and being able to add the second half (roof flashing) when the roof is redone (new shingles).
I didn't know that till just now.

If I knew of a chimney / masonry / roofing contractor I could trust and if I knew he was going to do a good job, I would get his expert opinion on my particular situation (via an inspection).
Based on his findings, I would then have the chimney brickwork repaired / refaced / sealed and / or, at the same time, install metal chimney flashing
that can be reused once the roof is done.

By next summer I should know if I am going to stay or not; if so, I will have the roof redone and the flashing.

I therefore wonder if it is better to pay the $350 for the chimney crown refacing, cement jacketing of the two row of bricks at the top (these are the only rows of bricks on the chimney), reflashing using winterized flashing cement and fabric, and ask them to waterproof the chimney at the same time.

Then, if I decide to stay, I can get the house reroofed (i.e. new layer of shingles) next summer, including proper roof and chimney flashing (including counter flashing etc.).

I figure that by getting a single (roofing) company to install both the roof flashing and the chimney flashing, it will prevent the roofer from blaming any unexpected issues on the chimney flashing...
In addition, I will be able to deal with one person if any leaks occur after the reroofing, and it won't be work that was done a year or so earlier, that is no longer under warranty...

Your feedback to the above ideas would be appreciated, as always.

I do still have one contractor coming Tuesday morning and may call one more.
I wasn't exactly thrilled with the one who came yesterday since he didn't check it out up close (although to a certain degree it can hard to diagnose without extensive water testing anyway); the company probably does know what they're doing and the price was right for the work to be performed.

I will try to take some pics right now and post them.

Thanks again for all the wonderful feedback and tips!
It is an educational experience. Hopefully other forum members can learn from it.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:30 pm

Photo 1:
The ugliest part of the house, but it is a small chimney located on the back side of the house; ot looks MUCH worse zoomed in on than it does from street level, of course.

The white lines are silicone added in Jan or Feb.
The guy (last winter) didn't put the tar on as neatly as he could have, but I guess I can ask the next company to put tar all the way up to the top, since I know paint would not be good for it, as you stated above.
This would give it a black look, to match the roof.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:34 pm

Photo 2:
Close-up view.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:37 pm

Photo number 3.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:38 pm

Photo number 4
Close-up of pointing area and cap.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:40 pm

Close-up of masonry on side of chimney.
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Postby Dartman on Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:29 pm

Damn, did they use enough Tar there Butch! If you want that thing to ever look normal again your going to have to strip off as much of the old stucko as possible and redo it. It also looks like they either used a lot of sand/rock in it to give it a texture appearance or it has worn away to look like that. The top has some cracks, the stucko has some cracks, probably best to redo it, get a full sized cover that goes over the edge of the top and not just the tile, Stainless is best if you can afford it, and redo the flashing after it's been repaired or while they are at it. It has so much Tar ya'd think it would float.
If you dont want to do all that redo whatever tar parts have cracks, seal up the chimney cracks again if needed and water seal the whole mess to at least keep the water from soaking in. I'd really hate to see the condition of the wood under the area of that chimney, does it feel soft or anything like you've got dry rot? I haven't found the pictures yet that show me and my style of flashing, hope they turn up, then I'll post em.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:26 pm

Dartman wrote:Damn, did they use enough Tar there Butch! If you want that thing to ever look normal again your going to have to strip off as much of the old stucko as possible and redo it. It also looks like they either used a lot of sand/rock in it to give it a texture appearance or it has worn away to look like that. The top has some cracks, the stucko has some cracks, probably best to redo it, get a full sized cover that goes over the edge of the top and not just the tile, Stainless is best if you can afford it, and redo the flashing after it's been repaired or while they are at it. It has so much Tar ya'd think it would float.
If you dont want to do all that redo whatever tar parts have cracks, seal up the chimney cracks again if needed and water seal the whole mess to at least keep the water from soaking in. I'd really hate to see the condition of the wood under the area of that chimney, does it feel soft or anything like you've got dry rot? I haven't found the pictures yet that show me and my style of flashing, hope they turn up, then I'll post em.


Thanks.
Where can I find such a chimney cover / cap? I'll keep googling.
I need something that is the proper inner size to be attached to the top of the flue, so there may be limited options as far as outer dimensions are concerned.

When you say redo it, are you saying:

a) for $750 + tax
- stucco the chimney (side) from roof to the top.
- new crown
- reflash with roofing cement ("thick layer so it lasts till roof replacement
(4 - 5 years) were his words"). I doubt it will hold up that long, but I don't need it to, since I am going to get the roof redone in a year or soif I decide to keep the house; I don't feel like waiting a few extra years in that case).

OR

b) for $350 + tax
- reflash above existing with winterized flashing cement
- reface apex crown (I am not entirely sure what the difference is between getting a "new crown" (as in part 'a' above) and "refacing the crown (as in this part - option 'b')
- cement jacket the exposed bricks (two layers at top of chimney)
- reface (thinks he means fill in with cement??) the cracks

My two goals are:
1) for the flashing cement area to stay waterproof for another year (or possibly two); I just need it to last till the roof is redone (I will probably get the rood redone in a year, assuming I stay in the house, so I can get the flashing installed before leaks resurface; I don't mind replacing the roof a few years ahead of schedule, so that the flashing and counter flashing can be done properly by a reputable professional and all done in one shot, which simplifies things if problems arise later, since the same company will be on the hook for everything.
I personally wonder if the fabric-reinforced cement will last 2 years, contrary to the what the roofer said in Jan / Feb [he said 1 - 2 years and hinted that it would lats as much as two years] and contrary to what the chimney company guy said [as much as 4 or 5 years if they apply a thick layer]).
If they had the elastomeric neoprene one on hand, I would feel better...


2) for the chimney to remain leakproof indefinitely.
Therefore IF the $750 job will really makes a difference in the long term chimney's water resistance versus the chimney work outlined in the $350 job (see details above), I will choose the $750 job.


Let me know of any B&M (Brick and mortar locations since shipping may take too long) locations that sell large chimney caps that cover the whole crown, if possible, so I can buy one and have them put it on.
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Postby Dartman on Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:53 pm

If you really want it to last do the total remorter and reflash. We use a local man who custom builds our stainless steel covers for us to whatever size we need. Hi C covers outa Illinios? makes pretty good stainless and aluminun covers in custom stock sizes so you might try doing a search for them or see if a local metal shop can build you one to your size, someone there probably makes them.
The second option will work for a while but after a while it may need to be redone again, so it depends on what you plan to do with the house.
You also need to realise that many home inspecters are now fully aware of chimney problems and will flag a sale till at least the bare mininum repairs are done as the banks dont want to lend on a house that will leak or rot right after they finance it and neither do new buyers. We do a lot of real estate work just to bring things up to snuff (usually barely) to get a sale closed. The seller doesn't want to pay for a proper job as they want more money and the buyer doesn't always realise that what they are getting is not as good as it could be.
We always prefer to come in just before a new roof as we can make a huge mess, dig in our safety gear, and not have worry about a super cleanup or hurting a brand new expensive roof job. They tear it all off and start over and everything is new or redone and shouldn't need anything for quite a while.
If they tear off any layers your actual flashing can end up many inches lower then where it is now also so that is something to bear in mind when having the work done. If it's only a inch or so lower they can bring up the roof flashing but more then that can be a problem and things might need to be touched up where the old layer stops.
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Postby Dartman on Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:05 am

Here's the chimney the Boss and I built and I flashed back in Jan 2001
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Postby bill on Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:22 am

Very nice looking job, Dartman! :D

Cap slope, crisp corners, open flashing on the back so the debris can wash off. The whole thing looks very professional.

The roof is wet. Did you get rained on or just finish the acid wash?
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Postby VEFF on Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:57 am

Thanks Dartman.
Nice job and good photos.
Approximately how much do you charge for a flashing installation job (PM me if you prefer not to post it here)?

The leaking, thankfully, is not as bad as it might seem (confined to concrete blocks of chimney in attic area; I did put down newspaper to catch some of the dripping in the middle of the week, since we had 8 consecutive days of rain; over a foot of rain, which is slow), but I do want it to be rectified right away, before it deteriorates.

Since I have moved in, it has never even gotten to the ceiling directly below the chimney; no doubt due to roofing cement application done by previous owner at my home inspector's and attorney's recommendation prior to closing, and because I had it redone 9 months later.
This second job, that I had done after moving in included new shingles in two or three places, two new pipe collars and fabric-reinforced roofing cement AGAIN (last Jan or Feb) for $450; this was only to serve as a temporary fix till I have roof redone.
I guess the previous owner didn't want to spend on flashing - maybe they didn't think it would affect resale value, even though they performed a lot of upgrades and lived in the house for 7 years.

I may have to check exactly what the $750 job entails; i.e. is it really a rebuild of the crown.
And what does refacing the crown ($350 job) and sides entail???
They might be more similar than I think...

Thanks for the cap supplier / builder recommendation.
I may drive to the home improvement stores today and see what they have in terms of sizes.

I think many people have leaks (neighbors directly across the street seem to have (metal / plastic) flashing (not talking baout roofing cement) on only three sides of chimney; i.e. almost completely gone on 4th side - underside of chimney) and just don't bother to fix them.
The two neighbors on either side of me have new and rebuilt homes, with proper flashing.
Maybe I need one or two more estimates, since nobody really stuck out as someone I knew would do a great job and explained exactly what the fix entail.
I'll see what the company on Tuesday says, although one of the others already told me - unprofessional to do this to a competitor, unless thye really deserve it - they were the worst and to watch out for them (not knowing they were one of the ones I had called) since he said they would have me do everything. including things I didn't need.
I'll be the judge...
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Postby Dartman on Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:28 pm

We charge around 225 to 250 for a typical small flashing job but that is usually just the chimney part, I have done some simple roof flashing in parts where it needed it like that one side on that one.
If you see any chimneys around your area that look like they have been redone and flashed nicely try to contact the owner and see who did the work and if they are happy with it, thats how we get a lot of our jobs. Also remember the cover needs about a minumum of 5 inches clearance for the vent to breathe properly so you might have to figure out how high the liner sticks up and either get a taller cover or cut the liner down a bit for clearance.
We typicaly have our covers built with 12 inch screens, and we can go as high as 18 but taller looks funny to many people so we try to keep it as low as possible or use our 41/2 inch grinder to cut dow a tall tile so it will work.
When they say resurface they probably mean to just put a new coat of cement right over the top of the old crown. If they prep it right it should stick well and work almost as good as a new one as long as it's a few inches thick or so. When the one bid says reface the bricks I think he'll just stucko over them as well.
Bill we were just finnishing up the last of the cleanup, we usually never have to use acid wash as we use a lot of mats and wash down our area right after we are done for the day before it sets up where it has fallen. We use squeese bags for most of our restorations also so we don't usually smear mortar all over to have to clean it a lot afterwards. We trowled this one then bagged the voids and tooled it of till it looked nice. That kind of brick is nice also because any minor spots never show and it's a really nice looking face/color.
I figure out my flashing size by going about 6 inches past the actual size on the sides and fold it around as you see, have actual square corners made this one very easy to get the metal nice and tight, with good square bends on all the sides. If the thing is square enough I figure out one side then do a mirror image on the other so all the bends and flaps are the same size and in the same spots. We may have also gotten rain too, can't remember for sure, they all blend together after a while. I dont remember half of last weeks jobs unless something spactacular happened :wink:
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Postby VEFF on Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:50 pm

Thanks Dartman!

Based on your feedback and my own impressions of the contractors and job specifics listed in the estimates, I think the crown area will probably be done as well with either job.

The sides (how likely are they to be the cause) will probably be better off with
a re-stucco ($750 job)
than
simply sealing the cracks (with what??? I'll have to ask them) ($350 job).

Flashing area repair with roofing cement will probably be as good with either one, although the $750 guy said they would put a very thick layer so it holds up; I am not sure how thick, but I believe 1/2 inch is the maximum recommended by manufacturers, based on my research / reading.

My gut is that the flashing is more of a culprit than the chimney, based on
the leak only being on the side where the roofing cement was exhibiting a bubbling (during rain when contractor, his assistant and I went up on the roof).
With that in mind, I may be just as well off with the $350 job...

PS:
I know it is tough for you guys to assess the situation, not knowing exactly what the contractors said, how they seemed and what the exact problem is, but I have appreciated your feedback and I know full well that it is just your professional opinion.
However, your feedback really helps me a lot, so thanks again!!!
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