brick chiminey repair


hey all my chiminey foir the furnace and water heater needs some attention in the spring. the very top surface where the flue is, is flat w/ a stucco/mortor type finish on it. well the house was built in '63-'64 and the mortor/cement is looking like sand stone and wearing away.
my question is; what should be used to repair it? what type of mix?
do i have to remove all the old mortor or can i go over the top of the existing stuff?
i know that it should have pitch to it for water to runoff but how do you trowel it for finish, are there suppose to be high *points* where the angles are from the four corners or can it just be a gradual taper all the way around.
thanks for any support and tips...
mike...............
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I used morter mix. It had been holding up after 5 years so far.

Anything loose shold be taken off, or course. if it is solid, it gives you a goodtemplate for hte contour.

Mine is just tapered. As a practical matter, it does not make any difference, just what looks good to you.
If you know it needs repair, why go through a winter where more damage can occur? Freezing - thawing cycles can make cracks even worse.
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We nearly died because of a failed chiney cap,
What happens is the cement top cracks water gets between the ceramic liner and bricks and freezes:( The liner broke and fell in and plugged the hot water tank flue, we got carbon monoixide poisioning, fortunately a friend visited he is a volunteer fireman and realized what was happening. ventilated house, furnace flue fine hot water tank plugged.
had chiney sweep come immediately roof covered with ice, ladder wouldnt reach.
it was one of those close calls where you realized it might have been your day...
get this fixed immediately!
probably a good idea for a camera inspoection of the inside to make certain everything else is ok espically if ypu have a fireplace
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wrote in message

a
all
there are no cracks in the existing surface mortor, but it is thin and showing erosion aroind the edges. the mortor aroound the flue is still tight and in good shape, but thanks for asking and making sure i wasn't making a bad decision by putting it off.
mike.........
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I second everything that Edwin Pawlowski wrote.
I replaced mine last year using a basic mortar mix (I used 5/1), after being told by a local tradesman thats what has been up there on the whole street since he was a kid (he's late 50's now).
Get it done pronto though, give yourself some peice of mind...
Better safe than sorry....
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Here's some education on construction & repair.
http://www.askthebuilder.com/B92_Chimney_Crown_and_Cap_Construction.shtml http://www.askthebuilder.com/092_Chimney_Crown_Repairs.shtml http://www.askthebuilder.com/B95_Brick_and_Masonry_Water_Repellents.shtml
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