Hi all - I'm new to this forum and was hoping that you could all
educate me about spalling chimney bricks. I'm in the process of buying
a SFH. The home inpsection that I had done stated "many spalled bricks
on chimney. A licensed and insured professional chimney contractor
should be called to fully evaluate the chimney and flue and the
remaining chimney and fireplace components and make all repairs as
needed -HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERN."
I had given the sellers an addendum to the contract stating this, which
the owners agreed to and signed. Since then, the oners had a
specialist out and the specialist said the spalling of the bricks is
cosmetic and no health and safetyconcernr is present. (They quoted a
price of $2900 for the top 8 feet of the chimnety to be fixed.) Sine
the specialist said that it's cosmetic, the owners are refusing to fix
it. Are the spalling bricks really not a concern? Is that all there
really is to it? They are using the "health & safety concern" as a
loophole not to fix it. Thoughts? Comments?
Thanks in advance!
Hi - thanks for the quick reply. As a matter of fact, the flashing
around the chimney became unattached due to the spalling and water did
leak into the attic. If those bricks aren't fixed & the flashing is
again 'sealed' to that same brick, how does it remain sealed with the
possibility of the brick continuing to fall apart?
EVERYTHING is NEGOTIABLE!
Obviously this MUST be fixed
Is it a working chimney for a fireplace or just a furnace hot water
tank chimney. How old ios the home? All brick chimney or flue liner?
Did the contractor camera inspect the interior or just look from the
Try telling the seller you will split the cost of repairs..........
how is the general condition of the remainder of the home.
if they are motivated sellers they will likely split the cost of
The house is 36 years old. It is a wood burning fireplace with a terra
cotta liner that is fine. The overall condition of the house is
relatively good. They are replacing the gas furnace along with a bunch
of other smaller electrical/plumping issues.
You say it MUST be fixed - what argument can I give them since it's not
safety/health concern (even if trying to convince them to split the
Thanks all for your help!!!!!
The quick fix would be to clean the bricks tuck point any loose jont
mateial and stucco over them using a proper bonding adheasive. This
would stop the progression of the deterioration for good if the inside
is indeed ok.
As long as the inside flue is in good shape, it is not a problem. They did
the right thing is having it checked out. Bricks can spall on the outside,
but it does not mean there are safety concerns.
What you now have to do is decide if the house is still worth what you were
willing to pay and have it repaired at your cost if you don't like it. We
can't help with that.
Being just a professional Wanna-Be, I had never heard of the term
spalling. Interesting subject. Of course I have seen white bricks &
white flakey bricks over time.
I recall seeing post about efflorescence, the white junk (pro jargon) on
brick and concrete but this is much different than flaking concrete and
Did a bit of reading on all this.
Bricks on my chimney all look absolutely fine but I did notice while up
there that the cement or whatever it is on top has a lot of cracks and
chips. At the prices in the thousands for even small amounts of chimney
repairs, something tells me I need to go up and do something.
Article leads me to believe
I have to chip away all the cement (probably wrong kind) and use real
concrete mix. Type-s high strength Sakrete mortar mix is NG??
Also says a gap MUST be left between the concrete and flu and caulked.
Maybe like with that grey Henry 900 polyurethane or an equivalent PL
On another note, being made aware of spalling I just happened to look at
my neighbors chimney top. Even from across the street I see a lot of
white there. I guess this could be efflorescence but being right at the
cap it could be trouble. None of my business but it's a curious thing
now. Getting up there would provide answers but have a gander at:
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