Thanks, everybody, for the responses on my other thread. There's a lot of helpful info around here and I appreciate all the folks who take the time to share their knowledge. Here's today's issue : I went up to the roof yesterday to check the tops of the flues and chimney -- with my 9-year old standing guard in case I fell off, lol. First of all there's no cap -- which will be taken care of -- and some cracks in the crown -- which will be taken care of (they're temporarily "fixed" right now so at least water's not getting into them currently) -- and some flashing issues -- which will be taken care of. All soon! The fireplace flue looks ok, some very light dusting of soot up top (just had it cleaned on Friday) and some hairline cracks in the top level of the clay liner, where it juts up from the crown. But otherwise clean and the mortar between the other runs looks ok from what I can see. And we are good about getting it cleaned regularly. The second flue, for the gas furnace and water heater, is clean as a whistle BUT there's a tile about two runs down (6 feet or so) that has had it's face split away from the chimney wall and is leaning inwards. It's just a matter of time before it falls down and blocks the flue, I'm sure. It's a cohesive slice, about 10" square, and if I had a long handled claw I could grab it and pull it up. But I don't. I'm guessing this is due to water damage from no cap and/or cracked crown. Possibly condensation (?) but the rest of the flue looks good, from what I can see. Since this flue is for venting gases is there a way I can have it fixed without relining, etc.? Can a mason pull the broken piece up and seal that area of the flue or the whole flue, while he takes care of the crown and cap and flashing, without an expensive reline? Unfortunately, there's no $ left in the budget for any of this. :smirk: The chimney comes up through an unfinished attic space above a single story family room/garage space. So it's not against an outside wall but it doesn't run through the main house, either. Sorry this is so long. Hope it reads quickly! Thanks, again, for any advice.