How do I work on the top of this chimney?

fire_man Posted By fire_man, Dec 21, 2017 at 4:26 PM

  1. fire_man

    fire_man
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    The chimney is about 23 feet tall and naturally the part needing repair is not accessible by standing on the roof. The photos show the repair areas and I also might add a concrete overhanging crown if I can't repair the old one. The other sides of the chimney are in much better shape and need only minor repointing.

    Is there some kind of ladder stabilizer that might work - the stabilizers I am familiar with are hard to use on a chimney because the support feet force the user to be quite a distance from areas needing repair, meaning I have to do lots of reaching.

    I know the right answer is to set up scaffolding but it would take lots of stages and I'm on the gable end which gets complicated, time consuming and expensive.
     

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  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Dont take long at all to setup scaffolding (My first choice). You may have to rent some. Doing that job off a ladder would be very challenging if not dangerous.
     
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  3. bholler

    bholler
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    Absolutly scaffolding it looks to me like you need some relaid to not just pointing. Honestly if it was me i would be looking at extending the chimney up anyway so you dont have that extension sticking up like that.
     
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  4. bholler

    bholler
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    And i can tell from the condition of the chimney yes you need a crown
     
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  5. fire_man

    fire_man
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    Thanks Bholler.

    I just checked scaffolding prices and they are not as bad as I thought. $194 for a week and they tell me its a freestanding structure which is easy to build, does not have to be tied into the house and will allow me to reach 23 feet. I was sure that height would require mounting.

    I had a feeling my extension would get picked on.
     
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  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Try to get adjustable leg supports for the bottom of the scaffolding, makes it a lot more stable. and can be adjusted as you go without taking the scaffolding down if the ground is soft.
     
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  7. fire_man

    fire_man
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    BTW, why is a ladder such a crazy idea?
     
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  8. fire_man

    fire_man
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    The rental place mentioned getting adjustable supports and I think it was priced in. I've never done scaffolding - is this a one person job?
     
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  9. bholler

    bholler
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    It should be tied to the house for sure i would not work on it otherwise. But it doest have to be snything complicated. I usually take a 2x4 knotch the end to go around an upright. Screw thst fast to the roof and use a ratchet strap to hold the scaffold tight
     
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  10. bholler

    bholler
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    It can be done by one person but 2 people and a rope is much better
     
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  11. fire_man

    fire_man
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    The 2x4 gets nailed directly on top of the shingles? Ouch. Then tar the nail holes? Figures, its a brand new roof. :(

    What is the ratchet stap tied to opposite the scaffolds?

    Can't I just ratchet strap the scaffolds around the chimney?
     
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  12. bholler

    bholler
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    You can strap to the chimney if you trust it i rarely do.
     
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  13. fire_man

    fire_man
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    I do trust this chimney - its a huge 6' x 3' structure. It would take an earth quake to knock it down.
     
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  14. bholler

    bholler
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    You would be surprised.
     
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  15. bholler

    bholler
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    I have been on plenty of chimneys that big that move quite a bit
     
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  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Ask me that after you fall off!!!!
     
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  17. bholler

    bholler
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    Its kind of hard to hold brick mortar and tools while on a ladder.
     
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  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Tough job for 1 person. Get someone young ,strong and competent ,preferably experienced in masonry ,and you can help out.
     
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  19. fire_man

    fire_man
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    That's a tuff combo to find around here.

    I repointed about 15% of the joints in this chimney all the way to the top using a ladder and some hand tools. It was not easy and took forever so I can definitely see the benefits to scaffolding. I have also used a harness for safety.

    I think I will pay a visit to the rental place and get some more details.

    Thanks for the tips to bholler and seasoned oak.
     
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  20. bholler

    bholler
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    Did you cut out the old mortar first?
     
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  21. fire_man

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    Not as well as a "pro" but I used a hammer and chisel to cut out all the loose mortar. The mortar was not really "loose" but rather it was more like it was mixed wrong and some areas were weak/soft and could practically be scraped out. I could punch through soft joints with my chisel.

    It was pain staking and took forever but the repaired areas are now solid and not all areas were weak.
     
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  22. bholler

    bholler
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    Buy an angle grinder and a diamond blade
     
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  23. fire_man

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    I finally did buy one. I wish I knew that "trick" to cleaning the joints sooner.

    Do you cut both sides of the joint close to the brick with the diamond blade and then hit the mortar with a chisel?
     
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  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Use the bagged mortar mix that you just have to add the sand. Everything else is already in it. My son and I just built a 35Ft high chimney and used that and it hardens like steel. Got it from the same place i got all the flues and blocks. Good luck ,i assume you will wait for some warmer weather to do this ,its not a wintertime job.
     
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  25. bholler

    bholler
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    You dont want it to hard. That will cause worse problems down the road. We typically use type n with an acrylic modifier for pointing work. Type s if it is a really hard brick and softer for soft brick. Occasionally even lime mortar.
     
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