Here is a chimney we evaluate in Bloomington. It’s a standard brick chimney with common issues including bad mortar, missing flue caps and an improper chimney cap (otherwise known as a wash cap or ‘crown’). An interesting challenge on this chimney is its’ width. According to Minnesota Building Code, any penetration through a roof that is wider than 30″ needs a special assembly called a saddle, or cricket. The purpose of a saddle is to divert water to the left and right of a mass that passes through the roof. In this case, the chimney is over six feet wide, making the prospect of a saddle a bit of a challenge. An example of saddle is shown at Point F in the photo here.
The other challenges to this Bloomington chimney include:
B – These flues should have caps such as those shown at Point A. Even though the flues are passive, i.e., they are filled with concrete, they should still have protection against the freeze-thaw cycle.
C – The original cap was hand troweled in place and has no overhang. This is bad because it encourage water to seep between the cap and the bricks, eventually cleaving the brick apart and damaging the mortar through the brutal Minnesota freeze-thaw cycles in spring and fall.
D – There is a crack developing at Point D and it will soon threaten the integrity of the chimney as a whole as water works its’ way in between the brick and the crown.
E – As described above, this chimney is too wide to feasibly handle a code-required saddle. This owes mostly to the low pitch of the roof in combination with the width of the chimney.
The most reliable resource for all things related to professional chimney repairs can be found at Kuhl’s Contracting, our parent company.