Chimney removal is a delicate process that needs to be properly handled to prevent damage or structural defects from resulting. As the topic implies it’s a procedure that needs to be carefully followed.
That means approaching it haphazardly will worsen the situation.
Now, there are lots of reasons why a chimney will need to be removed. One of them has to do with safety. When a chimney leans or hangs dangerously, it needs to be removed immediately to eliminate the danger it poses.
Another reason for removing a chimney may be due to its not being needed anymore. In this case, a structural adjustment is involved to get rid of the relics of the past.
Other reasons for removing a chimney may be to free up valuable room space.
Whatever your reasons for removing your chimney are, there are certain steps to follow to do it rightly. This article will be showing you just what you need to do.
To begin you must know that a chimney consists of two main sections; the stack and breast.
The Chimney Stack and Breast
Your chimney consists of two main sections; the stack and breasts. The chimney stack is the part that projects above the roof and ends with a chimney cap. This can also be called the external structure of the chimney.
The chimney breast on the other hand is the part of the chimney which isn’t visible from the outside. In other words, it’s the part found within the home or below the roof. All of these parts are crucial to a chimney’s smooth functioning.
Now, removing each of these parts of the chimney will require a different approach.
Given this, we’ll be discussing each of the processes involved in removing both the stack and breast sections of a chimney.
Three Basic Steps For A Chimney Removal
Chimney removal is a highly delicate one that includes loosening parts of your structure.
This process includes three steps;
- removing the chimney stacks
- removing the chimney breast
- and rectifying the space created
Having successfully carried out the removal process (both stack and breast), you’re left with a gaping hole or space that can’t be ignored. These will need to be built or filled up to fully complete the removal process.
Removing a Chimney Stack
Before the removal process begins for a chimney stack, it’s necessary to inform your neighbors if you live in a shared structure. For such structures, the stack will likely connect to multiple flues.
To remove this section of the chimney, it will need to be performed brick by brick with the help of a chisel and hammer. Impact hammer or mini-jack are other tools that help make the process much efficient.
Partial Chimney Removal
The removal of a chimney stack alone is known as partial chimney removal.
This is because only a section of the structure is focused on. Now, the bricks are removed until the chimney is flush with the roof. The hole left on your roof will have to be patched up properly.
Removing a Chimney Breast
Removing a chimney breast on the other hand is restricted to the part of the chimney found within the building. The procedure required for removal involves much more than breaking up some mantle and bricks and painting over the space created.
In other words, it involves a lot of work. Now, this needs to be handled by a professional as anything less than that may result in structural failure. During a chimney removal, not all chimney breasts will need to be removed too.
The way your chimney is installed will determine if it needs to be removed or not. Also, the amount budgeted for this project will determine how far the removal needs to go.
After your chimney breast is removed, it leaves a hole in the floor and wall that needs to be fixed or covered. Having called your chimney removal technician or company, you’ll need to step back and allow them to get the job done.
Such professionals are skilled and experienced in the handling of all sorts of complex chimney jobs including removal.
DIY Chimney Removal: Considerations
Sometimes, homeowners may be tempted to carry out a chimney removal process themselves without calling in the experts. Now, this is very risky on many levels.
First, you stand the risk of injury which may result from falling off due to proper harness or other safety too.
Another risk you’re likely exposed to when carrying out a DIY procedure is the likelihood of structural damage.
Structural damage results when the methods used aren’t efficient. In other words, your inexperience may end up causing you much more than calling the experts.
Structural damage will either need the entire or part of a structure pulled down and rebuilt. You don’t want to be faced with such a nightmare while trying to cut costs.
However, if you’re confident about your technical skills, it’s necessary to carry out some detailed research on the chimney removal. Before you proceed, you should ensure that all safety gear is available.
Basic safety gear for a chimney removal process includes gloves, sturdy boots, dust masks, safety harness as well as eye protection. You may also want to get a floor-to-ceiling plastic.
This helps collect debris and dust, thus preventing them from littering the floor of where you’re working.
Obtain Necessary Permits
Part of the process of carrying out a DIY chimney removal is the need to obtain related permits. Now, getting these permits may be stressful for many. However, you must abide by laid down laws whether they be local or state laws.
You don’t need to bear this burden if you decide to call a reputable chimney removal contractor. These contractors already have such permits (only those with permits should be called).
Sometimes, you may not need a permit depending on your local zoning law requirements.
Who You Hire Makes the Difference
Not every chimney removal contractor should be hired or considered for the job. That is because there are lots of unqualified contractors making unsubstantiated or bogus claims. So, how do you know who’s genuine or not? This can be quite tricky.
However, the easiest and most reliable way is to search for reviews from reliable listing sources as well as from customers who have called for similar work in the past. This gives you a guide on what to expect and who to call.
Basic things to consider include what customers have to say about the contractor’s services. Also, go through company profiles, as well as requesting for quotes. It’s important when requesting quotes to target multiple contractors.
That way, you tend to have a better idea of the pricing differences which helps you get the most competitive.
During a chimney removal, safety concerns are important. Apart from the safety of the contractor performing the removal procedure, it’s important to also ensure the safety of persons within the home.
People within the home may need to temporarily relocate during the chimney removal process. The reasons are obvious. Apart from the possibility (however slim it is) of structural damage resulting which may collapse certain parts of the structure, there are also health hazards from inhaling dust, etc.
No one should be exposed to this situation. Professional chimney removal contractors should have this fully figured out. This is one of the major reasons why a professional must be hired.
Best Time For Chimney Removal
Part of the preparations for a chimney removal includes choosing the right time. Timing is of the essence.
It’s best to get the job done when the climatic conditions are favorable. Summer is the most suitable time of year to get this job done.
Does Cost Play A Part in A Removal Process?
Chimney removal requires professional handling. This comes at a cost.
However, who you call for this job determines how much you pay. In answering this question, the cost is indeed a consideration for most homeowners.
Although this is the case, we recommend not cutting corners with a job as delicate as removing a chimney. Trying to do so will only result in sub-par jobs, thus creating more problems in the end.
It’s important to plan financially for this undertaking as early as you can. That way, you can get the right and experienced hands for the job. The focus should be on the quality of the job rather than the cost.
This isn’t to say that cost is irrelevant. Rather, it shouldn’t be exchanged for quality.
More so, the more price quotes you request from qualified chimney contractors, the better your chances of getting the best deal (that is, the best job at the best price) available.
Chimney removal is quite delicate as it involves taking down parts of your building structure. This process must be done systematically as discussed above. We’ve also seen that due to its complexity, not everyone is well suited for this job.
Hence, only experienced chimney technicians or contractors should be called to get the job done. We’ve also included information on how to find such professionals.