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Chimney & Fireplaces/Cracks in Brick Chimney


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Chimney 1  

chimney 2
chimney 2  
looking at a brick chimney with vertical cracks.  They are on the front(away from house)starting approximately 3' from grade level and working their way up to about 3' from top.  Then on the house side they are from top down to the roof.  The chimney does not exhibit any indications of movement.  It has a metal flue for a wood burning stove.

Can the cracks be sealed? they are in the bricks as well as mortar?  Does the chimney need to be removed and replaced?  What causes vertical cracks?

Hi Jim,

This appears to be expansion damaged from water penetration at the crown/wash area at the top of the chimney.  If the crown/wash area would have been properly repaired at the first onset of cracking or installed/constructed properly when first constructed, you would probably not have this damage which now exists.

You'll need to consult a qualified masonry contractor in your area for potential repair of this and he or she will be able to provide the best solution for your climate area.

You could also contact a local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep to do some on-site diagnosis of your problem.

You can find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep at

Thanks for using AllExperts.Com and good luck with your project.

A. Bart Ogden, President
Home Safe Hearth & Chimney, Inc.
Wichita, KS
Voice 316-265-9828

CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep #2653
CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician #10
NFI Certified Wood Specialist
NFI Certified Gas Specialist
NFI Certified Pellet Specialist
NFI Master Hearth Professional
NFI Instructor
NCSG Technical Advisory Council Member
2011 White House Chimney Sweeping Team Member

Advice given is general in nature. Local laws and ordinances may govern and/or supersede the information and recommendations provided. Final determinations are the responsibility of a local professional with first-hand knowledge of the situation, and the AHJ.

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Bart Ogden


I can answer questions related to chimney and fireplace cleaning, construction and repair as well as questions related to the performance of chimneys and fireplaces. I can also answer questions related to clothes dryer vent cleaning and repair. Additionally, I can field questions related to masonry repair.


Experience in the area:
28 years experience in the chimney service/installation/repair field
President, Home Safe Hearth & Chimney, Inc. Wichita, Kansas

Professional Organizations:
Member, National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG)
Member, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
Member, Kansas Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps (KGPCS)
Member, Midwest Chimney Safety Council (MCSC)
Member, Kansas Association of Real Estate Inspectors (KAREI)
Past At-Large Director of the National Chimney Sweep Guild
Past At-Large Director of the Chimney Safety Institute of America
Past Secretary, National Chimney Sweep Guild
Past Secretary, Chimney Safety Institute of America
Member, National Chimney Sweep Guild Technical Advisory Council
Member, Chimney Safety Institute of America Certification Committee
Past Chairman, CSIA Chimney Safety Education Brochures Committee
Past Chairman, NCSG Nomination Committee

SWEEPING Magazine, The Journal of Chimney & Venting Technoloty, A Publication of the National Chimney Sweep Guild
SNEWS, The Chimney Sweep News
THE KANSAS SWEEP, The Voice of the KS Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps

BA, Wichita State University
C.S.I.A. Certified Chimney Sweep
C.S.I.A. Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician
N.F.I. Woodburning Specialist
N.F.I. Gas Specialist
Chimney Diagnosis & Documentation Seminar
Ahren's Masonry Restoration School Graduate
Advanced Gas Certification
Master Gas Certification
Licensed Mechanical Contractor
Pellet Appliance Specialist
Venting Design Specialist
Dale Carnegie Course Graduate

Awards and Honors:
Superior Dealer Award, Ventinox Chimney Lining Systems

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