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best way to demolish chimney

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Jeremy Illingworth

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Posted May 04 2006 - 03:10 PM

I need to remove a brick chimney from a 1936 house that goes from the basement to the roof. Has anybody done this before? What's the best way to preceed? For the portion above the roof and in the attic I was simply going to break them loose and throw them into the chiney, periodically cleaning out the bottom. I don't want to destroy the walls in the house (yet) so I was planning on using a sledge hammer to knock out the bricks from the bottom and let it slowly slide down in to the basement. I read that somewhere, I think in This Old House. Some people say its a brilliant out of the box solution, other a terrible and dangerous idea. jeremy

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted May 04 2006 - 10:45 PM

Best way to demolish a chimney? Get a professional to do it.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   MarkMel



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Posted May 05 2006 - 01:45 AM

I've done it before. I started from the top and worked my way down. I wouldn't knock the bricks out from the bottom. It could get hung up on the walls. Plus the framing could be attached to the chimney some how. You never know in these older houses. The safest way is to open the walls around the chimney and go floor by floor. The walls are much easier to replace if you take them down instead of when the chimney gets hung up and rips them out. To give you some idea of the weight, I rented a 4 ton dumpser and went over by a ton when it was weighed. Knocking out the bottom and having that much weight hung up on your framing is not going to be good.
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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted May 05 2006 - 09:30 AM

I would be afraid of having the chimney take down more than you bargained for if you take out the base and allow gravity to take out the above. It's just not really worth the risk of having major structural damage to save time or effort. At least this is my amateur opinion. Don't forget the flashing that is usually attached to the roof where the chimney meets the roof, any other kind of attachments could provide costly if they were to be removed with the collapse of the chimney. Jay
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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted May 05 2006 - 09:36 AM

Invent an urban legend about your chimney that involves dynamite and submit it to the Mythbusters.
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#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted May 06 2006 - 09:01 AM

Do chimneys in the UK contain vertical steel rods ("re-bar") like they do in California? There the bricks have holes in them to slide over the re-bar....you have to take them off, one by one, from the top and slide them back over the re-bar.
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