Check your chimney stack

When was the last time you checked the condition of your chimney stack?  Chartered Surveyor Kate Farrar lists a few things to watch out for.  Read on .....

When was the last time you checked the condition of your chimney stack?

Chimney stacks are exposed to the extremes of the weather and their condition should be periodically checked.

A chimney stack that has been allowed to fall into disrepair could pose a significant hazard of falling masonry. Even minor repairs will be relatively expensive due to the need to erect a scaffold to safely carry out work at height.

Cracked, eroded or otherwise defective pointing should be raked out and repointed. Cracked render or pebbledash should similarly be carefully removed and repaired.

Obsolete flues should be capped but ventilated to prevent rainwater penetration downwards and to prevent condensation from occurring inside them as this can be a cause of dampness inside the building.

Assess the verticality of the chimney stack. If it appears to be distorted or leaning in any way you should seek the advice of a Chartered Building Surveyor.

Often chimney stacks are obsolete so, as an alternative to maintenance and repair, they may be removed. If a chimney stack is removed, the hole in the roof where the stack passes through will need to be made good.

If the chimney is on a party (shared) wall then you must firstly ensure that it is not used by your neighbour and you will need to serve them with notice under the Party Wall etc, Act 1996. Planning permission is not normally required, except in the case of a Listed Building, if your building is in a Conservation Area, or where an Article 4 Direction exists, restricting the scope of permitted development rights.

Please contact Woodward Chartered Surveyors for further advice by clicking here.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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