Chimney & Fireplace
August 26, 2009

One of the things we've planned on doing for quite a while, but have been putting off, is repairing the chimney and finishing off the fireplace with the old wood burning stove in it. When we bought the house we knew there were some leaks at the top of the chimney. The crown was cracked, and letting water in, and there had not been a chimney cap to stop rain from falling right down the chimney. This had led to rust on the wood burning stove down below. So we finally bought all the materials we needed to make a new chimney crown. We also decided we need to install a new stainless steel chimney liner to connect to the wood burning stove since it will be more efficient that way, and because the existing flue tiles in the chimney are cracked, and could potentially let hot gas and flames out of the chimney. The two of us managed to get the stove out of the house on our own, which was no easy task, so we could repaint it, and also to make it easier to clean the chimney before we put the liner in.

You can see the cracks in the crown. We're not exactly sure
what the deal is with the extension, but apparently at some
point someone decided to extend the height of the chimney.
Probably to increase the draft since they didn't actually
install the wood stove properly.

The mortar around the extension chipped off really easily.

Here's a close up of someone's handy work. We found pieces of wood wedged into all
four corners. I guess that's how you make a round peg fit in a square hole.

After getting the extension off, we removed the existing crown, and the top flue tile
since it was cracked. While trying to clean the mortar off the top of the next flue tile,
we realized that it was cracked as well.

Here's the new clay flue tile installed, and the form for the new concrete chimney crown
with rebar in it to help prevent cracking. The new crown is finished, but I forgot to take a
picture. It'll come later...

Here's an older shot of the wood burning stove in the fireplace.
The wood paneling around it is to keep the cat out of the
fireplace. We're going to have some steel plates made to
go around the stove.

After taking the stove out, we put up plastic so we could clean
the chimney without making a mess inside the house.

Here's the stove on the back patio after cleaning a lot of the rust off the top, but it still
looks pretty bad.

And after painting the front half that will be visible after we
reinstall it.

The new stainless steel chimney liner is going to be 8" diameter, but there wasn't enough
clearance in the back of the fireplace. So I had to cut a piece of steel out, and remove the top
two bricks as you can see here. We weren't too worried about the damage we were doing since
this fireplace has so many issues, its not safe to use without the stove anyway.

This is looking up inside the fireplace. At the bottom of the picture is where I cut the steel
bar out and removed two bricks. Between the black steel at the top of the picture, and the
rusty steel below that is a whole lot of fiberglass insulation packed into a large gap. I pulled
some out, and found that the gap goes up into the wall behind the brick and directly to the
drywall and wood framing. Sounds like a good way to burn the house down...