July 25, 2008 8

the elephant, I mean chimney, in the room…

By in Chimney, Master Bedroom



So, one thing you might have noticed if you have gone to my Flickr account is that I have not addressed the horrible situation with my chimney on the blog. How does the old saying go? Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt?

Anyway, I just haven’t wanted to think about it because it has been such a stress. A great while ago a windstorm blew the old stone cap off the top of my chimney. It is only a partial chimney that my furnace vents to. The furnace pipe runs through a chase (thanks Anna!) from the downstairs up through Thurston’s room and into the side of this chimney, the base of which starts about 3 feet below my bedroom ceiling. It might have gone all the way to the lower level at some time, I’m not sure. So when the cap blew off the chimney started to leak creosote and water down through into my bedroom, creating quite a horrible mess. I have not been able to find anyone to deal with this up until today.

A great guy recommended by my contractor friend Dave came and assessed the situation this morning. There are two options, both about the same cost. One is to put a liner in the chimney and put block-bond all the way around it to seal it. The other is to put a power vent next to where my hot water heater vents out the side of my house and vent the furnace there and take the whole chimney down. I think I will be taking the chimney down. It is old, and I’m afraid of bigger leaks in the future or the damn thing crashing down through my bedroom.

Of course, this adds a whole new level of work to this bedroom renovation, plus a whole new level of cost (have I mentioned how much I hate money and dealing with it?) and a whole new level of stress!

8 Responses to “the elephant, I mean chimney, in the room…”

  1. Anna at D16 says:

    Oh, man. That sucks! I didn’t realize how bad the situation was. I think it’s for the best to just take the whole chimney down if you have the option.

    I worry about this kind of thing happening to my house. We don’t have a chimney cap OR a liner where our furnace vents, and I know we have to address that at some point. There are no leaks (yet), and it’s been OK for 125 years, but we don’t want to wait for a disaster. But…it comes down to money. (Which I also hate thinking about.)

    Even if this means you have to put off buying new furniture, linens, etc. for a while, you’ll feel so much better with it taken care of. I can’t imagine that sleeping in a room with creosote leaking all over the place is too good for your health, either!

  2. Anna at D16 says:

    BTW, can you give me the interior measurements (height/width) of the window in your bedroom? Meaning just the size of the opening, not including the moldings.

  3. Adam says:

    Well, this will certainly add a new level of excitement to the blog, so that is a plus! I might have to hold off on the dresser and a chair, but everything else should still be doable. I am actually going to have my cousin’s husband take apart and put back together upstairs my dresser that matches the bed. I’ll take some pics of it and you can tell me what think of it.

    The window opening is 34.5″ x 60.5″.

  4. April in CT says:

    Holy mess! It reminds me of that scary movie Dark Water with the freaky leak in the ceiling!

    Good choice on getting rid of it and preventing future issues.

  5. Adam says:

    Yes April, it does remind me of that! It also reminds me of the Amityville Horror! Tearing it down will be more work, but you are right- it will be worth it to prevent future issues!

  6. drwende says:

    Rip, rip, rip it out!

    Old houses are held together almost entirely by unpleasant surprises. You are very brave.

  7. Tim says:

    Good Job! 🙂

  8. Tony says:

    Good Job! 🙂

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