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Chimneys & Fireplaces Questions

Our chimney and fireplace specialists have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as removing chimney stacks, constructing a chimney, ventilation, chimney breast brickwork, liners and flues, chimney restoration, fireplace styles and much more.

728 Chimneys & Fireplaces questions

Rain drips down attic wall / beams from 'apex' of roof (neighbour's chimney doesn't straddle the join)

I don't have a fireplace or chimney breast anywhere in my 200yr old stone cottage, however my neighbour's chimney has one chimney face that is directly on my roof 'join' with his.
Water coming in has been been getting steadily worse and I have asked several local builders to put lead flashing on 'my side' of the chimney. They have all said that they don't think that this will stop the problem as the chimney has weeds growing out of it etc. I approached my neighbour who said we'd have to share the cost as it was a party wall, I noted that I don't have a fireplace therefore may as well take chimney down - he wants to keep chimney as he has a fireplace! (Was quoted around £7,000 to rebuild chimney - no way can I afford 1/2 share of this). My next step is to check the chimney 'spouts' - there is only one big one, and one that may have been demolished at some point, no-one seems to know the chimney is not capped so I guess this could be a cause of water ingress - I have no ventilation at base of any wall in the cottage (or anywhere else!) If the open chimney pot does not belong to my house can I 'make' my neighbour make good the repair? BUT most importantly - how can I tell if there was originally a fireplace in my cottage? Not been one since 1980's when my stepfather first bought it.
Someone also suggested environmental health as the wet wall in the attic is coloured and 'bubbling' and could be salts from next door's chimney seeping through when in in use....
Anyhow, Thanks folks - feel better now I've got that off my chest!!! ANY advice would be gratefully received x

lots of rain water coming down chimney

The chimney is above an open fire place, when we noticed some water coming down we had a hat put on this made no difference so we had roofers in. They made repairs around the chimney and said that the roof and flashing was sound. We had a period of little rain and so were unaware until recent heavy rain the the problem has not been fixed. Have tried to contact the roofer but to no avail. Really am worried now about getting a decent builder, we can not afford to keep throwing money away. Would it be better to get a surveyor in or someone else who can tell what the problem is. The roof itself was replaced about ten years ago and looks really good inside and out but water can be seen on the wall in the loft where the chimney is any advice please Many thanks

Thank you very much for your answer couldn't work out how to reply, it is a shame you are not closer to us as I would ask you to visit but we are in the Midlands but many thanks I will do as you say and thank you again

Replacing ugly tiled fireplace surround

We want to replace the small lime green tiles surrounding our two solid fuel fireplaces with nicer back panels. Any advice on the best way of going about it and what to look out for, please?

blocked chimney flue

In the property I have just bought, I have found that the chimney flue has been completely blocked at the bottom for 8 years while the top has remained open. Can I expect significant problems with damp or damage to the brickwork of the chimney?

I have since added an air brick at the bottom of the chimney and intend to cap the top to prevent rain getting through to the fireplace. Is this the right course of action?

DPM under hearth?

I removed the old hearth and need to put a new one as somebody is fitting a wood burning stove soon. So two questions
1 there is damp on the chimney floor, do I ignore and put the slate on top or do I put some sort of dpm and then new hearth over? (would liquid dpm be ok?)
2 somebody said that to put down the slate I need a loose sand and cement mix... could anybody clarify on proportions?
many thanks

Flue or flueless fireplace?

I want to replace my old council fireplace with a more modern one but i have no idea whether I am looking for a flueless one or the opposite... There is a hole in the wall where i have taken my fire out, I'm so confused.. please help :)

How do I make a decorative hole in the wall fireplace?

I have recently had a combi boiler and all new pipe work put throughout my house, in the downstairs living room we have a chimney breast and have had the pipework put in should we want a gas fire. At the moment there is a large square hole in the wall where the fire can be connected, currently this is hidden by a fake electric fireplace.

Since having the central heating installed, our house is too warm for a fire so I'd like to plaster the current square hole in the wall, and just make it a decorative feature with a surround, where I could maybe put flowers etc.

How do I go about doing this?

I realise I've probably not explained that very well so please see the link below for what I'd ulitimately like to do!



White misty patches on old blocked chimney breast walls?

I'm really hoping someone can help me!
I live in a 100 year old house, and in my bedroom I have an old chimney breast, which just looks like normal walls now. I've only lived here for 2.5 years, but since I've been here a large, white misty patch has appeared at the top of the walls. I wiped it over with some tissue around a year ago to see what it was, and the tissue was wet, so it seems to be tiny water droplets. It's since come back again, worse than before.
I'm concerned because I'm having a sore throat and bad chest when I'm in my room at night, and I'm wandering if this could be the cause?
Could anyone tell me what these white patches could be? I can supply photos by email if needed. :o)

Reply to mdp gas services..........

Thanks for your answer! Yes, it is fully bricked up and plastered over. It goes down into my living room too, and it's bricked up in there as well.
I live in a rented property, it's Bournville village trust in Birmingham, so they have to fix it don't they? What sort of work will need to be done? I don't want to contact them until I'm armed with all the info I need, as i think they'll try to fob me off with just painting something on the wall.

We have patches of damp on joining walls of 2 rooms upstairs by the ceiling, and rather than go in the loft to see if there's a problem, they just painted stuff over it. I'm sure this house is full of some sort of damp or mould!!!

how do I make sure my chimney is safe to use as a coal/wood fireplace? what else do I need to do other than fit the fireplace?

A chimney sweep already took a look and said no need to sweep it yet, no need for liner unless we go for a wood burning stove (which we are not doing). What about ventilation and checking the state of the flue higher up?

Fireplace and chimney removal - do I need planning permission

I had a fireplace removed from downstairs plus the breast which went to the room above (no fireplace) and the chimney removed. Would I have had to get planning permission for this and any special joists put in?

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