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Chimneys & Fireplaces

Can removal of a chimney breast cause your neighbours problems?

I live in a 3 storey terraced house and my neighbors removed their chimney breasts on the ground floor. In addition they removed a main wall on the ground floor so that they could have a large room which they now use as their kitchen/lounge. I have always had fires in my house and I believe there is no substitute for a natural fire. After they had done their work they complained they could smell smoke in their children's bedroom which is located on the second floor. I should state the fire I had was on the 1st floor in my lounge. I should also point out that they have built a loft conversion and hence now have 4 floors.They say its my problem and that I should get work done. Whilst I am prepared to stop having fires for a while I consider it is their problem. They have not had chimney breasts above ground floor removed. In addition I confirm that they did enter into party wall agreements and it is my understanding that they have had building regulation approval.

5 Answers from MyBuilder Chimney & Fireplace Specialists

Best Answer

Firstly there should have been a party wall agreement in place, building control should have been notified, and signed of completed works.
If the problem didnt exist before they removed stack, then the problem seems to lie with them.
Dont light your fire until the problem is sorted, sounds like they didnt seal up properly when removing stack.
Best to get a HETAS installer round, he may advise installing a liner, but he will issue a certificate, if problem is neighbours, then they should really cover the costs.
Get Hetas round, see what they advise and take it from there.


Answered 4th Mar 2011

sounds like the problem with the smole isue only came to light once they took their side of the breast , building control should of checked condition of the joints before signing off the work ,all cement work in bricks should of been repointed or at least checked before covering wall over if they have just plasterboarded it over then it is down to them as it is in their property and a party wall agreement should of been in place before work was started ,i recomend that your fire isnt lit untill it isall rectified properlly and had asmoke test mcheck with your local council if they had planning consent aswell and they may look into the problem


Answered 4th Mar 2011

Be aware that this could of been happening before any work was carried out, smoke crossing into each others flue, now the breast has been removed this is allowing smoke into there house.
Ive been to alot of propertys with this problem and its so hard to prove unless you both had smoke tests prior to the building work been carried out.
Not an easy one ime afraid.
Cheers kevin


Answered 17th Mar 2011

I recommend you get someone out to smoke test your chimney.

There should'nt be any problems as your chimney and next doors should run seperatly but if mortar has broken away smoke can sometimes leak through. The main ways to solve this would be to line the chimney, as this will form a new smoke barrier. Obviously if smoke co2 is getting through it can be fatal, co2 cant be seen, you cant smell it yet it kills to many people every year.

Get someone out asap.


Answered 3rd Mar 2011

it depends was it a double chimney buy this i meen do yours join on to your neighbours and if so when he remove his side of the chimney did he seal your side if the is any hole in your side of the chimney smoke will find its way in to the room thats not sealed so i would say its down to the neighbors to look in to it hope this puts some light on the matter and lets just hope they did not just put plaster board over the wall be for sealing them


Answered 3rd Mar 2011

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