A toppled chimney is usually a product of a damaged roof. At times the entire house or building collapses. Earthquake is oftentimes the root cause of such conditions. Some chimneys that have stood for long years may topple down in just a blink of an eye, due to a strong earthquake. In such case, clearing it in such a way that it will not cause further damage not only to the structure itself or to the brick and caps comprising the roofing but also to the people around and inside the structure are discussed in this article. As a simple guide, here are some tips on how to clear a toppled chimney.
- Determine the amount of damage. Toppled fireplace chimneys that are not that damaged can be cleared off and repaired. It must be cleared off at once, as the toxic gases in the chimneys, such as carbon monoxide, can cause serious health hazards. As such, you must have knowledge on the proper know-how's of chimney home repair, especially when it comes to the brick flashing, roofing and caps masonry. If you think you can't handle it or if you have second thoughts of doing it, better ask help from a professional who really knows how to do it, especially if the damage done is severe.
- Use the right clearing tools and materials. Using your bare hands in clearing toppled chimneys can cause more harm than help. Instead better use power shovels along with the right protection, dust mask and gloves. Use the right cover for the fireplace openings or stove along with the furniture and other areas of the house. See to it that the ladder you will use is in good condition. Secure it properly in place. Be careful in using the brush and brush wires as sweeps, for the dirt and debris that can injure the eyes and puncture the skin. Take note of the electrical and fire hazards that can endanger your life.
- What to do with a toppled chimney crown. Old chimney crowns often consist of cement and sand. In case it has been badly damaged and toppled down, better replace it with a modern one once the debris has been removed. The coatings can make the crown clearer and cleaner. It can be applied with a trowel or any equipment depending on what is required. Be sure to use a good quality water seal. You may be tempted to retain the masonry crown or roofing in case it is still in good condition but it is not actually advisable since it may not be strong enough to resist further damage in case an earthquake once again takes place.
- Would you need a repair or a complete chimney replacement? Whether to go for a chimney home repair or replacement depends on the condition of the chimney. If the toppled chimney is severely damaged, then better opt for a new replacement. However, it would be better to consult a professional chimney person to help you determine the right choice.
Aside from this tips on clearing a toppled chimney, asking advice from a professional chimney expert is also of big help to help get over from a damaged fireplace.