- It’s best to contact a chimney mason- they’ll strap it to the house, do a partial excavation under the slab, perform a re-tilt, and then pour a new base beneath it
- There’s always a risk that it will still fail during this process, but that’s what insurance and technical knowledge are there for (Source)
What do you do if your chimney is separating from your home? The answer to this question can vary based on a wide range of different factors. Many of these factors should address the safety of the home, the integrity of its structure, and the home’s value.
Therefore, it is important that homeowners and their families take these structural problems very seriously.
Fortunately, there is more than one way to address and solve this issue. Yet, you need to do your research first before you choose a solution. That being said, here are some of the options that you may want to consider.
To Do’s if Chimney Is Separating From House
#1 – Contact a Professional Contractor
One of the first things that you need to do is contact a professional contractor who specializes in this area of construction. Because there is more than one problem that could be causing the chimney to separate from your house, you need to know exactly what the source of the issue is as soon as possible.
For instance, sometimes the problem may be related to the soil, especially if it is not sufficient enough to hold up the weight of the chimney. In these situations, the chimney may sink, tilt and separate from the rest of the home’s structure.
Whatever the case or situation, a professional contractor will be assess these issues and other problems that may be involved
#2 – Determine How Much You Can Afford to Pay
As you have a professional contractor assess these issues for you, you need to also determine how much money you can afford to pay for these repairs. For instance, you need to ask the contractor about an assessment of the cost to determine which option is the most effective, safe, and affordable to the homeowner.
Also, as you make these decisions, do not be tempted to cut corners. This is especially the case if you are expecting to put your house up for sale. For instance, due to the critical nature of this problem, prospective home buyers will pay close attention to subpar work on a chimney that is not stable.
#3 – Talk to Other Homeowners with the Same or Similar Problems
Even though it may not seem like it, chimneys separating from the home is much more common than most people may think. So, if you want to make the best decision possible, you may want to talk to other homeowners who have experienced the same or similar problems.
For instance, the home may have some foundational problems that need to be repaired. To repair a chimney that is tilting, some homeowners may recommend stabilizing the chimney by using a helical pier system. A helical pier system is ideal for returning the chimney to its original position.
Additionally, when you are looking for input from homeowners online, they can help you by describing alternative options that can help you save both time and money. For instance, some homeowners suggest hiring a structural engineer to look at the chimneys first.
The structural engineer’s job is to analyze and then draw up plans to make the repairs that’s needed. Once you have this information, you can take bids from contractors to make the repairs. The cost of these services may cost several hundred dollars or more.
However, it is well worth it in the long run to have a full assessment of the entire problem, particularly when there are foundational issues involved.
How I handled a separating chimney
When I bought my New England summer home, I knew that I was in for a few surprises.
After all, the house was over a hundred years old and had been through a lot since it was first built.
But, I never imagined that one of the problems I would have to deal with would be my chimney separating from the house.
At first, I didn’t even realize that there was a problem.
I only noticed it when the snow started to melt and revealed the large gap that had developed between the top of my chimney and the roof.
I knew that I needed to do something about it quickly, but I wasn’t sure what.
I talked to a few friends who had been through something similar and they gave me some advice.
But, ultimately, I decided to hire a professional contractor to take a look at the issue and give me some recommendations. The contractor came out and assessed the situation.
He told me that there were several different things that could be causing the chimney to separate from the house and he wasn’t sure which one was responsible.
He said that it could be due to the soil not being able to support the weight of the chimney, or it could be because of some foundational problems with the house.
He also said that it was possible that there were other issues that he couldn’t see that were causing the problem.
He told me that, whatever the case may be, I needed to take action as soon as possible to fix it before it got worse.
He also said that it was going to be expensive and I needed to prepare myself for a large bill.
I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew that I had to act fast.
I talked to some of my friends who had gone through something similar and they all told me different things.
One friend told me that I should try to stabilize the chimney by using a helical pier system.
Another friend told me that I should hire a structural engineer to take a look at the issue first and then contact contractors to make the repairs.
I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew that I needed help figuring it out.
That’s when I decided to go online and talk to other homeowners who had gone through something similar. I was surprised by how common this problem was.
I also found a lot of helpful advice about what to do and who to talk to.
Based on everything I had read, I decided to take my friend’s advice and hire a structural engineer.
I wanted to make sure that I knew exactly what was going on before I took any action.
The engineer came out and took a look at the problem.
After he assessed the situation, he told me that the most likely cause of the problem was that the house was settling and that was causing the chimney to separate from the roof.
He said that this was a common problem in old houses and that it wasn’t anything to worry about.
He told me that the best course of action would be to hire a contractor to come in and make the repairs.
I was relieved to know that the problem wasn’t anything serious. But, I was also worried about the cost of the repairs. The engineer had told me that it would be expensive.
But, I didn’t want to wait until the problem got worse. So, I decided to hire a contractor to come in and make the repairs. I was worried about the cost, but I knew it was necessary.
The contractor came in and made the repairs. He told me that it was a common problem and that I shouldn’t worry about it.
He also told me that the cost of the repairs was going to be expensive.
But, he said that it was necessary to fix the problem before it got worse. I was relieved that the problem was fixed and that I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. I was also grateful that I had taken action when I did.
If I had waited any longer, the problem could have gotten worse and the cost of the repairs would have been even more expensive.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t wait to take action. The sooner you fix the problem, the better. It may be expensive, but it’s worth it to take care of your home.
What do you do if your chimney is separating from your home? As referenced above, the answer to this question can vary based on a number of different factors.
Therefore, it is important that you do a thorough job of getting to the source of the problems before you take any actions to make the repairs.
More importantly, you may want to hire a structural engineer to make an assessment of the full scope of what is actually happening. And, then contact a local contractor to assist with doing the work.