Using a Chimney Stack

By their very nature, Chimney Stacks are subject to extreme hot
and cold conditions, whilst being exposed to the most volatile
weather of any part of the house. Which means high quality
maintenance and repair is essential.

Yet, too often, chimney stack repairs are carried out by
inexperienced individuals using second rate materials, which can
results not only in damage to the appearance of the building, but
it can be very dangerous too.

We look at how the key issues should be faced when using a
chimney stack.

Suitable Access

Chimney stacks are built in some of the most obscure and remote
places on buildings, and gaining suitable access without stretching
or over reaching is hugely important.

It will keep your workers safe and make sure the stack itself is
not damaged when you are actually trying to maintain it.

For front elevation chimneys, a standard trade
scaffold tower
with an access level at the base of the chimney
is usually sufficient.

But if the chimney is at the ridge line, extra scaffold lift
heights are essential to provide ease of reach. Build a saddle
structure mounted on both sides of the roof for this type of job
for complete access around the entire chimney and the best working
environment.

The Right Materials

If you are looking to remove or carry out major renovations on a
chimney stack then getting the advice of a structural engineer is a
wise move.

Make sure you understand the
regulations
surrounding chimney stack removal and the materials
that are required.

In most traditional designs, the chimney stack makes up part of
the load-bearing structure of the building, and without the right
supports in place, the consequences can be devastating.

Sometimes gallows brackets are used to support adjoining
chimneys, which can cause significant problems if you are only
working on one side.

Other times, partly removed stacks can be supported with a
structural steel beam. But structural calculations will be required
to ensure you get the size to suit.

Get prepared, and working with chimney stacks can be really
rewarding. Just make sure you do your homework first.