Chim Chimney, Chim Chimney…

Jan 25, 2023 | 0 comments

We have two chimneys. It’s the lower one that is of current concern.

When you live in an old house, repairs and replacements become a part of your everyday thinking.  If it’s not refinishing the woodwork inside or, adjusting a window that no longer closes quite tightly, it’s replacing the roof or the carpet or even the kitchen cabinets.  Seldom, though, do you think about replacing the chimney!

Recently, the Oysterville Restoration Foundation qualified for a grant to replace the top part (from the roofline up) of the Oysterville Church’s chimney.  The bricks as well as the mortar were failing and water was wicking through them, through the walls of the church, through the wallpaper and creating unsightly stains and the perfect environment for healthy crops of black mold.

A Closer Look

The repairs were spendy but the problems should now be solved.  Below the roofline — not so much, although now those bricks will dry out and the situation will be stabile even though the chimney will not be operable.  As a practical matter, the chimney hasn’t been used for at least fifty years.  The stove exists as an interpretive element only — to show how the church was heated from the time that it was built in 1892 until it was restored ninety years later.

Our house was built in 1869.  At one time, we had three chimneys; now only two.  The upper one (which appears to be in the best shape) may have been original to the house.  The lower one, however, was not constructed until 1915.  Even so, it is struggling to stay upright — and has been for a number of years.  When we began getting quite a healthy crop of ferns growing out  through the mortar and the plaster covering, I began to worry.

Looking Down Inside From The Top

Yesterday Jake-The-Chimney-Guy came to evaluate both structures.  The good news:  only the west chimney needs immediate attention.  AND below the roofline, even on that one, no work is  necessary  However… the outer part of the chimney is huge — probably eight feet tall, which is not apparent until you see it from the southeast.  Though it’s not as fancy at the one at the church, the cost will be about the same.  (GULP!)  Too bad private homes can’t qualify for grants, eh?

The work will probably take place in the Spring.  So… let the scrimping begin!!!



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