Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Chimney Challenges

I get to learn the most interesting things as part of my job.  For example, did you know that masonry folklore says that an old chimney will always lean in the direction of the sea?  That’s certainly true on our project – our chimney is shaped like a banana that leans towards Casco Bay!  The more scientific reasoning for this is that the old mortar wears away, little by little, thanks to prevailing winds, salt water and coastal storms. 90+ years of nor’easters have taken their toll!


Thankfully the banana shape isn’t a structural problem for us, but old chimney guru Dana Larrabee suggested we completely repoint it, tighten up the lead flashing and then clean and waterproof the whole thing. 


It was a pretty big job and pretty fascinating to watch over a period of days.  The old mortar came out in clouds of dust.  Turns out that was the quick part of the job.  

Each joint had to be refilled and shaped – a painstaking job that took hours.  Once that was complete, they allowed it to set for a week and cure.

The following week they gave it a wash to clean it up, did a thorough chimney cleaning of the interior and then waterproofed it to protect all that hard work.  Now we still have the banana shape, but it’s ready for the next 90+ years!

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