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Chimney repair difficulties

I bought a 30-year-old house and the inspector said the cement crown of the chimney is damaged enough that it needs replacing, as well as damaged bricks need replacing and mortar needs tuck pointing. I got some books and read up on what was involved, and yesterday began removing damaged materials.

We successfully removed the crown and the three top layers of bricks (many of which were crumbling along with the mortar). My problem is every time I try to clear mortar from the next layer of bricks so that I can start fresh with laying new bricks, the next layer comes loose (the mortar a layer down, which overall seems really porous, cracks from the impact above). I fear I may end up having to rebrick the whole chimney. Is there a way to remove mortar and not loosen the remain bricks, or is this problem indicative that the whole chimney is suspect and needs replacing?

Re: Chimney repair difficulties

One thing I didn't mention, all of my books describe the removal of damaged bricks by using a cold chisel and ball pein hammer. I just noticed a DIY site that recommends the use of a 4-inch electric grinder. Is it possible I could do more delicate removal of mortar with this tool?

Re: Chimney repair difficulties

You can use hand tools and a power grinder with a masonary blade, just be careful and patient and wear a mask/eye protection. Also exercise caution when you climb up/get down and when you're up there on the roof.

It looks to me that the more bricks/mortar you remove, the more you find out there is more to remove...:confused: So, if you want a uniform looking bricks, or if there are so many crumbling bricks, it might be sensible and cheaper in the long run, to replace them all.

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