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Old 09.11.2013, 20:47
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Cracked chimney - need advice

Okay, I know I'm going to get slammed but our next door neighbour has a couple of times this week pointed out that there's something wrong with our house. Yes, you guessed, extremely basic French understanding on our part so apart from working out that he's saying something is broken we haven't figured out exactly what yet. But it's up at the top of the house so we guessed maybe some roof tiles were broken/slipping that he spotted. We've had a look though and the only thing we can see that might be what he's telling us about is that there are some cracks in our chimney.

So can anyone tell me what sort of repairman I'm going to need to look for? A proper builder or is there another type of workman that specialises in chimney repairs? We'd need someone to come and see what the problem is and give us an estimate. If anyone can recommend someone who speaks English and is based in Fribourg canton, even better.

REALLY MUST START WORKING ON LEARNING FRENCH!
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Old 09.11.2013, 20:51
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Maybe he's worried that Santa will snag his suit if you don't get it fixed...
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Old 09.11.2013, 20:53
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Could well be Sandgrounder. He gives us some of his lovely strawberries in the summer. Yummy.
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Old 09.11.2013, 21:06
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but my Meteo Swiss weather app. has just flashed up a warning of strong winds, 90-110 kph, Sun. into Mon.

When I renovated in the Sense Bezirk, our heating contractor fitted an internal chimney pipe and top plate, but I think anything structural will require a builder type bod.

The cracks could be superficial, and only in the the concrete rendering over the brickwork.

You could always have a thin metal plate sleeve fitted,to hold everything in place.

The builder of our current house, specialises in roofing stuff and carpentry, but I don't think chimneys are in his remit.
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Old 09.11.2013, 21:18
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Yeah, I saw the warning on the Meteo Suisse site a little while ago. Not encouraging.
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Old 09.11.2013, 21:23
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Oil ,Gas or Wood. Chimney liner will take care of the flue gases. For structural yon need a Bricklayer .I reco. liner one way or a other

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Old 09.11.2013, 21:46
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

It's an oil central heating system, quite old but still running fine. It seems to be the outer concrete/rendering that's cracking above the roofline.
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Old 09.11.2013, 22:48
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/techs/lbnl0741.html Acid in the flue gasses are destroying the mortar in the chimney and brick .Water and freezing temp. will do the rest . What we do here in Canada .We put a stainless steel(for oil and wood aluminium for gas) liner into the chimney .
After that the bricklayer repairs the brick work
Where can I send the bill for my consulting fee

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Old 09.11.2013, 22:59
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

http://de.diystart.com/schornsteine/...nstein-liner-2


In german
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Old 10.11.2013, 12:38
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

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Where can I send the bill for my consulting fee
Rue de Chimney 12389561
Smokey Lane
VOL-666 Grimesville
Volcanado

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Old 10.11.2013, 12:47
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

The chimney sweepers have the power to condemn a chimney as dangerous, and issue a notice that it must not be used.

So maybe you could ask them to sweep the chimney, (Which you should do every 2 years anyway, to keep the fire insurance happy), and ask them about the condition, and if necessary, who can fix it?
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Old 10.11.2013, 13:47
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

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The chimney sweepers have the power to condemn a chimney as dangerous, and issue a notice that it must not be used.

So maybe you could ask them to sweep the chimney, (Which you should do every 2 years anyway, to keep the fire insurance happy), and ask them about the condition, and if necessary, who can fix it?
Actually, he's just been at the beginning of October and done the yearly chimney sweeping. Came in August and did the official cantonal emissions check which hadn't been done for 4 years because of the house being sold so I was very glad to get that done. He's happy with it, all the tests are within the limits and he's not spotted any problems he thought worth mentioning.

Of course it could be something else that our neighbour has spotted; we're just guessing it's the chimney because of the cracks. Could be something else entirely though.
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Old 13.11.2013, 15:32
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

If the chimney sweep was just there and there hasn't been any storm damage in the meantime, I would doubt it is the chimney. These chimney sweeps are very thorough and have to report all this stuff in their official report. Then you have little choice but to have it fixed; sometimes they schedule a special interim check if it is important. Went through this about 4 years ago.

Anyhow, as for fixing a chimney, you need the masons. Best to find a smaller company that does building and repairs with cement. Ours was quite reasonable. If the flue is open or damaged as a result, it will of course be much more involved and costly.
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Old 13.11.2013, 15:41
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

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The chimney sweepers have the power to condemn a chimney as dangerous, and issue a notice that it must not be used.

So maybe you could ask them to sweep the chimney, (Which you should do every 2 years anyway, to keep the fire insurance happy), and ask them about the condition, and if necessary, who can fix it?
Here in Neuchatel it is compulsory to have all flues and chimneys swept 1x a year- no refusal allowed, and essential for compulsory ECAP fire insurance. If there is damage to the chimney and it it not dealt with, you can face a lot of legal and insurance issues.

Ask a neighbour or colleague who does speak French to clarify with them what the problem is. Or ask them to write it down, post here and I'll translate.
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Old 13.11.2013, 16:00
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

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Here in Neuchatel it is compulsory to have all flues and chimneys swept 1x a year- no refusal allowed, and essential for compulsory ECAP fire insurance. If there is damage to the chimney and it it not dealt with, you can face a lot of legal and insurance issues.

Ask a neighbour or colleague who does speak French to clarify with them what the problem is. Or ask them to write it down, post here and I'll translate.
Never had ours swept in the old house in the almost three years we lived there.
The landlord was responsible for the ECAP insurance and was very conscientious about everything so I'm really surprised that they were never done. ( there were two)
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Old 13.11.2013, 16:08
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

The Law for Neuchatel Canton:

3
Le nombre mi
nimal de contrôles ou de nettoyages des installations servant au
chauffage des locaux, à la préparation d'eau chaude et à la cuisson (sans
cuisinière à gaz) est réglé comme suit:
1.
Installations à combustibles liquides (avec ou sans brûleur):
a)
à évapora
tion d'huile
................................
....................
2 fois par an
b)
à air pulsé > 70 kW
................................
......................
2 fois par an
c)
à air pulsé
70 kW
................................
......................
1 fois par an
2.
Installations de chauffage à combustibles solides:
a)
à tirage naturel
................................
.............................
2 fois par an
b)
avec régulation des gaz de combustion
.......................
2 fois par a
n
c)
d'appoint (cheminée de salon, fourneaux
-
cheminées,
etc.)
................................
................................
...............
à air pulsé
70 kW
1 fois par an
ou,
en cas d'exploitation purement occasionnelle,
d'entente avec le propriétaire du bâtiment, son
représentant ou l'exploitant. A défaut d'entente et sur
p
roposition du maître ramoneur, l'autorité communale
statue.
3.
Installations de chauffage à combustibles gazeux:
a)
avec brûleur à air pulsé
................................
................
1 fois par an
b)
avec brûleur atmosphérique,
contrôle par brossage
................................
..................
1 fois tous les
2 ans


Sorry, hate it when copy and paste ends up in this sort of mess, but message is clear.
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Old 13.11.2013, 16:41
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

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Of course it could be something else that our neighbour has spotted; we're just guessing it's the chimney because of the cracks. Could be something else entirely though.
Then get a pair of binoculars and scan the ridge tiles, roof tiles, gutters and down pipes.

Better still, as Odile says ask him to write it down. But maybe as Soundgrounder says, he might be pointing out that the chimney is too small for Sami Claus.
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Old 13.11.2013, 16:52
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Yes, I was thinking of getting him to write it down for me. If he will, then I can put it through my translation package and see what it says. If it's still gobbledegook of course then I may need to call on your kind translation offers.

All the nearby neighbours speak French, the problem is that none of them speak English. So even asking them wouldn't necessarily help us.
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Old 13.11.2013, 17:43
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

Quote:
View Post
The Law for Neuchatel Canton:

3
Le nombre mi
nimal de contrôles ou de nettoyages des installations servant au
chauffage des locaux, à la préparation d'eau chaude et à la cuisson (sans
cuisinière à gaz) est réglé comme suit:
1.
Installations à combustibles liquides (avec ou sans brûleur):
a)
à évapora
tion d'huile
................................
....................
2 fois par an
b)
à air pulsé > 70 kW
................................
......................
2 fois par an
c)
à air pulsé
70 kW
................................
......................
1 fois par an
2.
Installations de chauffage à combustibles solides:
a)
à tirage naturel
................................
.............................
2 fois par an
b)
avec régulation des gaz de combustion
.......................
2 fois par a
n
c)
d'appoint (cheminée de salon, fourneaux
-
cheminées,
etc.)
................................
................................
...............
à air pulsé
70 kW
1 fois par an
ou,
en cas d'exploitation purement occasionnelle,
d'entente avec le propriétaire du bâtiment, son
représentant ou l'exploitant. A défaut d'entente et sur
p
roposition du maître ramoneur, l'autorité communale
statue.
3.
Installations de chauffage à combustibles gazeux:
a)
avec brûleur à air pulsé
................................
................
1 fois par an
b)
avec brûleur atmosphérique,
contrôle par brossage
................................
..................
1 fois tous les
2 ans


Sorry, hate it when copy and paste ends up in this sort of mess, but message is clear.
I didn't doubt what you were saying but was just pointing out that they clearly don't enforce it. Surely the sensible thing would be for the insurance to demand proof that the checks had been carried out as was the case back in Belgium.

It was quite hard to read though so maybe it's better to just post the link to the information rather than copying and pasting the text.
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Old 13.11.2013, 17:55
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Re: Cracked chimney - need advice

In each Commune, the local ramoneur (chimney sweep) sends a notice that he will come at such and such a time, at such and such a date- you can try and change it, if you are lucky... but basically they will notify the Commune authorities if you do not comply. They definitely enforce it here- and always have- I remember my dad saying it was a licence to print money already in the 50s. I've discussed it with our local ramoneur when he came 2 weeks ago, who is a school friend, who confirmed it is absolutely enforced, no exception. No idea how your landlord got away with it.

The Law states that the 'ramoneur' has to inform the Communal Government of any faults or irregularities with any heating system, fireplace, etc, inspected and cleaned, and that if 3 days notice are given, any refusal to give access to do the work has to be denounced tot he local authorities.
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