What's That Bulging in The Middle?

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

No this is not about dieting. I myself have been on a see food diet for ever, I see food I eat it.

Bulgy chimneyThe bulging I found in this case was in a chimney not my waist. The chimney was in an old multi family home. This ancient chimney has been used for about 100 years so a little bulging should not be that surprising.

Whether expect or not there is nothing good about bulging near the base of a chimney. The swelling is indicating that the chimney structure is failing.

The mortar joints were soft and powdery and could be scraped away easily with a screw driver. This is due to age and moisture.

If you look at the joints you will see larger gaps at the sides of the bricks from the middle up as compared to the very bottom. When looking at the chimney there was a perceptible amount of protuberance.

Some of this structural failing was probably in part caused by all the flue openings cut into the chimney over the years. I counted 7 holes on the four sides of this chimney. Not all were in use.

What was funny is the very top of the chimney at the roof looked to have been recently rebuilt. I have found beautiful new chimney tops many times on older homes only to find the rest of the chimney in poor condition.

Brick chimneys are often very problematic as they age. There is really no need for them any longer as a means of venting heating systems and water heaters. They simply become a crumbling and bulging liability.

 

James Quarello
SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
429,239
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Oh come on, we all bulge a little in the middle if we manage to reach 100 years on the planet. Its called gravity. LOL

;)

 

Nov 19, 2009 08:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Betina, bulge and sag in all the wrong places :o

Nov 19, 2009 10:03 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Maybe the chimney is bloated with gas?  Um, I know that happens...

Nov 19, 2009 12:21 PM #3
Ambassador
1,251,436
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

James - Interesting stuff.  I guess this picture was taken in a basement?  I have only been in one basement in my whole life - we don't have them here in Texas.

Nov 19, 2009 02:50 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,244,593
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

Mr Charles has a bulge at the belly. Is that bad mortar do you think?

Nutsy

Nov 19, 2009 03:49 PM #5
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, There is some of that "Alka Seltzer" on the brick.

Jason, It's a basement, pretty much all we have here in CT.

Nutsy, Does the boss have a bulgy belly too?

Nov 19, 2009 11:09 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,244,593
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

No the boss is as slender as a drinking straw, what a physique. Mr Charles is very jellyious of me and the boss.

Nutsy

 

 

Nov 20, 2009 10:34 AM #7
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Nutsy, The boss must pump iron like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Nov 20, 2009 10:45 PM #8
Rainmaker
510,181
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

Lets just hope it doesn't crumble to the point of falling on someone down there.

Dec 13, 2009 05:04 AM #9
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Robert, Hopefully it gets fixed so that won't happen.

Dec 13, 2009 11:31 PM #10
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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