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Rick, General Contractor
Category: Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 21554
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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I've red a to rebuild a chimney. The previous chimney was

Customer Question

I've hired a mason to rebuild a chimney.
The previous chimney was only a vent for a gas heater and the fireplace was not deep enough to allow for wood burning.
I gave him a picture of the old chimney and asked him to recreate it. Which he has done precisely.
The fireplace has been bricked up, so the new chimney does not need to function. I.E. Flue, smoke shelf, etc...
My concern is about the portion of the "chimney" above the roof line. Essentially, what he has built is a brick wall. Approximately 8"-10" deep (two bricks long ways, mortar in between), 3' wide, 7' tall. Roof slope is approximately 6:12. Rise is approximately 15'. Chimney cap is well below the ridge line.
It looks to me like a strong gust of wind would blow it over. The brick is antique and solid, so no place to add rebar for extra support but much heavier than something manufactured today.
I guess my question is what is more structurally sound? The "wall" or something with a hollow core and a little bit deeper?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Engineering
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

If alternating courses are interlocked (running in the opposite perpendicular direction) then there is virtually no chance that wind (with the possible exception of a tornado) would take it down. A hollow core is no more structurally sound. The key in this case is alternating the direction of the courses.