You are not gonna believe this one.

Did a condo transition inspection, Sunday.

30 unit building, originally built in 1927. Flat roof with a big chimney (for the old, common boiler. Now, each unit had its own furnace.). Also on the roof were about 7 small (4’ H, 3’ wide and 2’ deep) brick chimneys that, most probably, served the small, gas fireplaces / space heaters in the original configuration.

Was looking in one of the top floor units (they had had some water, so the ceiling was open) and I found this.

There, flush with the underside of the roof decking, was the cut off bottom of one of the small chimneys. They just took out the underlying brick and left the chimney, unsupported (well, probably held up by the roof flashing, which was pretty good).

Association rep was shocked (she had one in her unit, as well, right over her new granite countertop and sink) and the buillder kept saying “Hey, there is no problem. The code inspector said it was OK.”. I told him, “Hey, hows about we call them up, right now, and make sure, shall we?”

Please, someone, calculate the weight of this thing and guestimate what would happen if the flashings, suddenly, decided they didn’t want to hold this anymore.

Recommended that they remove the chimney, or, at least, support it with some beams between the roof rafters.

Any thoughts?


No worries. Flashings never fail. :roll: :twisted:

Seriously, though, if the ceiling had not been open, do you think IR would have seen it?

Just install blocking under it,… between the ceiling joists. Easy peasy.


Pretty spooky, ain’t it? A couple of years down the road, and a freakin’ CHIMNEY falls into the kitchen sink, destroys the countertop (NEVER come between a woman and her new, granite countertop), and kills her husband (who she talked into doing the dishes and is now feeling guilty). This woman is gonna be REAL PISSED OFF, and looking for a lawyer.

I, for one, do NOT want to be the one on the recieving end.

I agree.

So, why didn’t the “developer” do it?

Why didn’t the developer find it.

Why didn’t the developer (or his Architect) know about it.

Why didn’t their workers call it out?

Why didn’t the code guy find it?

Just plain scary!

Not to mention all the radon released from the broken granite. :wink:

I find lazy, crazy, stupid, bizarre issues all the time. I stop asking why… :roll:

Is that a gas line right underneath it, or is it just the angle you were at?

Will …
Where was the original base sitting at? Looks to be full of twigs and branches,so was the chimney capped with concrete?
Also I notice the copper supply pipe on the left side of the old joist has some green to it and may have been leaking at the solder connection.
Curious what the new 2x4 that is cut up was being used for.

No way that decking should be holding that weight as the brick is not even being supported by the joists.

That is black pipe for gas.
The kitchen is right there,and they also ran that blue line for phone and coaxial for tv(the black cable)

Sorry Bob I meant THE gas line not A gas line.

The original base was a brick fireplace (for an old gas log space heater, not a soliid fuel fireplace) that is common in buildings of this age, around here.

As long as it’s filled with birds nests and straw,I really don’t see the problem.

In the Fire Service they call these old cut-off chimneys “Widow Makers.” They’re very dangerous for Firefighters if there’s ever a house fire.