Recoating chimney caps

Ask the pros-February 2007
By Reggie Bullard




 Yes, I accidentally stumbled onto your site today.
 I have attached (3) photos of my house which is located in Asheboro, North Carolina, which is in the center of the state.
 My house was designed and built in 1934 by the original owner. I'm the second.
 As you can tell from the photos, the stucco is cracking and sliding off the top of my chimney.
 The outer coating thicknesses range from 1/4" to 1/2".
 The metal cap has rusted through, which has allowed water to come in and probably penetrate the coating.
 Repeated freezing and thawing cycles over 60+ years has probably separated the coating.
 Pieces have been falling off for about two years and it's getting worse.
 I think the only way to fix this is to completely remove the coating and start over.
 My guess is to hammer off the remaining coating, secure metal lath to the structure and re-stucco, replace the metal cap.
 The problem is trying to find someone local to fix it.
 It's pretty high up.
 The answer I've been getting is to cover the whole top with something else.
 The chimney is so much a part of the house and the overall look of the house. I don't want to change anything, except the metal cap. 
We've been in the house for 9 years and never used the fireplace. However, we really want to.
 The original owners placed a steel plate over the opening. They didn't use it either.
 Do you have any suggestions or know anyone in my area that could help?
 It's hard to find "stucco repair" listed in the phonebook.

We always re-do the caps on houses that we do stucco additions on
You may be able to do it yourself, but you are probably better off not to.
The stucco can be recoated using an acrylic additive in the mortar. First 
the  loose areas need to be chipped to expose the bare mortar,
including areas where the cap was re-coated and the new mortar failed.

You can apply new mortar in one of two methods.
One using a bonding coat first, then a finish coat. Or just a finish coat.

You can find someone with basic masory skills to do this for you.
It is critical  acrylic is used in the mortar(and not painted on first)
or the recoat will fail.

deteriorated chimney cap
Loose areas are chipped off and surface dirt and dust
cleaned off.
Duct tape around bottom of cap to keep mortar
off brick. Roof is covered real good with tarpaper and tape
This  mortar will not come off the roof. Note the flex con bucket
This is mixed  half and half with water, then mixed into
the mortar. We didn't use a bonding coat here.
Mortar is white portland and sand colored to match
the addition.
coating deteriorated chimney cap
Mortar is poured on top of cap. Here, Mynor scoops off some
mortar with a putty knife to fill in holes and chipped areas.
coating deteriorated chimney cap
           Mortar is spread out and troweled after it starts to set.
Later duct tape is peeled off.
The middle needs to be higher than the outside for water 

Stucco news home   next question           previous question