Thursday, July 5, 2018

The chimney............................

     In the old days, the Old School was heated by a coal-fired boiler.  Part of that heating system was a 70' + high chimney (pictured below).    Coal eventually gave way to natural gas.   The first winter we owned the building we shut the boiler down.   When the gas meter spins fast enough to be audible, you know you need a bigger check book than we had available.  We knew that the conversion to apartment units would require air conditioning, which the Old School did not have, so the boiler system would have to be replaced anyway.   So, the chimney sat idle for the past six years.   While overall the brick work is in pretty good shape, there was a corner near the top of the chimney that had deteriorated and some bricks had fallen out.  We proposed to the historical folks that, rather than repair that brick, we lower the chimney about 30'.   They said, "nope."   Fix it we did.

The tall brick thing is the chimney in question

If you squint your eyes you can see the missing brick near the upper corner

Missing bricks replaced.   The remaining bricks are more solid than they look.

Once washed down, the replacement brick will hardly be noticeable.

So, while repairing the chimney, the question was asked, "what happens to the rain water that falls into the unused chimney?  And should we do something about it now, while we have a super tall lift on site?"   Hmm.   Let's cap it.

While the chimney cap is in surprisingly good condition, the decision was
made to put a sheet metal cap over it.

Suspecting the original architect called for lightning rods at each of the
corners of the chimney cap

Super high lift in action.  Sheet metal for cap is visible
on the left side of the lift

The answer is yes, I put on the appropriate harness and
rode up to the top of the chimney.   Pretty good views of
Newark from up there.

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