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Brace or Support Chimneys

Brick chimneys are heavy, brittle, and can fail unless reinforced near the top and supported by the building roof and walls. Chimneys on older buildings frequently suffer damage or collapse during earthquakes. Several retrofit methods can be used to mitigate damage: 

  • Chimney extensions above the roofline can be secured with steel straps anchored to the roof framing with steel angle braces. 
  • The chimney flue enclosure can be reinforced using vertical and horizontal bars encased in concrete. 
  • For multi-storied buildings, chimneys can be anchored at each floor level using steel wrap ties that are anchored to the floor joists. 

Effectiveness:

  • Very effective.

Limitations:

  • For large, complex chimneys, all elements should be checked to ensure mitigation will not exacerbate damage.
  • May not be cost-effective for small, simple chimneys.

 

 

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Randolph Langenbach

M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


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