I live in the Pacific NW and my 40 year old cinder block chimney is crumbling and pourous, we're getting water on the inside walls. It is not from the top leaking rather the cinder blocks absorbing and rain and moisture.
We want to remove the chimney completely but not the firebox or hearth, how do we do this? The first mason that came out (at that time we were debating rebuilding it but at a cost of $20k not doable) said he would remove the chimney to the ground and rebuild. The next mason said he couldn't remove just the chimney but had to remove the entire chimney, firebox and hearth. We don't want to remove the last two because 1) we just installed a wall there and to remove the brick would mean tearing down the new wall and 2) plan to install a gas insert in the fireplace. We can do this as long as we build a box on the box to encase the depth of the insert since it is longer then the fireplace.
So the issue seems to be how to disconnect the chimney from the firebox. Stopped at Home Depot to ask if they had a tool of some sort but they were not the least bit helpful. the chimney is completely exterior. Will patch the roof and siding.
Any advice? Thank you,