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Shared chimney

Does what it says on the tin
JessUK98
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Shared chimney

#664219

Postby JessUK98 » May 14th, 2024, 9:56 am

We have damp showing through an upstairs bedroom party wall recently. Last year or the year before the neighbour came round asking about similar as she was getting damp. We had nothing at the time, said so and we never heard anything since. However I presume whatever problems she was having have now decided to appear with us.

We've had a roofer around who could find absolutely nothing wrong with our roof. Said they weren't checking the chimney without scaffolding. So scaffolding has gone up. The same roofers haven't been back, but our handyman who organised them and the scaffolding has been up and said that the chimney needs re-rendering as there are cracks. He didn't stipulate which side (and he's not actually a qualified roofer, he's a plasterer and odd job man by trade).

My understanding it that as it's a shared chimney stack we can't actually do anything to it without permission from the neighbour? Also we don't actually use the chimney - the previous owners took out the fireplaces and blocked the chimneys up (we've been here 21 years).
To make matters more complicated next door is owned by some kind of private housing association and the current occupant has gone AWOL since before Christmas (rumour has it she owes drug dealers a lot of money and has gone into hiding. No idea how true that is, but knowing her sounds plausible).

Any ideas on the best way to progress? I want it fixed but if it's a result of something her side I don't see why I should fit the whole bill and I presume the HA could potentially be difficult about it, especially if it involves parting with cash - they've clearly not done anything to remedy the problem when it surfaced her side previously.

TIA,
Jess

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Re: Shared chimney

#664222

Postby clissold345 » May 14th, 2024, 10:32 am

I suggest, as a first step, you contact the housing association. It's possible that they're efficent and will investigate and fix the problem quickly.

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Re: Shared chimney

#664235

Postby bungeejumper » May 14th, 2024, 11:28 am

The bad pointing (or flashing?) could be on either side of the stack (or both) - it seems as though you've been left in doubt. But the stack is probably three feet thick, so if the damp is happening on both sides I'd say it's most likely to be a joint cost and responsibility.

A drone would give you a better idea pretty quickly, and it would also give you something to show the HA. But you'd definitely have to agree it with them first, because not doing that would be trespass. Since you've got scaffolding, is there a way you could sneak a view of the other side with a mirror or something? (Or would that be trespass as well?)

Sealing up a chimney breast (on either side) requires some thought to ventilation. Did the HA install any grilles?

[Edit: Just saw this company website on the ins and outs of drone inspections. £300 might seem pricey though?
https://crucialservices.net/drone-roof- ... h-a-drone/]

BJ

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Re: Shared chimney

#664324

Postby stewamax » May 14th, 2024, 8:35 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Sealing up a chimney breast (on either side) requires some thought to ventilation. Did the HA install any grilles?

Quite so.
OP's problem is just as likely to be condensation from non-existent ventilation (unused badly-vented chimneys accumulate salt deposits that absorb moisture), or worn-out (or badly tamped) flashing.

JessUK98
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Re: Shared chimney

#664333

Postby JessUK98 » May 14th, 2024, 9:41 pm

I'll have to chase down where next door is to get the details of the HA as I have no idea who they are.

With regards to the condensation - that's interesting. That would be our "fault" then as it was our side of the chimney that the previous owners blocked up. How would I find out if they did add any kind of ventilation? Also if it was that, surely the problem would have presented on our side first?

We had our roof completely re-done a few years ago so I would hope the flashing on our side would be fine. I'll check to see if/when the actual roofers will be back to check the chimney and see what they say. They weren't overjoyed at the prospect of trying to find a chimney related leak though, apparently they are a nightmare.

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Re: Shared chimney

#664334

Postby DrFfybes » May 14th, 2024, 9:42 pm

bungeejumper wrote:A drone would give you a better idea pretty quickly, and it would also give you something to show the HA. But you'd definitely have to agree it with them first, because not doing that would be trespass.


Really?

Does that mean I can sue Google Earth for taking pictures of my back garden, or the drone photos on Google Maps taken from the park next door that show my chimney?
eg
https://www.google.com/maps/@52.6346817 ... &entry=ttu

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Re: Shared chimney

#664348

Postby Dicky99 » May 14th, 2024, 11:09 pm

JessUK98 wrote:We have damp showing through an upstairs bedroom party wall recently. Last year or the year before the neighbour came round asking about similar as she was getting damp. We had nothing at the time, said so and we never heard anything since. However I presume whatever problems she was having have now decided to appear with us.

We've had a roofer around who could find absolutely nothing wrong with our roof. Said they weren't checking the chimney without scaffolding. So scaffolding has gone up. The same roofers haven't been back, but our handyman who organised them and the scaffolding has been up and said that the chimney needs re-rendering as there are cracks. He didn't stipulate which side (and he's not actually a qualified roofer, he's a plasterer and odd job man by trade).

My understanding it that as it's a shared chimney stack we can't actually do anything to it without permission from the neighbour? Also we don't actually use the chimney - the previous owners took out the fireplaces and blocked the chimneys up (we've been here 21 years).
To make matters more complicated next door is owned by some kind of private housing association and the current occupant has gone AWOL since before Christmas (rumour has it she owes drug dealers a lot of money and has gone into hiding. No idea how true that is, but knowing her sounds plausible).

Any ideas on the best way to progress? I want it fixed but if it's a result of something her side I don't see why I should fit the whole bill and I presume the HA could potentially be difficult about it, especially if it involves parting with cash - they've clearly not done anything to remedy the problem when it surfaced her side previously.

TIA,
Jess


You say that you have damp on your upstairs party wall. To clarify is it on the party wall or is it on the chimney breast?
When sealing up fire places correct practice would be to 1. Sweep the stack to remove all hygroscopic soot
2. Install a vent at the base of the stack to maintain top to bottom ventilation
3. Install a cap such as a mushroom vent in retained chimney pots to prevent rainwater ingress into the flue.

It's not unusual for none of these measures to be carried out.

We've just experienced a record period of rainfall. How many of these factors may be contributing to your situation?

bungeejumper
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Re: Shared chimney

#664372

Postby bungeejumper » May 15th, 2024, 7:41 am

DrFfybes wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:A drone would give you a better idea pretty quickly, and it would also give you something to show the HA. But you'd definitely have to agree it with them first, because not doing that would be trespass.

Really?

Does that mean I can sue Google Earth for taking pictures of my back garden, or the drone photos on Google Maps taken from the park next door that show my chimney?

LOL, hardly. A pic from the sky won't show your neighbour sunbathing in the nude, or his kids in the addling pool. Didn't the Cliff Richards vs the BBC case establish that sending cameras around somebody's windows was trespass (and indeed worse)?

I may not be completely up to date, but I think there's some sort of a licence involved in drone flying for inspections. Yes, our auctioneer sent up a drone to show the neighbourhood when we recently put property up for sale, but it was some kind of a registered and regulated operation.

Anybody know for sure?

BJ

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Re: Shared chimney

#664396

Postby bungeejumper » May 15th, 2024, 9:43 am

bungeejumper wrote:I may not be completely up to date, but I think there's some sort of a licence involved in drone flying for inspections. Yes, our auctioneer sent up a drone to show the neighbourhood when we recently put property up for sale, but it was some kind of a registered and regulated operation.

Going off on a tangent now (sorry), but I'm starting to answer my own question. Yes, drone flying is subject to a whole mass of legal conditions, not all of which have been explored and formalised yet. (Lawyers, eh?)

But on the whole, it looks to me as though the critical issue revolves around what you do with your drone footage, rather than whether you have a right to collect it. We're talking data privacy here, and whether you've taken all reasonable steps to notify anybody who might get upset. And whether you've completed an impact and data privacy assessment in advance, and made sure that people can read it, and yadda yadda yadda.

Here's an extract from the Information Commissioner's Office( https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/uk ... -cctv/#uas . (Ignore all the stuff about video doorbells etc.)

Example

A building surveyor uses a drone in a residential area to inspect damage to a roof. The surveyor wishes to use a drone because the high resolution images allow for a safer and more cost effective way of working.

In keeping with the principles of data protection law, the surveyor makes a risk-based assessment prior to deployment. They assess how to fly the drone in a way that does not affect the rights and freedoms of individuals. In order to prevent the unintended filming of residents, the surveyor only begins recording at altitude, and does not record any other private property, with the focus being on the roof.

The surveyor also ensures that, where possible, they provide individuals with links to their privacy information or website via temporary signage, and that any operators are fully trained and registered in keeping with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements.

Still learning!

BJ

JessUK98
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Re: Shared chimney

#664403

Postby JessUK98 » May 15th, 2024, 10:28 am

Dicky99 wrote:
JessUK98 wrote:We have damp showing through an upstairs bedroom party wall recently. Last year or the year before the neighbour came round asking about similar as she was getting damp. We had nothing at the time, said so and we never heard anything since. However I presume whatever problems she was having have now decided to appear with us.

We've had a roofer around who could find absolutely nothing wrong with our roof. Said they weren't checking the chimney without scaffolding. So scaffolding has gone up. The same roofers haven't been back, but our handyman who organised them and the scaffolding has been up and said that the chimney needs re-rendering as there are cracks. He didn't stipulate which side (and he's not actually a qualified roofer, he's a plasterer and odd job man by trade).

My understanding it that as it's a shared chimney stack we can't actually do anything to it without permission from the neighbour? Also we don't actually use the chimney - the previous owners took out the fireplaces and blocked the chimneys up (we've been here 21 years).
To make matters more complicated next door is owned by some kind of private housing association and the current occupant has gone AWOL since before Christmas (rumour has it she owes drug dealers a lot of money and has gone into hiding. No idea how true that is, but knowing her sounds plausible).

Any ideas on the best way to progress? I want it fixed but if it's a result of something her side I don't see why I should fit the whole bill and I presume the HA could potentially be difficult about it, especially if it involves parting with cash - they've clearly not done anything to remedy the problem when it surfaced her side previously.

TIA,
Jess


You say that you have damp on your upstairs party wall. To clarify is it on the party wall or is it on the chimney breast?
When sealing up fire places correct practice would be to 1. Sweep the stack to remove all hygroscopic soot
2. Install a vent at the base of the stack to maintain top to bottom ventilation
3. Install a cap such as a mushroom vent in retained chimney pots to prevent rainwater ingress into the flue.

It's not unusual for none of these measures to be carried out.

We've just experienced a record period of rainfall. How many of these factors may be contributing to your situation?


I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to be on the party wall in an approximate location under where the chimney is. The bedroom next to it seems fine.
There are three pots, all look capped (middle one looks relatively new) but I can’t see any sign of a vent. I’m not sure how it works though if one side has closed their fireplaces off but the other side still uses theirs?

I have another chimney on the other side of my house (which is the side that’s not attached to a neighbour) which is 100% mine and still in use and had no problem with that one.

The wall and part of the ceiling have damp stains on now, but feel dry. I think the recent heavy rain may well have contributed.

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Re: Shared chimney

#664462

Postby Dicky99 » May 15th, 2024, 5:37 pm

JessUK98 wrote:
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to be on the party wall in an approximate location under where the chimney is.


This description gives the impression that the chimney breast has been removed in the upstairs room. Is that correct such that the damp stain is at ceiling level where the chimney breast would have been?

JessUK98
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Re: Shared chimney

#664527

Postby JessUK98 » May 16th, 2024, 9:53 am

Dicky99 wrote:
JessUK98 wrote:
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to be on the party wall in an approximate location under where the chimney is.


This description gives the impression that the chimney breast has been removed in the upstairs room. Is that correct such that the damp stain is at ceiling level where the chimney breast would have been?


The damp stains are mostly on the wall (it’s patchy almost halfway down the wall) and on some of the ceiling where it joins the wall.

JessUK98
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Re: Shared chimney

#664980

Postby JessUK98 » May 20th, 2024, 12:07 pm

Roofer says there's a big crack my side, and best way is to remove pots, hack and replace render and pots. For that he said that they'd need permission and access to next door (something about blocking their side off for the duration of the works to stop debris/soot entering their house), also usually it's 50/50 split for costs as the chimney and pots are half theirs. Apparently a lot of problems show up in summer when people stop using their fires as the heat from the fires usually helps to dry out the chimney. Makes sense in a way as next door has gone AWOL so not been making a fire and we've had a lot of heavy rain.
With regard to the ventilation, he said we didn't need any as the top of our chimney was still open. He pointed to a house a few doors up that he'd done where he'd removed the pots and vent capped them and put ventilation inside as well.
He did say there's a cheaper way if they refuse, something about some kind of gauze that can go in the crack to help the new render adhere and they can just patch up my side.
Apparently he knows a previous occupant that lived next door so is going to ask them for the landlords details (hopefully they still have them as he hasn't lived there for years).


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