What a difference. I spent the whole summer feeling discouraged every time I looked at it. I wish I'd made the time to do this project in the spring.
Subject: Repointing a chimney?
Yesterday I noticed a perfect little yellow flower ... growing out of the side of my chimney.
Really weird. It's not as if there are huge holes in the chimney that are full of dirt, but there are some small cracks and gaps, so I guess it's time to repoint the chimney.
Is this a project that's safe for a do-it-yourselfer to tackle? It's about two and a half feet of chimney protruding from a roof that's quite easy to work from due to a very shallow pitch.
A little Googling turns up a mix of "go for it -- here's how" and "don't do this yourself -- you'll screw it up and repairs will be even more costly."
So ... is this something I should attempt, or call in a professional?
Subject: Re: Repointing a chimney?
Subject: Repointing a chimney?
I keep misparsing this as "redpointing a chimney"; I've been doing too much climbing.
The more I watch professionals do things I start to realize why they're not millionairres.
I think the hardest thing I ever saw done was the guys who installed my central air.
There was a lot of physically hard and miserable labor runinng all the ductwork, and the guy who did the metalworking, built a whole bunch of custom sized ducts to fit where it needed to go. THAT you needed expertise for, or you'll end up with a broken mess.
But plumbers and carpenters... it's all easy if you have the right equipment.
It's not hard...as long as you don't fall off the roof. You also ned to make sure you are using the correct mortar. It must be compatible with the existing mortar AND suitable for chimmneys. Presumably, your chimmney is lined too....either with clay pipe or metal ductwork. IF not, then it isn't a job for an amatuer.
How do I find out what kind of mortar to use?
There I'm not sure...read labels I think. The stuff might not be available at regular DIY stores. All I know for sure is a friend of mine hired a guy to do his chimmney. He got the cheapest guy he could find...and all the mortar fell out because it wasn't the right stuff.
Damn all plumbing subcontracters.
I have a bad clog that chemicals will not dissolve. No problem. I pull out my snake and it won't get past the fittings. OK, down into the crawl space. There is not one single clean out fitting down there. So, now I get to retro-fit some of my plumbing. I am going to add a clean out fitting right under the kitchen sink where the clogs are most likely to happen. Apparently nobady carries the fitting for 1 1/2" pipes. I can find the plugs, but not the fittings. SOOOOO...a little job turns into a BFD (big freaking job). I need to make my own fitting. At least every thing is easily accessible and made of PVC. I hate soldering. The PVC cement actually smells good. Though it is almost certainly causing brain damage.
BFD = big fucking deal.
yes, the trap comes off...then the pipes go horizontal, then down, then 90 degrees horizontal then anothe 30 degree jog to the left, then yet another 90 dgree joint down to the larger waste pipe. It's a wonder anything ever makes it to the sewer system. There needs to be a clean out in the horizontal section...and there will be in another 20 minutes. Just need to stop wasting time and change my clothes.
Hiya. Gotta vent a little.
Sometimes the world rises up on it's hind legs, slaps you upside the head, and says "You ain't as smart as you think you are!"
I had a clog in my plumbing. Fortunately it only affected the kitchen. No problem. A quick trip to Menards to buy a 25' snake for $5 will solve it. Or so I thought. I couldn't get the thing past the fitting in the wall. I knew the clog was farther down than that.
Into the crawl space! I love the taste of spider webs and dust. I look around for a clean out plug under the kitchen. No such animal. In fact, I can not find any clean outs anywhere down there. That might be a problem in the future, but for now I decide to cut the old fitting off and replace it with a fitting that has a clean out port. They don't make them for 1 1/2" pipes. At least Menards and Home Depot don't carry them. Still, not too big a problem. I can make one by gluing a threaded fitting into one of the branches of a wye.
Here's the good part. I cut off the old fitting and start my snake down the pipe. I can only get in down about three feet. Since it's a 10 foot run, this is good. I have found my clog. I push and twist on the snake. No go. That is one tough clog. So I examine the end of the snake. Maybe I can tell what the clog is made of. It's a wonderful smell by the way. Full of hope and promise and visions of Princess Leia in the trash compactor. Or maybe not. Then my stomach turns just a little. Not from the smell. The clog is made of drywall compound.
I had been cleaning my tools in the kitchen sink. I start tapping the pipe to see where the clog actually is and how big. Try eight feet long. There was a slight sag in that section of pipe so despite lots of running water and soap I never quite got all of the compound out of the pipe. So it built up a little at a time. I finally ended up cutting out the entire section of from under the sink all the way to the 3" pipe that connect to the city system. I'm hoping I didn't serious clog up the 3" pipe too. I took a long shower, ran the dishwasher, and the washing machine and no backups. Perhaps I lucked out. The good news: I eliminated some extra fittings and a couple of extraneous joints; corrected the slope of the run; have a clean out fitting installed. Should be good to go now.
That'll keep you from cleaning your tools in the sink. :)
Look on the bright side ... at least the pipes were accessible. Some people have plumbing that can't be reached without taking walls and floors apart.
(I've got it even better; all of my first floor plumbing is accessible from the basement. And there isn't any plumbing on the second floor.)
One of the neighborhood kids came around and helped. She just thought it was cool to paint stuff. It's not the first time the IGlet's friends have taken an interest in doing our home maintenance. Must learn to use this to our advantage. :)
Damaged areas aside, it's funny how nothing can make old paint look bad quite as well as new paint right next to it. The side of the house started as a touch-up job, but afterwards it looked so patchy that we just had to finish it.
One of the neighborhood kids came around and helped. She just thought
it was cool to paint stuff. It's not the first time the IGlet's
friends have taken an interest in doing our home maintenance. Must
learn to use this to our advantage. :)
Tom 'Foobar' Sawyer???
Heh... I didn't see that.