MyMason's Case Studies

 Fireplace Case Studies

    Nakkertok Fireplace Surrounds

    Two-Ton Chimney Supported, Fireplace Rebuild

    Fireplace Surround - Wood Burning Insert Installed

    Fireplace Fire Brick Replacement

    Fireplace Surround - Natural Stone

    Electric, Natural Stone Fireplace

    Fireplace Hearth Replacement

    Stone Fireplace

    Cultured Stone Fireplace & New Framing

    Cultured Stone Fireplace Surround

    TV Mounted on Stone Fireplace

    Restructuring Fireplace: Wood to Gas

    Drywall to Stone Fireplace

    3-sided fireplace: Cultured Stone

    Fireplace Removal, Damper Removal

 Chimneys and Brickwork Case Studies

    Chimney Repair

    Chimney Repair, Articulated Boom

    Custom Scaffold, Chimney Repair

    Lower-Chimney's Removal, Wall Restructuring

    Chimney Flue Replacement

    Concrete Chimney Cap as per Building Code

    Chimney - Sloped Side, Repair

    Chimney - Wobbly Chimney

    Brick Pillar

    Brick Garage Pillar Repair

    Window's Lintel Installation

    Brick Sill Creates Wall Damage

    Brick-to-Stone Window Sill Replacement

    Brick Retaining Wall Rebuild

 Stone Work Case Studies

    Stone Wall Rebuild

    Granite Resurfacing of Concrete Stairs

    Stone Step Rebuild

    Stone Stair Rebuild - in Winter

    Stone replaces Brick Door Sill

    Stone Retaining Wall Rebuild

    Dry-Stack Retaining Wall Rebuild

    Dry-Stack Stone Retaining Wall

    Flagstone Patio Rebuild, Expansion

    FlagStone Step Repair

    Stone Replacement

    New Interlocking Stone Walkway

    Re-setting Interlocking Walkway

    Tile Installation

 Algonquin College/MyMason Case Studies

    Cold Weather Masonry Rules

    3 New Cases Studies in 2015

    Salt and Concrete Testing

    Concrete Curing Stress Tests

    Concrete and Rebar Stress Tests

 Parging Case Studies

    Parging, Cement Board

    Parging Examples & Techniques

 Concrete Case Studies

    Broken Concrete Step

    Basement Window, Concrete Cut

    Basement Window, Concrete cut-out

    Concrete Walkway, Landing

    Concrete Stairs and Landing

    Concrete Stairs and Landing

    Concrete Countertop




    Case Study:  2 Chimney Repairs

        Before and After


Stages of Chimney reconstruction

The Assignment:
    Rebuild the chimney with new bricks,
    Replace the broken pre-cast chimney cap pieces with a cement cap,
    Add a flue rain-cover,
    Caulk the flashing,
    Use high-temperature caulking.for the furnace vent.

The Underlying Problems:
    The cement was much stronger than the brick - which leads to brick breakage.
    The pre-cast chimney cap's seams failed.

Down to solid structure
The chimney bricks are removed, down to below the flashing, then down to a secure base.

Clean, safe site.
A tarp keeps small debris from being buried in the lawn.
Drop-cloths on the roof around the chimney keep it perfectly clean.

Rebuilding, cleanly
Rebuilding the chimney using new brick, the right masonry cement, and a level.

Based on the heat, humidity, and wind of the day, we might pre-soak bricks to keep them from drawing water from the cement. Cement strength improves with lower water-cement ratios, but we don't want the brick to absorb the water from the cement.

Cap construction
A custom form for the new cap, extending over the sides by the 2 inches required by code.

The black rain and critter cover is installed on the fireplace flue. It should be large and open enough to allow the flue to vent properly.

Drip-Edge secured
The red tape covers a rope that will cause an indentation around the bottom of the cap, forming a drip-edge that prevents water from running underneath the cap to the bricks. The tape makes it easy to remove the form without the cement bonding to the rope.

Rebar or mesh is placed in the cap help reduce shrinkage and thermal cracking.


Two different cements
The chimney was rebricked using N-type cement which is weaker than the bricks. It is proper and better to have cement fail before the bricks. The chimney was previously built with a cement stronger than brick which caused the bricks to fail first.

The chimney cap is filled with Portland cement, which as the cement used to make concrete is stronger than brick. The minimum thickness is three inches with a slight slope formed in the middle of the cap to help water and snow run off.

The roof remains clean.



Chimney Completed
A clean roof, neat pointing, a strengthened cap.













Building level, straight and true
The steps to building a straight chimney.
True across the rows
A surface to keep flat.
No daylight between level and brick
We look at the vertical aspect of each corner and check the level.
Measuring too.
Every course should be the same length.


This page last modified: May 23 2010