Abandoned chimney clues outside (C) Daniel Friedman How to spot Abandoned Chimneys from Outside

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Abandoned chimneys, detection from outside the building:

This article describes visual clues that you can find on the building exterior and that can indicate the current or previous presence of abandoned chimneys and unsafe three-sided chimneys at a building.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

How to spot Abandoned Chimneys on Buildings - What are the Dangers?

Abandoned chimney clues outside (C) Daniel FriedmanDefinition of abandoned chimney: any chimney of any material (masonry, metal, transite pipe, other) that is no longer in use (or should not be in use) but has been only partially removed from a building.

Abandoned chimneys in buildings may be unsafe, risking collapse, falling masonry, water and air leaks, fire passage, or worse, sometimes one may even be connected to a stove or fireplace, risking setting the building on fire.

Notice that newer metal corrugated roofing patch at the right end of the metal roof in our photograph?

If outside the building you see roofing details such as shown in our photo, you should be alert for an incompletely removed abandoned chimney indoors.

Check the attic, the intermediate floors, and the basement for the remains of the chimney - it may have left a fire spread risk through the building or other hazards.

See details about how to find abandoned chimneys and what the hazards and repairs are

Most-likely found on older homes, a partially-removed abandoned chimney leaves these problems and hazards in the building:

Collapsing brick chimney top - Brooklyn NY (C) Daniel Friedman

In cities and on larger multi-family buildings we often find old, single-wythe brick chimneys (photo at left) which have been abandoned but which continue to serve as an air and water pathway through the building.

If this Brooklyn, NY chimney were still in use we would be very worried about its safety.

The chimney top is collapsing, risking a dangerously blocked flue, carbon monoxide gas poisoning, as well as risking dropping a brick onto a passerby.

Chimneys of this size are large enough that a person could fall into and become trapped in the structure, as happened to Catherine Murphy.


Continue reading at BRACKET CHIMNEY COLLAPSE & FIRE RISKS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



Suggested citation for this web page

ABANDONED CHIMNEYS, OUTDOORS at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman