Photograph of an abandoned chimney in an attic. Bracket Chimneys
collapse hazards in buildings?

  • BRACKET CHIMNEYS - CONTENTS: Definition of bracket chimney: what is a bracket chimney? How are bracket chimneys and other incomplete or partially removed chimneys a collapse hazard in buildings? How were bracket chimneys supported at the time of construction?
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about bracket chimneys: detection, inspection, hazards, removal or repair recommendations
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Bracket chimeys:

This article explains what a bracket chimney is, why they are found (usually in older homes), why they are unsafe, and what to do about abandoning, removing or supporting a bracket chimney. We include photographs of bracket chimneys as well as sketches to help you recognize when this unsafe type of chimney is found in a building.

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

Bracket Chimney Collapse & Fire Risks

Photograph of an abandoned chimney in an attic. Photograph of an abandoned chimney in an attic.

[Click to enlarge any image]

What is a Bracket Chimney - see sketch below

Bracket supported chimney (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

Our photos above show two bracket chimneys in a pre-1900 home in New York.

[Click to enlarge any image]

A wooden framed "bracket" supports a masonry chimney on and in a building. Current building codes which require that a masonry chimney be self supporting expect that a masonry chimney will rest on a footing below ground level where it is sound and protected from frost, settlement, tipping, movement.

Wood bracket supports for masonry chimneys such as shown in our sketch (left) are often under-designed and lack sufficient strength to carry the weight of the chimney over time. Further, wood chimney supports may decay from leaks, rot, and insects.

As Carson Dunlop point out in this sketch, these chimneys are often inadequately supported and are a collapse hazard.

If the bracket-supported chimney is in use there are very often fire hazards as well.

Inspectors of older homes may find a bracket chimney in the building attic, with no masonry extending to the floors below. Instead, a wood stove or coal stove on lower floors used a metal chimney which passed up through the ceiling above and into the bracket chimney supported on a wood shelf in the attic. From outside the building it may appear that a normal masonry chimney is installed - possibly a false and unsafe assumption.

Repair alternatives for bracket chimneys and similar chimneys supported by wood framing include


Continue reading at ABANDONED CHIMNEYS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Suggested citation for this web page

BRACKET CHIMNEYS 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

Questions & answers or comments about bracket chimneys: detection, inspection, hazards, removal or repair recommendations

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