sweating

I have a 60 year old home with an existing wood burning fireplace that I installed a gas insert in. The exterior chimney is constructed of stone on a concrete block foundation with a concrete footing. The interior around the fire box opening in my living room is also stone. My problem is that directly below the fireplace in the basement, the basement wall is damp and the block is scaling with a great deal of efflorescence. It seems like it has been doing this for many years. At the concrete floor where the block wall meets the floor I am getting water seepage. I am assuming the interior of the chimney itself is sweating, running down the inside of the block wall causing the wall dampness and water pooling on the interior concrete floor. This is only a guess as I am not familiar with the interior cross-section of the chimney. Without removing some concrete block from the basement wall I'm not sure whats going on. If it is being caused by sweating could I vent the chimney block foundation similar to venting of a cold storage. Drill a hole through the exterior block and cover with a vent? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Apr 03, 2012
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SWEATING FIREPLACE NEW
by: charlie Cummins

Hello Sweating. Sounds like you got a good solid built masonry fireplace, which is good. Not seeing it or knowing how long the effloresce and water pools have been showing up, I am gonna guess 7 years???? The first thing I would check is the cap on top of the chimney. Of it is cracked and so forth, put on a new cap. You can do it. Next while your on the roof, check the flashing. If it is loose or looks screwed up, try taring it really good, or better yet replace with new flashing and tar real good. Next question. Is your house like a greenhouse with all kinds of plants and vines and so forth. If so, move them far away from the fireplace. Did it just start leaking when you put the gas logs in it? Try closing your damper when you use the gas burner. Next question, is your house really insulated good? If so crack a window. Houses are like humans, they got to breath also. This could cause some of your problem. I am tired of typing, and this could go on and on, however you can get a lot of information, and save a lot of money by going to brickcertification.com read all the links, and download all the FREE STUFF from the site. If you do that you will know more about masonry than a lot of the people you will be talking to about fixing your problem. Any other questions you can contract me thru this great website or email me at clcbrickman@gmail.com or call me 24/7 at 602 692 1896.

It can and will be fixed
Charlie Cummins

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