13 December 2010
If you're planning a tidy-up around your property this summer, we suggest you give serious thought to securing your chimney.
Chimneys were a major casualty of the Canterbury earthquake - around 15,000 either failed or had to be demolished. Many chimneys fell through roofs, causing considerable damage, while others fell outwards onto expensive items such as cars.
If your home's chimney is brick, particularly unreinforced brick, we strongly advise you to contact a builder or structural engineer to check and make sure it won't fail in an earthquake. If you find your chimney needs strengthening or replacing, we recommend that you move beds and valuable items while you wait for the work to be done.
Bear in mind that if your home is heritage-listed you'll need to consider resource consent issues before any work takes place. Your builder or structural engineer should be able to advise if a building consent is required.
While taking action now might be inconvenient and cost a bit, we assure you it will be a big saving in a substantial earthquake.