Onto the garden. A half brick to be precise... No cracks on the chimney that I can see, can see where the brick came from and 2 or 3 of the others look 'weathered' but not quite ready to give up the ghost. House is 1950s ex-council and passed the buying survey 3yrs ago. Am I foolish to just leave well alone? Or when the chimney falls through the roof will the repairing builder tsk at me and wonder why I didnt act now?
you had better ask around for a competent builder. All the other bricks will be the same age so no reason to suppose more will not fall out. Possibly on your head. The damage might have been caused by fixing a TV aerial carelessly.
Until repaired, it is likely to be a souce of increasing damp. If it is no longer in use it can be capped, but needs to be ventilated top and bottom or it will get damp from internal condensation.
A repair off a ladder is likely to be a bodge. To be done properly it will need a scaffold platform, the loose bricks to be taken apart and rebuilt. Try to get recomendations for a small local builder before winter comes. If the lead flashing needs to be replaced, mortar is not an adequate substitute. Sadly itinerants and cowboys often take advantage of householders who are not likely to climb up and look at the damage or the repair at roof level. Binoculars or a long-lens camera will be needed from the ground, unless you can look at it from a neighbour's upstairs window.
Thank you both. As you say finding an honest tradesman is a worry :/ But I will ask around. If work does need doing piglet do you have a rough idea of how much I might expect to pay? I am steeling myself for the worst, but not worried about the money directly so much, more being ripped off by cowboys Sausage you have given me hope! Will ask around for a recommendation...
How high is it? If it is not ridiculously high, it might be worth getting up there to take a good look. See whether there is anything that might have caused that particular brick to fall off, and have a little tug at the others around it to see if they are solid or slightly loose. Also look at the lead flashing around to see if it is in good nick.
Well I have had the best look I can manage, and looks like there are some bricks loose on the other side too On the plus side there is an ariel cable about two lines down from the top so am hoping this is the cause of the problem and not something more serious. Got the name of a hopefully reputable roofer so will see if we can get him out next week. Cheers for the advice all, but for Mumsnet would have convinced myself to forget about it by now....