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GEOPHYSICAL
ENGINEERING

Chimney Flues

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During building renovations, it can be essential to know where your chimneys and flues are, and what condition the stacks are in. This often means that you may need help from the ground up, to ensure that your renovation does not hit any unexpected problems along the way.

This is especially true, as the routes of chimneys and flues are not always obvious, may deviate widely, and can be hidden within unexpected walls.  So, if you are trying to reinstate period fireplace features within an older building, or just trying to avoid the chimneys and flues all together, it is important to accurately trace them.

It is also important to gain
a greater understanding of the condition of the stacks and to help ascertain that the chimneys are safe to use.

GPR Survey

 

To help locate the route of chimney flues within walls, SUMO uses a high frequency GPR system to locate the voids created by the flue. These voids show as areas of strong reflectors, often with characteristic ringing, making the routes of these features identifiable compared to the background readings. Depending on what is required, SUMO can mark these features out on-site, or bring the data back to the office to produce a building plan.

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Above Left : A SUMO surveyor using a compact 2GHz handheld GPR antennae, that can fit into most nooks and crannies, to ascertain the route of a chimney. Above Right : Example Radargram showing anomaly caused by a chimney flue.

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Above : SUMO Chimney survey showing the route of the chimney within a wall over two stories, plotted in AutoCAD.

Once the chimneys exit the building, it can also be important, and especially on older properties, to assess the condition of the stacks, which can be time consuming, dangerous and expensive using traditional survey methods.  However, SUMO’s aerial department can take a series of high-resolution drone images of the stacks, from multiple angles, giving you the opportunity to assess their current condition.

If required, SUMO can also create a photogramatic record of the entire roof of the building, from which we can create 2D plans or 3D models, all while never having a person leave the ground. This can not only help to save you time and money, but will also help to reduce the risks associated with scaffolds and working at height.

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Above : Drone photograph showing the detail of mesh covers on chimneys. One is compromised allowing bird ingress, additionally the fact that there are only mesh covers means that there is the potential for water and damp issues.

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