The Home Condition Survey tells you about structural issues.
The chimney breast in this Victorian semi-detached house, located in East London, was removed from the ground floor some time ago.
No evidence of structural support was visible underneath the remaining part of the chimney breast and the ceiling at this point, within the room below, was cracked due to stress. Within the loft the breast was damaged where some bricks had been removed and some minor diagonal cracking was visible to the mortar joints. Although the damage was minor it was possible that the structural integrity of this breast had been compromised by the work of removal carried out.
Traditional methods of support commonly used metal ‘gallows’ wall brackets, inserted below chimney stubbs. Structural alterations are notifiable and they require council building control approval. Recent raised safety standards now normally require repairs are better made using horizontal steel beams to span the walls below chimney stubbs instead.
This chimney stack is located upon the Party wall so any repairs may fall under ‘The Party Wall Act 1996’. Any repairs might involve legal costs, causing greater potential expense, and further advice from a structural engineer was recommended in this instance.