Masonry Chimneys are probably the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of a fireplace. The conventional house structure that has acted as a chimney for most fireplaces throughout history is made of brick or stone masonry work. These very astonishing stacks are not just works of art, but also the type of heating system that has kept families warm for thousands of years.
No other type of chimney venting system provides the same level of durability and style as a brick chimney. When properly maintained, a well-managed brick chimney can add thousands of dollars to the value of the home it serves.
Brick & Mortar Chimney Construction
Masonry chimneys are a type of chimney that is constructed on-site from readily available, non-combustible materials. Assembled or built with bricks, blocks, or stone, and always with mortar. These components are weather-resistant, able to withstand medium temperatures, and exceptionally long-lasting. When brick and mortar chimneys collapse, it is frequently due to abuse, poor original construction, or a defect in the design.
The following are the characteristics of Masonry Chimneys:
- The crown on the top row of brick is cast mortar or cement a deep foundation of blocks, stone, or reinforced concrete square or rectangular terra-cotta flue tiles, often one or two feet in length
- a pyramid-shaped smoke chamber of the same height as the fireplace aperture, connecting the flue tile liner to the firebox
- a rectangular cast iron fireplace damper in the fireplace’s throat, located below the smoke chamber firebrick in the firebox, hand-assembled with high-temperature refractory mortar an iron or steel grate, wider in the front than the back a steel or cast iron lintel at the top of the fireplace opening
Masonry chimneys can last for hundreds of years if properly maintained. However, these brick or stone structures are frequently subjected to freeze and thaw damage caused by water soaking the porous surfaces. Lightning and flue fires are partly to blame for brick chimneys’ early destruction!