Are you planning to build a home for yourself and your family? Or are you still thinking of the details for your home improvement project? Adding a masonry chimney to beautify your house further seems like a good idea, plus it can make the fireplace area warmer. Therefore, you’d enjoy holidays and warmth during winter.
Building a masonry chimney does not necessarily require a professional; however, expect that there will be damages and hazards you might face if it’s incorrectly done. It would be best to trust it with a company that is a certified professional chimney sweep.
Continue reading this blog for more chimney-masonry tips!
What is a Masonry Chimney?
A masonry chimney is considered the most common and safest type of chimney currently. Moreover, building this comprises combining these materials: solid masonry units, hollow masonry units, stone or concrete blocks. And water penetration can cause harm and deterioration to these materials.
What is the Structure of a Chimney
A well-made chimney provides better protection for you and your family. Knowing its essential parts can be to your advantage if a problem occurs. You would be able to easily find out which could not be working correctly.
Almost everyone is confused with chimney flue and chimney liner. However, a chimney flue is where combustion materials from fires exit. There are different flue liners, but clay tiles are the most common type due to their durability.
Meanwhile, fires from the fireplace can develop an intense temperature, where the chimney liner enters. It protects combustible parts of your house.
Everyone questions the necessity of a chimney cap. Well, if you don’t want protection from water, snow, animals, or other unknown stuff, then you won’t have to build one. It is a covering that serves as your protection. Moreover, it also contributes to reducing moisture in your home.
Chimney flashing protects your roof and chimney from water and moisture penetration. This area is most prone to leaks, so make sure to have it undergone regular inspections to avoid further damages to your house.
Aluminum, steel, copper, and vinyl are the most common types of chimney flashing.
Having a properly constructed crown keeps your chimney protected from harsh elements and sheds water. They are usually flat.
A damper in the chimney provides proper airflow for a smoke when you start a fire. It is placed inside the flue helping with ventilation. There are some chimneys with dampers, but it’s not uncommon to find a chimney without one. Since for open fireplaces, the damper is placed at the upper part of the firebox.
You can locate a smoke chamber over the damper, controlling smoke and gas flow up to the flue to exit the chimney.
What are the Advantages of Masonry Chimneys
Penetration of water may severely affect your masonry chimney, but here are the other positive things that you should consider about it. Smoke chamber angles inward the passageway, supporting the flue liner.
This chimney is made with non-combustible materials, improving fire protection for homeowners. Compared to metal chimneys, this offers more heat reflection. Allowing smoke removal and keeping the warmth in the fireplace area is its purpose.
Masonry Chimneys are, without a doubt, a beauty. They give off a rustic and elegant look because of their brick or stone design.
The fact that they are popular makes their resale value higher. Therefore, your investment in a masonry chimney will never go down the drain.
If you are looking for beauty and longevity, then this masonry chimney is for you! Make sure to maintain it properly so it would last for decades.
How to Build a Masonry Chimney
If you plan to do your masonry chimney on your own, then this will be your Masonry Chimney – Construction guide throughout the process! But before you start with your chimney, make sure to be aware of flues for masonry chimneys. A chimney flue is usually rectangular or square, and it provides a passage for smoke.
Make sure to build on a reinforced concrete pad; otherwise, you will lay an 8 to 12 inches thick concrete pad!
Step 1: Planning
As you start planning for your masonry chimney, make sure to consult your local building code to ensure if everything you’re planning out adheres with their rules and regulations. There may be different requirements for each local province in the United States; however, most regions follow the National Fire Protection Agencies 211 standard.
Additionally, when built-in or through a house, a chimney needs at least a 2-inch distance of clearance from combustible materials. If it is built beside the house, it needs at least 1 inch of clearance.
Step 2: Determining which is going to vent and width of the chimney flue
It would help if you determined which appliance or how many appliances your chimney can vent to know your flue’s size. Typically, a masonry chimney has rectangular or square-size flue; however, diameters depend on which waste they vent. If combustible materials are to be attached to the wall, there must be a 12 inch minimum between the inside surface of the flue liner and the masonry chimney walls.
Each appliance has a flue size requirement, so it would be better to check your local building code for it.
Step 3: Gathering the supplies
After planning out the details, get all the masonry tools and supplies you need. It would prevent you from wasting more time coming back and forth to the store.
Masonry Chimney – Supplies:
- Bricks, concrete blocks, or stone (this is for the chimney structure)
- Cement mortar
- Precast chimney cap (made of stone or concrete)
- Sheet metal
- Masonry tools (masonry trowel, level, chisel, hammer, wire brush, jointer, etc.)
Step 4: Mixing mortar
Likewise, it would be best to start with your chimney’s foundation; therefore, start from the ground. Building your smoke chamber requires the same brick that you used to create the hearth. The first thing you will do is mix the mortar with lime, water, portions of cement, and the builder’s sand. Make sure to get the right consistency which is like thick peanut butter.
Step 5: Layering
After that, you will start layering each brick with a masonry trowel. Layer them up on top of each other to build the walls on each side. Check the brick wall horizontally and vertically. Make sure that each layer has enough mortar so that there’s no air space in between.
Step 6: Laying flue tiles
Lay the tiles while working on the chimney’s exterior because once the chimney height got taller, it would be harder to install them. Seal them together with mortar.
Step 7: Installing sheet metal
Are you done building your chimney? Then, your next step would be installing the sheet metal on all sides with 2-inch space between the combustible materials and outside of the chimney.
Step 8: Flashing
You can install the metal flashing on the wall where the chimney and roof meet, as well as on the chimney cap. The primary purpose of flashing is to keep the connection watertight between the chimney and roof. Use waterproof silicone caulk to seal the flashing.
Proper installation of flashing is one of the factors why a chimney would last over 30 years. So, make sure to have enough knowledge and expertise for this.
Step 9: Finishing
After all the steps above, you will now proceed with installing the chimney cap. Place it on the top portion of the brick flue housing. To prevent water penetration and reduce moisture, it must have an edge to let the water flow.
Further, make sure that the chimney cap slopes away from the structure and has a 2-inch distance beyond the chimney wall.
Need help? Call us
If you are not confident with your masonry skills, you can ask for help from a chimney services company for safe chimney construction. Hand them down your chimney concerns, and they would probably have solutions for you.’
Call a trusted masonry contractor for your full-service chimney, and you may also get a free quote!