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What are the Best Methods for Chimney Building?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Chimney building is not extremely difficult but even minor mistakes can create problems in a home. Find out the local area’s building code before beginning the project. Choose brick or stone that can withstand high temperatures; a flue liner and ceramic fiber paper are also available to increase heat resistance. Once the liner is attached to the chimney, cover it with bricks and mortar before placing a chimney cap on top of the last row of bricks. Once the mortar is dry, clean the excess off with a hose and scrub brush.

The first step is to find out your area’s building regulations. Different regions have their own specific regulations when it comes to chimney building so it is important to ensure that the project complies with these rules. It is entirely possible to for the chimney to be built to perfection only for a building inspector to come and order it taken down for noncompliance. Call the local building department to find out what rules apply when it comes to chimney building in the area.

There are numerous materials that can be used to build chimneys; stone and brick are the most common and reliable. It is important to use only the finest materials when building a chimney. The finished project will have to be able to withstand temperatures of up to 1,112° Fahrenheit (600° Celsius).

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The materials to be used must be decided upon before a single brick is laid. Chimneys made from fire brick and mortar only are quite popular and will survive for many years if built properly. There is also the possibility of installing a ceramic or steel flue liner. If choosing a liner, ensure that the chimney has been properly measured as well as noting the liner’s specifications.

There must be a certain amount of space between the flue liner and the masonry when chimney building. This is because the liner needs enough space to expand and contract without restriction. Certain building regulations require chimney builders to include seismic reinforcing. This means that ceramic fiber paper must be added to the chimney. Ceramic fiber paper can withstand temperatures of over 2,012° Fahrenheit (1,100 degrees Celsius).

Once the supplies have been purchased and regulations read, the chimney building can commence. Use mortar to attach the liner to the chimney and allow 24 hours for drying. Place mortar on the bottom 2 feet (61 cm) of the liner. Cover the liner with bricks and place mortar between the bricks with a trowel. Use a damp cloth to ensure the mortar is smooth.

Continue building until the bricks are 1 foot (30 cm) from the top of the liner. A chimney cap should then be laid on top of the final row of bricks. The purpose of the cap is to make sure that water does not go down the chimney when it rains.

Allow another day to pass while the mortar dries. Use roof flashing to attach the chimney to the roof. Do not operate the fireplace for two days after the project is completed. Use a hose to rinse the chimney before scraping excess mortar off with a scrub brush.

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