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  • Facts about Bricks to Help Ensure Your Chimney Longevity

    Facts about Bricks to Help Ensure Your Chimney Longevity

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    A traditional chimney is made of bricks, and with good reason! Bricks are some of the sturdiest materials you can find when building or renovating a home. Not only do bricks last long against weather, but they are also fire proof in that they don’t burn and can withstand high heats without cracking.

    Do you install a new chimney, or renovate an old one?

    Of course, even the most expensive, best built chimney can suffer damages over extended periods of time. When you think about it, your chimney is exposed to some of the most extreme conditions from weather like snow, hail, and high winds to the smoke, soot, and heat from your fireplace use.

    When it comes to installing a new chimney, or renovating an old one, you need to remember that not all bricks are the same. There are some bricks that are specially prepared to withstand high heat while others are meant to fight against weathering from moisture and extreme cold. You want to make sure that the bricks you’re choosing are appropriate for where they are being laid.

    Some bricks are made specially, for the interior of your chimney while others are made for the exterior. In some cases, brick makers even make specialized bricks for different regions and climates. You never want to do a quick chimney repair with bring from an unknown source.

    Chimney maintenance is important

    Proper chimney maintenance is important when it comes to keeping your bricks strong and working. Bricks are more likely to crack and crumble when they are exposed to unnecessary amounts of high heat. This heat can occur when chimney fires burn the inner brickwork of the chimney. Chimney fires are generally caused by burning of creosote that is left in the chimney when it is not cleaned or inspected on a regular basis.

    You can avoid chimney fires by having a chimney technician clean the inside of the chimney and inspect the elements of the chimney to ensure everything is running as it should be.

    Damaged bricks can be a big problem

    Some of the greatest damages to bricks occur during the winter during freezing temperatures. During snowy and rainy weather, moisture and excessive amounts of water are introduced to the small cracks and pores of chimney bricks. When temperatures reach below freezing, the moisture in these cracks freezes and expands, thus enlarging the cracks and damaging the brick.

    When you first get your chimney bricks, they are fairly sturdy, so this isn’t something you need to worry about immediately. Over time, however, you might notice cracks in your chimney, so you should get them sealed as soon as possible. When bricks are extremely damaged by this process of freezing and melting, your best course of action is to completely replace the bricks because it is difficult to repair bricks that have been damaged.

    Chimney companies offer specific solutions to maintaining and repairing a chimney can bring so if you ever notice damages or need an opinion, it is always best to consult a professional chimney technician! If you live in the Evanston, Glencoe, Highwood or other surrounding Chicago areas give us a call for all your chimney needs.

     

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