Though a chimney is not considered to be an important part of the house, it has to be constructed carefully for venting out the smoke and soot rising from the fireplace. The following passages elucidate its different parts and also give details on how to build a brick one.
The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of a chimney is definitely Santa Claus but its main purpose is to vent out by-products released from the fireplace, stove, or furnace safely. Building one isn't a simple process, but if you have the right tools and the know-how you can do it yourself.
Since, the fireplace and chimney are associated with the dangerous element 'fire', fire safety comes before anything else. Damage shouldn't be caused to your house by fire hazards and wasted energy and at the same time its beauty should be maintained both inside and outside.
Chimney cap, also known as chimney pot or rain cap, is its topmost cover and prevents rain, birds, animals, etc., from falling through. It is available in various shapes, sizes, and textures.
The immediate point from where the chimney protrudes above the roof is called the chimney crown. It is built in a sloping manner to let the rain and snow slide down, rather than accumulate or enter the chimney.
This component is used for easy passage of smoke. A flue pipe connects all the heating appliances to the chimney. This is possible only if it is a metal one, as a brick one requires every appliance in the house to have a separate flue pipe running up to it. The inside of the chimney is lined with flue liners. They prevent the flue pipes from excessive heat.
A damper is present above the firebox. It directs the flow of warm air inside the room. A well-fitted one does not let warm air escape through the chimney.
A cleanout door allows access to the fireplace for sweeping out the soot and debris. The chimney may or may not have a cleanout door, as the opening of the firebox is usually big enough to sweep out the debris.
Building a Brick Chimney
4 foot level and 2 foot level
First and foremost, find out the rules and norms set for building a chimney in your area.
Before starting the construction, prepare a rough layout according to those norms.
Start by constructing the firebox with the firebricks. Do not use normal bricks to construct the firebox.
Now, build the wall encapsulating the firebox with the selected bricks. Take care that the height of the outside wall should be same as the firebox wall.
Fill in the gap between the firebox wall and outside wall with brick and mortar.
Fitting the damper is the next process. The damper should be air-tight, else it will let the warm air to pass through. If any gaps exist around it, fill it with mortar.
The next step is to construct the smoke chamber. A distance of few inches should be kept along the edges of the damper while building the smoke chamber so that the flue can be set within it.
Next, secure the flue carefully in the smoke chamber.
Build the rest of the chimney up to the roof, in a normal way. As you reach the brim of the roof, construct a sloping crown around it for preventing the rain and snow from entering the chimney.
Construct it past the roof, only up to the height specified by the local building construction association.
Finish filling the sides around the flue with mortar so that only the top of the flue is visible.
Now, cover the top with a chimney cap.
Having an artistic fireplace always adds to the beauty of the living room. A well-constructed chimney complements the fireplace by helping to vent the smoke, without befogging the rest of the room. If these guidelines are followed carefully, it will result in a beautiful and safe fireplace for your house.