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What are Chimneys?

11/8/2013 7:49:18 AM | by Anonymous

Chimneys

Chimneys are used to direct unwanted fumes outside into the open while the fire place is burning. Chimneys can come in many sizes and design types. There are multiple factors that will determine the look, design, size and style of the chimney. Chimneys are important from an architectural stand point apart from its function. This is why it is important to understand the construction and materials used to build the chimney to ensure that it looks compatible with the rest of the design of the building.


Most of the chimneys are usually constructed out of bricks; in other cases stones may be used. In homes, the only visible part that can be seen from outside the house is known as the chimney stack. Sometimes, the chimney can be used as a design statement in houses where the whole chimney block can be seen. Chimneys can also come in many shapes and sizes such as octagonal, round, rectangular and square. Sometimes the chimney can be quite heavily decorated with other accents to make them ornate and ornamental. To add to these decorations, the bricks that are laid may come in different colors or textures to give it a recessed and special look. However, using such materials does not enhance the chimneys functions in any way.


Brick chimneys are also referred to as masonry chimneys as they have to be assembled on the work site rather than having the whole chimney shipped over. Most of the times, brick chimneys have cement or mortar in between them to hold them in place, very much like brick walls. To make different shapes and sizes, different individual bricks are used. For example, bricks used in old industrial buildings use a curved brick that make it ideal to construct round chimneys. These types of bricks can also be found in older hospitals and schools. Such bricks are known to be more durable and resistant to corrosion.


The inner walls of the chimney are known as chimney liners. These chimney liners are made out of bricks that are chemical resistant to resist effects of corrosion from acid of thermal shock. Most of the other chimneys are made out of clay brick which is usually red in color.


Although brick chimneys are long-lasting and durable, they still require maintenance to keep it at optimal conditions. This is important as chimneys are located on the exterior of the house and they are often exposed to the weather. The bricks can be water proofed to resist rain.

 

Most houses that only have one storey use a simple chimney system. There are some houses that still use detailed chimney systems though. In other houses, especially older ones, there may be multiple fireplaces. For example, older mansions may have a fireplace in every room. In this case, the fireplaces are all connected to a single shaft that leads to the main chimney where the unwanted fumes are emitted. If the house is extremely large then there may be more chimneys that emit these fumes.


In modern times, there are chimneys that can be made out of special materials such as stainless steel. The inner walls and outer walls are both made out of stainless steel. There are many types of models of chimneys that use stainless steel. Stainless steel may be more expensive but they are better at resisting environmental problems like corrosion. Apart from this, stainless steel chimneys are not only durable but they are able to insulate the inner walls while keeping the outer walls cool.


Thus, no matter what material chimneys are made of they still serve the same function of directing unwanted fumes. Chimneys also have to be properly maintained in order to keep our fireplaces working well especially during the winter time.

 

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