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Traditional chimneys typically are made of brick, and they can usually be found anywhere from houses to buildings, new or old. A brick chimney is also often referred to as a masonry chimney since it needs to be constructed on-site instead of purchased and shipped whole. Like chimneys made out of any other material, a brick chimney carries smoke and gas out of a home or building.
Since the typical brick chimney needs to be built on-site rather than at a factory, there are many variations available. Such structures can vary in size, height, and color, though they almost always include mortar between the bricks to hold them together. Brick chimneys are often built to complement the construction of the rest of the house, though both builders and homeowners often incorporate their own design ideas.
The bricks that make up a brick chimney often vary in type. Many brick chimneys on older industrial buildings have exteriors made of radial brick, which are curved and best for rounded chimneys. They can also often be found on schools and hospitals, and are known for their durability. The inner part of most chimneys, called chimney liners, are often made of chemical-resistant brick which can combat the effects of both acid and thermal shock that come from gas fireplaces. For the most part, the majority of masonry chimneys are made of clay brick, which is often the color red.
Though brick chimneys are typically known for being durable and long-lasting, they do require plenty of maintenance. Since chimneys are constantly exposed to the elements, they need specialized care, especially when they face extreme weather or high humidity. Chimney sweeps often need to be hired to keep the typical brick chimney clean, and the structure also should be waterproofed to prevent water damage over time. These are just some of the most basic elements of chimney maintenance.
Chimney repair is also available in most areas of the world. Whether bricks need to be replaced or mortar needs to be retouched, most homeowners opt to hire professionals for such duties. Tuckpointing is one of the services that many chimney repair companies offer. This mostly consists of pinpointing crumbling mortar between bricks and replacing it with fresh mortar. It can improve both the appearance and structural integrity of a brick chimney. In fact, like many repairs and maintenance tasks, this task can often be completed by the homeowner.