What you Need to Know when Building a New Chimney
The chimney is possibly the most important component of a wood-burning appliance. Whether adding a new masonry chimney to your home or installing a chimney for a factory-built fireplace, several details are essential, with regard to safety, proper operation, and construction. The following will provide you with essential information for properly adding a chimney to your home.
Placement of a Masonry Chimney
Choosing the perfect spot for your fireplace and chimney should include more than home design. For a chimney that functions optimally in cold climates, it’s best not to have a chimney along an outside wall. Extreme winter weather can create a cold column of air in your chimney that makes it tough to get fires started. If the chimney is enclosed within the structure of your home, your chimney will always be more ready to provide a warming fire, no matter how freezing cold it is outside.
Whatever type of chimney you have, it needs to extend 2 feet higher than anything within 10 feet horizontally of its peak. It also needs to be a minimum of 3 feet higher than the point at which the chimney connects with the roof. Chimney height is important, to ensure a proper draft that pulls combustion fumes outside through the chimney. It is also a safety issue, to help eliminate fire hazards.
A masonry chimney is usually the heaviest part of a home. There must be a proper 8-inch to 12-inch concrete footing underneath the chimney, below or at the level of the home’s foundation. It must extend at least 6 inches beyond the chimney edges, all around. Factory-build fireplaces and stoves do not have any special type of foundational support requirement.
Chimney Wall Thickness
A masonry chimney must have walls that are at least 4 inches thick, and this does not include the flue. On the exterior portion of the chimney, walls need to be at least 8 inches thick, to provide needed protection against the outdoor elements.
The flue lining needs to have the appropriate dimensions and height for the height of your chimney and relative to your fireplace opening. Specifics are available with the Brick Industry Association.
When a flue is attached to a factory-built appliance through the chimney, manufacturer’s instructions must be followed. If the flue is the wrong size, the appliance can’t operate as intended. The flue protects combustible portions of the home from being exposed to extreme temperatures.
In addition to having a proper flue lining, masonry chimneys must be at least 2 inches away from any combustible materials, on all sides.
If you are using your fireplace or wood stove as a supplemental heat source and not purely as a decorative piece, insulation must be used in or around the chimney.
Chimneys must be built according to building safety codes. In former times, chimneys often did not have a chimney liner. This was deemed a very hazardous situation. Liners have long been required components of a chimney.
Contact Chimney Saver Solutions
Contact our experts at Chimney Saver Solutions. Let us help you get off on the right foot with your new chimney. Once your chimney is up, by the way, maintenance is important. You can count on us for that, too.