A chimney system can vary in its appearance and construction. There are several factors that play into its look and design, including the size and style of the building. Chimneys are a valuable part of the architecture of the building, so understanding the construction of the chimney system is important. In addition, knowing the types of chimneys that are available and what kind of problems might arise is valuable information.
In general, chimneys are constructed out of brick; however, sometimes stone is used. Many times, the only part of a chimney that is visible is the chimney stack, as it protrudes from the roof of the building. Other times, the chimney stack is a gigantic monolith projecting from the house, as an architectural focal point.
Chimneys can be found in a wide range of shapes, such as square, rectangular, octagonal, or round. Sometimes they can be quite ornamental and ornate. To make them decorative, recessed brickwork and ornate patterns can be included; however, such decoration will not make the chimney system any more effective.
A single-story home will only require a simple chimney system, although more detailed systems can be constructed. Some homes have more than one fireplace, especially in older-styled homes. For example, a fireplace may be located in each room of the house; however, each fireplace will have a flue, like a tunnel, which will lead to a single chimney stack, unless the home is extremely large.
People who prefer a modern chimney system may opt for a chimney constructed out of stainless steel for both the outer and inner walls. There are several different models and styles of chimneys that are made of stainless steel. It is durable and resistant to the problems brought on by the environment and combustion, such as corrosion. A stainless steel chimney has insulation that will contain heat surges and keep the outer wall cool; yet it can tolerate temperatures up to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit (1149 degrees Celsius).
It is important to keep the chimney system in good repair. Various parts of the chimney can have problems. These problems can include cracks in the brickwork, weathered chimney pots, erosion of the masonry, and corroded lining. In most cases, a person experience in chimney installation and repair will need to be called. In a few cases, simple fixes can be made to ensure that the chimney system is working safely and effectively.