How Fireplaces Work

Brick Repair llc Explains How Fireplaces Work
Micihgan chimney repair  Http://www.Michigan chimney local Masonry contractor Brick Repair llc construction, chimney cleaning and chimney repair contractor. Our chimney inspection and fireplace chimney cleaning professionals are happy to help you with any fireplace or brick related question. We can provide you a fireplace tech of brick company for any task   Our chimney repair and brick repair experts have worked hard to earn a reputation for quality and look forward to showing the residents of Michigan  that it is well deserved . Our goal is to leave every customer satisfied and willing to use us again, or recommend us to a neighbor or a friend. We pride ourselves on building corners not cutting them. 
Why a  fireplace in  Michigan does not work can be one of many reasons, how to make your brick chimney fireplace draft properly and how to build a chimney and fireplace that stand the test of time are a common topic of discussion among chimney experts with homeowners. Since man first discovered fire then dug the first fire pit all the way up till huge brick chimney stacks filled the Detroit sky line. Longevity and having a homes fireplace burn properly has been an ongoing concern.

As knowledge of building a brick and  stone fireplaces and chimney's has steadily grown, so has the ability of a fireplace to heat and warm homes. Mans knowledge of engineering, drafting and how to make a chimney and fireplace work properly has also grown. In today's day and age we have the advantage of learning from our fore fathers and developing formulas and techniques to combat draft and increase fireplace and chimney efficiency. With modern inserts we can increase the amount of heat produced from our fireplace fires. Still today we find that some fireplace chimney's work better than others. That is why when dealing with brick repair and chimney it is so critical to use a brick repair and chimney expert.
 The main principle of why a brick chimney or fireplace works because heat rises. After starting a fire, in your fireplace the air inside chimney warms and begins to rise up the chimney flue. The heat of the fire in your fir box draws in the cooler air from the room it is in. This cooler air flows into the firebox feeding the fireplace fire increasing the flame in an ongoing cycle. The heat dynamic creates a pressure differential and can also create a pleasant breeze as it moves across the top of your chimney.

There are numerous reasons a Michigan chimney and fireplace may not function properly. Will start with the the most simple &obvious solutions Please bear in mind this list may not solve all of your fireplace and chimney issues but it should provide you a good place to start. Here is a list of common reasons that fireplaces and chimneys don't work .
You may have a chimney damper issue, a chimney damper should open and close freely
Your chimney could be dirty and you need a chimney cleaning. Creosote building up and lack of regular chimney sweeping can affect the way your chimney draws air and also can also be a chimney fire issue
Your chimney may be built wrong. Chimney size and height, the height of your chimney and the size of your chimney flue liner can have a huge affect on the way it draws
Oakland county MI chimney inspection and chimney cleaning 
To really understand fireplaces chimney sweeping and chimney's requires extensive knowledge masonry and fireplaces. Being a chimney sweep does not mean you a qualified to do chimney repair. Likewise being good at masonry and brick work does not make you good with chimneys.
When dealing with your fireplace chimney problems or Michigan Brick repair issue, you need a contractor familiar chimney construction codes, pressure differentials, and actual fireplace construction techniques. If the information provided here does not help you solve the problem with your fireplace, chimney or masonry consider hiring an experienced, chimney sweep and masonry repair expert in your area. The problem may be obvious to someone with Brickwork, chimney and fireplace experience once they can actually look over the fireplace and chimney..
Michigan fireplace chimney fires are a reality of life They destroy thousands of homes and lives. Having a regular chimney cleaning by your local chimney sweep can prevent most chimney fires. Most Canton, Oak park, and Bloomfield hills residents don’t even realize the risk their homes could be in from chimney fires. First, let us establish who is at risk.
If proper precautions are taken, brick fireplace chimney fires can be avoided. A Chimney should be inspected by a chimney sweep and chimney cleaning specialist regularly. First, you need to understand the anatomy of how a fireplace works and how a fireplace chimney fire is set into motion. When a fire is built in a masonry or brick chimney it is started in the fireplace fire box.
The chimney firebox is built out of fire brick. Firebrick is a brick made to withstand the high temperatures that occur in a fireplace. A fireplace fire box is the area in witch the actual burning happens.. Fireplace firebrick not as stronger and have a lower compression strength than block or architectural brick, but they are much lighter, and insulate better than dense bricks. A brick fireplace brick fire box should be free from cracks. To contain the heat form the fire. The fireplace fire brick will taper in toward a damper and smoke shelf. A fireplace firebox is the only spot in which burning wood should occur. 
The Chimney damper is a metal duct or steel valve which controls or regulates the flow of air in the fireplace. Should a damper become damaged rusted and need to be replaced a top mount damper is installed. A top mount damper attaches to the flue tile liner at the top of the chimney. When closed it provides an air-tight seal. A chain drops down the chimney to control air flow.
Everybody knows where there is a smoking chimney there is fire, so obviously when you are burning wood in your fireplace and chimney, smoke is released and travels up from your firebrick fire box into a smoke shelf and up the chimney flue liner. As the warm smoke travels up the chimney flue liner it begins to cool . As smoke cools it condenses on the inside walls of your chimney flue liner or flue tiles and is converted into creosote. Creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires.
Chimney Cleaning Chimney inspection and chimney Repair (313) 459-0617
Creosote and a dirty chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires. Creosote is a highly flammable material that ignites easily from flame or spark. The type of wood that is burned in a fireplace and frequency of chimney cleaning affects the amount of creosote built up on the chimney flue liner. Green, or unseasoned wood, contains a lot of moisture. This means it takes more heat to burn the wood in the brick fireplace firebox. Green wood produces more creosote.
Outside temperature also plays a factor in the amount of creosote formed. Chimneys that run up the side of your brick house are more apt to produce creosote. than one that runs up the center of your home This is because brick concrete and stone masonry has a low insulation value or R value. The warm smoke being hit by cool temperatures condenses more quickly when a chimney runs up the side of a house.
Proper air flow is critical to your stone or brick chimney. Making sure your fireplace damper is open all the way so that smoke ventilates through the chimney quickly also reduces the risk of creosote forming. A Fireplace chimney must be built to a proper height to draft properly. Usually three feet above the roof or ten feet from the roof.
You must make sure to have a chimney cleaning professional or chimney sweep clean your chimney annually if you plan on using you fireplace. When you ignite paper and cardboard in your fireplace, often times small flaming pieces of ash and soot can drift up the flue liner and are more likely to ignite the creosote that has built up.
Having a proper chimney cap on the top of your chimney can help prevent chimney fires. A proper chimney cap has a spark ares-tor to catch these pieces of flaming ash. Chimney caps also protect the top of a chimney flue liner by preventing water and animals from getting inside the flue liner
Our bricklayers are skilled brickwork experts serving Oakland Michigan & Wayne County Michigan. Our fireplace chimney repair and fireplace chimney cleaning experts have years of experience specializing in masonry construction, masonry restoration and brick repair. Our chimney sweeps can inspect your stone or brick, chimney fireplace. Our chimney sweeps can provide you with your annual chimney cleaning and provide you with a chimney repair estimate.

Masonry construction is a trade as Building itself. Building is brick block and stone takes years of experience . We have years of experience matching the brick and mortar. We have worked extensively with the brick commonly found in Canton, Northville, Plymouth, Dearborn Heights, Redford and suburbs of Detroit Mi. We take chimney crown repair and Michigan brickwork projects seriously. We are not a handyman service we are skilled chimney sweeps and masonry repair experts with a passion for brickwork. We strive to the be the premier chimney company in Canton Michigan. Our Brick repair and brickwork experts have been serving Canton, and Canton Mi with our quality, brick fireplace chimney construction and chimney repair services for years.. Let us help you fix, repair and restore your brick homes masonry beauty. Wayne County Brick Repair Canton Michigan's leading chimney cleaning, chimney repair, and historic brick repair company.
Wayne County Chimney Repair (313) 459-0617 specializes in fireplace chimney construction, Fireplace remodeling, chimney cleaning, chimney repair and historic brick restoration. Our chimney sweeps can provide cost effective chimney cleaning. We also repair brick porches and brick wall repair on a daily basis. If you would like more information about chimney fires, please visit
With any chimney repair or masonry restoration project comes debris. Small chunks of mortar, pieces of concrete, and chunks of brick from the demolition of the brickwork can add up fast. And lets face it, its not like your local garbageman or trash removal service is going to grab a garbage can that weighs 500 lbs and carry it away. That is why whenever you plan on doing any kind of demolition project, chimney repair, or brickwork you need to know what to do with your debris and trash.

One option is to remove the brick debris, concrete, and mortar yourself. This involves filling up a trailer or truck and hauling out the brick, concrete, and mortar. You can then haul this material to the dump, but the dump charges by weight. A much more practical method of removing the debris, is to find a local concrete recycling company. Most concrete recycling companies will take any concrete and mortar you have and dispose of it. A select few concrete recycling companies, commonly referred to as the concrete crusher, will take your brick debris also. Concrete, brick, and mortar are ground up to a gravel sized consistency. This aggregate is then recycled into new concrete. The problem with using concrete crushers and recyclers is unless you have a dump truck or dump trailer, you must handle your material and debris not only when you haul it off of the job, but when you dump it. By far the most cost-effective way to go on any large scale demolition project is to rent a dumpster. Whenever you rent the dumpster be sure to specify what you plan on disposing of inside of it.

At Dearborn Brick Repair we are committed to the local Michigan environment. We use concrete recycling companies whenever possible. For more information about masonry and masonry repair, our free how-to repair brick videos, please visit us Brick repair llc's chimney repair service provides chimney cleaning for Residents of Rochester hills vist
For information about Michigan chimney sweeps chimney cleaning chimney repair
check out our masonry repair videos HTTP://

Chimney repair in and Wayne County and surrounding cities

West Bloomfield Mi Residents looking for chimney inspection or chimney a chimney sweep visit:

Clarkston Mi Residents seeking chimney cleaning visit

For West Bloomfield chimney cleaning and chimney repair visit


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Dismantled wall showing brickwork

Decorative Tudor brick chimneys, Hampton Court Palace UK

Herringbone patern brickwork, medieval Canterbury UK

12th century temple brickwork, Ayuthaya Thailand
Brickwork is masonry produced by a bricklayer, using bricks and mortar to build up brick structures such as walls. Brickwork is also used to finish corners, door and window openings etc. in buildings made of other materials.
Where the bricks are to remain fully visible, as opposed to being covered up by plaster or stucco, this is known as face-work or facing brickwork.



[edit] Brick dimensions

A wall built in Flemish bond
Brick sizes are generally coordinated so that two rows of bricks laid alongside, with a mortar joint between them, are the same width as the length of a single brick laid across the two rows. That allows headers, bricks laid at 90 degrees to the direction of the wall, to be built in and tie together two or more layers, or wythes, of brick. The thickness of a brick wall is measured by the length of a brick, so a wall one brick thick will contain two layers of brick, one and a half bricks is three layers etc. A common metric coordinating size is 215 millimetres (8.5 in) x 102.5 millimetres (4.04 in) x 65 millimetres (2.6 in), which is intended to work with a 10 millimetres (0.39 in) mortar joint: 75 millimetres (3.0 in) course height, 215 millimetres (8.5 in) wall thickness etc. This is based on the earlier inch sizes. There are many different standard brick sizes worldwide, most with some coordinating principle.

[edit] Wall thickness and construction

[edit] Solid brickwork

The simplest type of wall is constructed in solid brickwork, normally at least one brick thick. Bricks are laid in rows known as courses, the arrangement of headers and stretchers in each course gives rise to different patterns or bonds.

[edit] Cavity walls

In a cavity wall, two layers (or leaves) of brickwork are tied together with metal ties, with a cavity or 2 to 4 inches that may be filled with insulation.

[edit] Brick facing

A non-structural outer facing of brick is tied back to an internal structure: a layer of blockwork, timber or metal studwork etc.

[edit] Terminology

  • Stretcher: a brick laid horizontally, flat with the long side of the brick exposed on the outer face of a wall.
  • Header: a brick laid flat with the short end of the brick exposed.
  • Soldier: a brick laid vertically with the narrow ("stretcher") side exposed.
  • Sailor: a brick laid vertically with the broad side exposed.
  • Rowlock: a brick laid on the long, narrow side with the small or "header" side exposed.
  • Shiner: a brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad side exposed [1] [2]

Six positions
Brick Types. There are two main types of clay bricks: pressed and wire cut. Pressed bricks usually have a deep frog in one bedding surface and a shallow frog in the other. Wire cut bricks usually have 3 or 4 holes through them constituting up to 25% of the total volume of the brick. Some ‘perforated’ bricks have many smaller holes.
Brick Usage. There are three main categories of use, and both pressed bricks or wire cut brick types are used in all three categories.
Facing brickwork is the visible decorative work.
Engineering brickwork, often seen in bridges and large industrial construction but may also be hidden in ground works where maximum durability is required e.g. manhole construction.
Common brickwork is not usually seen and is used where engineering qualities are not required; below ground in domestic buildings and internal walls for instance.
Frog up/down. A frog is a recessed part of a surface of a brick. Pressed bricks are laid ‘frog up’ when maximum strength is required especially in engineering work. This method also increases the mass of a wall and decreases sound transmittance. Pressed bricks may be laid frog down; this method is favoured by the bricklayer since less mortar is required for bedding. There may also be a marginal increase in thermal insulation due to the entrapped air pockets. A disadvantage of this method is that with bricks having a very deep ‘V’ shaped frog there may be some difficulty in making reliable fixings to the wall when the fixing hits an air pocket.
Wire cut bricks may be laid either way up but some types of wire cuts have a textured (combed) face creating folds in the face of the brick which is directional. It is advisable to lay these bricks with the folds hanging downwards to maximise the weathering characteristics of the brick.
Ties or cavity ties are used to tie layers of brickwork into one another, to form a structural whole. A common type is a figure-eight of twisted wire, generally stainless steel to avoid failure due to corrosion. The loop at either end is buried in the mortar bed as the wall is built up.
Mortar is a mixture of sand, lime and Portland cement, mixed with water to a workable consistency. It is applied with a bricklayer's trowel, and sets solid in a few hours. There are many different mixes and admixtures used to make mortars with different performance characteristics.

[edit] British Bricklaying Terms

Bat - a cut brick. A quarter bat is one quarter the length of a stretcher. A half bat is one half.[3]
Closer - a cut brick used to change the bond at quoins. Commonly a quarter bat.
Queens closer - a brick which has been cut over its length and is a stretcher long and a quarter bat deep. Commonly used to bond one brick walls at right angled quoins.
Kings closer - a brick which has been cut diagonally over its length to show a half bat at one end and nothing at the other.
Snapped Header - a half bat laid to appear as a header. Commonly used to build short radii half brick walls or decorative features.
Squint - a brick which is specially made to bond around external quoins of obtuse angles. Typically 60 or 45 degrees.
Dog Leg - a brick which is specially made to bond around internal acute angles. Typically 60 or 45 degrees.
Corbel - a brick, block or stone which oversails the main wall.
Cant - a header which is angled at less than 90 degrees.
Plinth - a stretcher which is angled at less than 90 degrees.
Voussoir - a supporting brick in an arch, usually shaped to ensure the joints appear even.
Creasing tile - a flat clay tile laid as a brick to form decorative features or waterproofing to the top of a garden wall.
Cramp - or frame cramp is a tie used to secure a window or door frame.
Movement Joint - a straight joint formed in a wall to contain compressible material, in order to prevent cracking as the wall contracts or expands.
Air brick - a brick with perforations to allow the passage of air through a wall. Usually used to permit the ventilation of underfloor areas.
Pier - a free standing section of masonry such as pillar or panel.
Quoin - a corner in masonry.
Stopped end - the end of a wall which does not abut any other component.
Dog tooth - a course of headers where alternate bricks project from the face.
Saw tooth - a course of headers laid at a 45 degree angle to the main face.
Sleeper wall - a low wall whose function is to provide support, typically to floor joists.
Honeycomb wall - a wall, usually stretcher bond, in which the vertical joints are opened up to the size of a quarter bat to allow air to circulate. Commonly used in sleeper walls.
Party Wall - a wall shared by two properties or parties.
Shear Wall - a wall designed to give way in the event of structural failure in order to preserve the integrity of the remaining building.
Fire Wall - a wall specifically constructed to compartmentalise a building in order to prevent fire spread.
Withe - the central wall dividing two shafts. Most commonly to divide flues within a chimney.
Toothing - the forming of a temporary stopped end in such a way as to allow the bond to continue at a later date as the work proceeds.
Indent - a hole left in a wall in order to accommodate an adjoining wall at a future date. These are often left to permit temporary access to the work area.
Tumbling in - bonding a battered buttress or breast into a horizontal wall.
Racking back - stepping back the bond as the wall increases in height in order to allow the work to proceed at a future date.

[edit] Brickwork bonds

[edit] Flemish bond

Ruins of Rosewell Plantation, Gloucester County, Virginia, one of earliest works in America in Flemish bond. The bricks were imported from England.
Flemish bond, also known as Dutch bond, has historically always been considered the most decorative bond, and for this reason was used extensively for dwellings until the adoption of the cavity wall. It is created by alternately laying headers and stretchers in a single course.[4] The next course is laid so that a header lies in the middle of the stretcher in the course below. This bond is two bricks thick. It is quite difficult to lay Flemish bond properly, since for best effect all the perpendiculars (vertical mortar joints) need to be vertically aligned. If only one face of a Flemish bond wall is exposed, one third of the bricks are not visible, and hence may be of low visual quality. This is a better ratio than for English bond, Flemish bond's main rival for load-bearing walls.
A common variation often found in early 18th century buildings is Glazed-headed Flemish Bond, in which the exposed headers are burned until they vitrify with a black glassy surface. Monk bond is a variant of Flemish bond, with two stretchers between the headers in each row, and the headers centred over the join between the two stretchers in the row below.[4] A common variant is Wessex Bond with three stretchers between each header. This is easier to lay than full Flemish Bond and produces a less intense, but nevertheless "pretty" brickwork face.

[edit] Stretcher bond

Stretcher bond, also known as running bond, consists of bricks laid with only their long narrow sides (their stretchers) showing, overlapping midway with the courses of bricks below and above. It is the simplest repeating pattern, but since it cannot be made with a bond to the bricks behind it is suitable only for a wall one brick thick, the thinnest possible wall.[5] Such a thin wall is not stable enough to stand alone, and must be tied to a supporting structure. It is common in modern buildings, particularly as the outer face of a cavity wall, or as the facing to a timber or steel framed structure.

[edit] English bond

This bond has two alternating courses of stretchers and headers,[4] with the headers centered on the stretchers, and each alternate row vertically aligned. There is a variant in which the second course of stretchers is half offset from the first, giving rise to English cross bond or Dutch bond.[6]

[edit] American bond

By one definition, Common, American or Scottish bond has one row of headers to five of stretchers.[7] The number of stretcher courses may vary from that, in practice. For example, the brick Clarke-Palmore House in Henrico County, Virginia, has a lower level built in 1819 described as being American bond of 3 to 5 stretcher courses between each header course, and an upper level built in 1855 with American bond of 6 to 7 stretcher courses between each header course.[8]

[edit] Garden wall bonds

English garden wall bond - A repeating sequence of three courses of stretchers followed by a course of headers.[4]
Flemish garden Wall Bond - A repeating sequence of three stretchers followed by a header in each course.[4] The courses are offset so that the headers of the courses above and below is centered on the middle stretcher of the course between (so at any header the sequence vertically is header-stretcher-header etc.). A variation of Flemish Garden Wall bond is Flemish diagonal bond - A complex pattern of stretcher courses alternating with courses of one or two stretchers between headers, at various offsets such that over ten courses a diamond shaped pattern appears.[6]
Water Bond - a nine inch wall bond where both skins are built in stretcher bond, but the bed joints in are staggered so as not to align. This bond is often specified by local councils in the North of England for manholes.

[edit] Rat-trap bond

Rat-trap bond, also known as Chinese bond, is a type of garden wall bond similar to Flemish, but consisting of rowlocks and shiners instead of headers and stretchers (the stretchers and headers are laid on their sides, with the base of the stretcher facing outwards). This gives a wall with an internal cavity bridged by the headers, hence the name. The main advantage of this bond is economy in use of bricks, giving a wall of one brick thickness with fewer bricks than a solid bond. Rat-trap bond was in common usage in England for building houses of fewer than 3 stories up to the turn of the 20th century and is today still used in India as an economical bond, as well for the insulation properties offered by the air cavity. Also, many brick walls surrounding kitchen gardens were designed with cavities so hot air could circulate in the winter, warming fruit trees or other produce spread against the walls, causing them to bloom earlier and forcing early fruit production.[9][10]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Brick Positions". Hansen Brick. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  2. ^ Kreh, R. T. (2002). Masonry Skills (5, illustrated ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 626. ISBN 0766859363, 9780766859364. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  3. ^ Nash, W.G. (1983). Brickwork. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-0748702664. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Brickwork Bonds and net quantities per m2". Ibstock Brick. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Campbell, James W. P; Pryce, Will (2003). Brick: A World History. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 304–305 and 313. ISBN 9780500341957. 
  6. ^ a b Ching, Francis (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-28451-3. 
  7. ^ Grieve, N. F. (2007-09-03). "Brickwork". The conservation glossary. University of Dundee. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  8. ^ Susan Reed Smither (January 29, 2004). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Clarke-Palmore House / Clarke Home". Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Retrieved 2010-05-08.  and Accompanying four photos at Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, undated
  9. ^ "Rat Trap Bond for Walls". Architecture & Development. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  10. ^ "SZ5086 : Rat trap bond". The Geograph British Isles Project. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 

[edit] External links