Masonry Definitions

Home owners can get overwhelmed at times when researching chimney and fireplace repair. We as masonry specialists throw around terms all the time and forget that others do not deal with these terms every day. So for our clients/readers convenience, we have listed some common terms we use in the chimney/fireplace repair trade. We also have included some additional masonry terms as well.

Flue: A flue is the pipe or duct that goes from your fireplace to your chimney. The purpose of the flue is to remove the gases/smoke from your fireplace. Flues can become filled with creosote over time, which can damage your flue as well as a potential fire risk.

Chimney: In the home owner scenario, the chimney is typically the top of the flue. In fact, the space inside the chimney is also called a flue, but the chimney is usually vertical and is sometimes referred to as a “smokestack”.

Spalding brick: When a brick is made, sometimes is was not baked at a high enough temperature. When that happens, the brick and absorb water. When it gets cold, the water expands and it causes the brick to peel away from the wall. This is called spalling. To protect from spalling, masons install a masonry cap. This cap protects the brick from getting water into the brickwork.

Mortar: Is the material that masons use to fill the gaps between the area between blocks to bind them together. Over time, mortar can become brittle and brick or stone that they mortar was holding together will lose the bonding power.

Creosote: Is an oil that is emitted when woods and solids are burned and can form inside the flue and chimney.

umford Fireplace
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