Which chimney bricks to choose, in order to obtain a good and durable result? Clinker solid brick will be the best choice. In that respect, which chimney brick to choose from the great wealth of clinker products? We have gathered some tips from experts to make it easier for you.
Chimney brick – Which one should I choose? First things first, technical aspects
When making decisions, it’s easy to focus only on the appearance of finishing materials – on their color, pattern, form. However, their stunning beauty must go hand in hand with technical parameters in order for them to serve long years. This is the reason why experts always recommend clinker chimney brick. Clinker bricks are made from a mixture of clay, sand and chamotte burnt at temperatures often reaching 1000°C. The type of clay used and precisely regulated burning parameters are mainly responsible for the final color, which is why it is extremely resistant to fading – it does not change, for example despite decades of exposure to sunlight and UV radiation.
The method of manufacture also makes clinker brick remarkably resistant to extreme temperatures, from frost to heat, as well as to pollutants from smoke or fumes. Low absorbability at the level of a few percent is another great technical benefit of clinker work. Why is that so important? This is the secret of minimal vulnerability of clinker bricks to biological corrosion (fungi, mosses, lichens) and chemical corrosion (acid rain or industrial gases) and generally to soiling. These excellent parameters are even more impressive considering that it’s a natural and ecological material.
Now that we have illustrated the technical qualities of clinker products, let’s move on to more specific guidelines for choosing chimney brick. Solid brick is the best choice for building a chimney. Both the chimney system and any finials above the roof must be made of solid bricks or possibly of shaped bricks which also help to make the appearance more attractive. They also have to be solid. However, an impressive appearance of the chimney can be also achieved using a very classic cornice made of bricks protruding from the face of the wall, interlocked diagonally (facing outwards at one corner) or laid on a roll (arranged vertically). Countless inspirations can be taken from the history of architecture.
Which bricks should I choose for brickwork chimney? Secondly, the comfort of use
In addition to strictly technical aspects, the use factor is extremely important for all external parts of the house, which are exposed to air pollution. The amount of financial investment and personal labor to keep the object in good condition, as well as the scope and ease (or difficulty) of ongoing maintenance have to be considered. For these reasons, specialists nowadays are more keen to use cladding on chimneys, rather than plaster. There is no problem with peeling or falling off and the need for regular repainting.
All these factors lead us again to the same conclusion: clinker brick will prove to be the least demanding material for a brickwork chimney. Their very low level of absorbability mentioned earlier is a part of measurable functional benefits. Exposed to frost, it does not crack and also has a small tendency to settle various contaminants that can be found within the roof. If it got dirty (e.g. due to soot particles in smoke, bird nesting), it would have to be cleaned at most.
However, clinker work in external applications generally remains in great visual condition.The rain cleans it of air pollutants, which can be seen in the case of good-looking chimneys, also façades and clinker pavers. However, in order to ease the process, experts recommend the brick with the lowest absorbability level, obviously grouted with a flat joint, to investors, who wonder which kind of chimney brick to choose.