Home Inspections. Brick Chimney.

Clay or calcium silicate bricks can be used in the construction of a chimney.

All chimneys have to be built with a flue lining to protect the masonry from combustion gases, of which the lining also improves the flow.

FLUE: A vertical pipe or duct that provides a safe pathway for heat, smoke and other combustion byproducts away from the fireplace. Lies within the interior of the chimney.

The most common chimney problems are a result of cracks, whether in the bricks and mortar or in the crown. Spalling” or deterioration of brickwork is a common problem that occurs when moisture penetrates the bricks and mortar. As the moisture inside the masonry expands and contracts, it breaks it down causing it to crack and crumble. If this problem goes unresolved, it can compromise the entire structure of your chimney.

How long do chimney liners last? The answer to this question depends on the type of chimney liner you have. Clay tile liners and cast-in-place liners typically last around 50 years. Stainless steel flue liners generally last for 15 to 20 years (though low quality liners may not even last for five).

How to restore bricks. Easy, vinegar and water.

Vinegar is a slightly acidic mixture that is commonly used for cleaning bricks, stones and grouts. Use a spray bottle or sponge to apply a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water to the fireplace. After it sits for a few minutes giving the acid a chance to work, scrub and sponge the fireplace clean.