The majority of chimneys are constructed using fired bricks, a material that has been around since about 5000 BC. Bricks simply put are a single unit of a kneaded clay-bearing soil, sand and lime, or concrete material that is fire-hardened. Here are some facts about bricks, an eco-friendly building material:
- The most common bricks are made from clay and heated at a thousand degrees centigrade.
- Bricks are energy efficient because they hold sunlight throughout the day and release that energy after the sun goes down.
- 8 million bricks were used to build the Great Wall of China – in 200 BC!
- Bricks have frogs. The indentation in the surface of a brick is called a frog, and debate rages over whether the bricks should be laid frog-up or frog-down.
- The minerals used to create a brick determine its color. Red bricks are red because of the iron in them, and higher temperature firings produce darker colored bricks.
- There is minimal waste in the brick production process as only an insignificant amount of minerals and moisture vanish during the heating process
- There are face bricks, common bricks, paving bricks, fire bricks and refractory bricks – each designed for a specific purpose.
- In 2007, a new type of brick was invented using fly ash, a by-product of coal power plants.
- Brick can withstand extreme temperature changes and is considered one of the most durable building products
- The Romans created mobile kilns which allowed them to introduce kiln fired bricks to the whole of the Roman Empire
- The brick Gothic period started in the 12th century when bricks were reintroduced to Northern Germany from Northern Italy. Later, during the Renaissance period, bricks fell out of favor and were generally covered by plaster.
- Handmade bricks are still commonly used in the United Kingdom.
Chim Chimney employs a full time master mason who knows all about bricks, and can help keep your brick chimney looking and functioning as well as possible.