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Chimmey Ideas
The discovery of the chimney came many years ago when log homes were constructed with mud and wattle chimneys. What is so interesting is that today, many of these chimneys are still standing. However, the one common denominator is that these chimneys have a tendency to lean. Everyone figured that the foundation of the chimney was inadequate or that the mud around the base had deteriorated.

However, after finding a letter written by a woman about a chimney catching fire at her fathers home, she told about how he ran outside and kicked the support of the chimney out. When he did this, the chimney fell over but the house did not catch fire. This helped people understand why the chimneys were all leaning being built to topple in case of fire, thus saving the house.

Then after World Ware II, the building of chimneys changed. Since houses at this time were typically framed using wood, insulation had to be added so that heat could be trapped. Then masonry was used but since it offers little insulation, the chimney would eventually become very hot. Today, many new codes have been developed so that combustible materials are separated by air space. This is a good option for framed homes but without understanding these codes, fire hazards can develop.

On occasion, a builder will use concrete masonry, which is very easy to install but the codes of today are not geared toward this situation. To help with this problem, many of the codes have been modified, as you will see below:

Fireplace Clearance Any combustible material must have a clearance of no less than two inches from the front face and side of masonry fireplaces, and no less than four inches from the back face. Additionally, the air space will not be filled with the exception of providing fire blocking.

This means that any masonry fireplace that will be used in contact with combustible materials and installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions can have contact with combustible material with the exterior surfaces. In addition to this, combustible materials, which would include wood siding, flooring and trim, and framing, are permitted about the hearth extensions and sides, but not the back.

Fireplace Fire Blocking The spaces found between the floor, ceiling, and fireplace in which the fireplace will pass must be fire blocked using a non-combustible material that is securely fastened in place. The spaces between the beams, wood joists, and headers need to be the depth of one-inch and can only be placed on metal or metal lath that has been laid going across the spaces between the chimney and the combustible materials.

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