Masonry and Fireplace Design San
Masonry, Chimneys, and Fireplaces
and Chimney Restoration
Is Your Chimney Safe? ~Article by
older chimneys in the Craftsman Era of San Diego, primarily to the end
of the 1940s, were built without a proper flue lining.
Well, in modern construction, new masonry chimneys need to keep a
minimum clearance of two inches away from the house.
This ensures that there is a two inch gap between the chimney and the
house .We would then have four inches of solid masonry, some masonry
fill and a properly designed flue, which is around an inch and an
This gives us around six inches of masonry plus two inches of clearance
from the flame to anything combustible.
the older chimneys were typically constructed of a red sandstone brick
,that was built touching the house wooden siding or studs.
Furthermore, over the years, the masonry joints between the bricks have
eroded, typically because the chimneys having not had spark arresters
on them for many years and the creosote creating corrosive acids that
eat away at the masonry.
Or the bricks may have settled or cracked creating gaps.
This potentially allows the combustion gases to begin pyrolyzing the
timber and could eventually lead to a fire .
Also if there is excessive creosote build up, there
may be a chimney
fire and any voids could also possibly lead to this fire
spreading to your property.
I know If my chimney is safe?
Diagnosing Chimney Problems
fireplace has no damper, this is typically a sure sign of no
If you look up inside the chimney and all that you see is Red
brickwork, or you look down it and see the same, then this is
This can be a very dangerous situation and the chimney should not be
used until it is inspected by a chimney profesional and deemed if it is
safe to use.
I have had clients tell me that the fireplace has functioned this way
for many years without any problems. I like to use the analogy of
driving a car built pre forties and imagining that this car would be as
reliable and safe as a modern car.
Also, that without any maintenance, that this car would be safe to
drive at all!
Cure - Relining your chimney
After inspecting the chimney to ensure that
the chimney is a good candidate for the type of repairs needed, we will
come to your home and typically in one day:
- Remove the old
- Plaster the smoke chamber with refractory mortar
- Drop a new stainless steel liner from the top
down, seal it in place and
fill any voids around the new flue with insulation
- Build a new solid concrete crown on the top of
the chimney to stop
moisture entering the system.
- On top of the crown we will place a spark
arrester and a top mounted damper.This will allow you to seal the
fireplace when it is not in use, saving energy loss form other heat
Upon arrival to your home, we place plastic, carpet and plywood on the
floors to protect them from damage.We will also typically build plastic
tents to the nearest doorway to help prevent the dust travelling
throughout the entire house.
Upon completion, all debris is removed and the job site will be left
clean and tidy.
You would not know we had even been
there except for
the fact that you now have a safe,
reliable, functioning fireplace.
I personally perform the work, so you know the expert is performing the
job and you are in safe hands.
MASONRY AND FIREPLACE DESIGN
Masonry Contractor: Paul Walker
Trained in England, he has 24 years of experience in masonry
The first five years were in and around London, where he served working
with tradesmen who passed down their skills and knowledge acquired from
Paul has been building fireplaces in San Diego since 1992 and is a
recognized expert in fireplace refacing, fireplace repair, and relining
to prevent fire hazards.
He is trained in all areas of masonry construction focusing mainly on
the comprehensive aspects of fireplace
and chimney construction, including outdoor
cooking ovens and barbeques using real stone stonework, True stone, Rox
Pro rock, Eldorado and Cultured stone.
take pride in our work and guarantee quality craftsmanship."
- Paul Walker
construction masonry fireplaces
permits from city
with brick, tile, veneer
stone, precast mantles
existing chimneys, crowns
dampers, Spark arresters, Heat
and cultured stone
specialist Truestone,Rox Pro rock
Masonry Contractor # 851233
Insurance $2 million/$1 million per occurance
State Chimney Sweep Guild California
licensed C29 masonry contractor # 851233
Liability Insurance $2 million/$1 million per occurance