How much does it cost to repair a chimney?
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Chimney Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Chimneys are attractive and functional features in many homes. They are vital for a working fireplace or wood-burning stove in living rooms and other interior spaces, helping to draw fresh air for the fire to burn while also providing a route for smoke to flow out. Unfortunately, chimneys suffer a range of damages because chimneys are exposed to the elements, smoke, soot, gases, and other hazards. It is important to have your chimney repaired by a professional when damaged.
The national cost average for professional chimney repair is between $250 and $1,200, with most homeowners paying $750 to fix a cracked flue. Costs can be higher or lower, depending on the problem and the level of repair required to fix it. This project’s low cost is $100 to repair superficial damage to a chimney cap. The high cost is $7,000 to replace an extensively damaged flue.
Chimney Repair Cost
|Cost to Fix a Chimney
|National average cost
Cost to Repair a Chimney by Type of Chimney
Chimneys are made of different materials, and the total costs of chimney repairs are influenced by the chimney type. Some materials are cheaper and easier to work with than others. The table below shows common chimney types and the average repair costs for each.
|Type of Chimney
|Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)
|$250 - $1,200
|$250 - $1,200
|$300 - $1,500
Metal Chimney Repair
Metal chimney repairs cost between $250 and $1,200. Metal chimneys are popular with many homeowners due to their strength and durability. They stand up well to the elements, and homeowners do not need to worry about brick and mortar issues with a metal chimney. However, the exterior sections can dent or become damaged in storms, and issues arise in places like the flue or smoke chamber.
Prefab Chimney Repair
Homeowners pay between $250 and $1,200 to repair their prefab chimney. Prefabricated chimneys are made in a factory and assembled on-site at the property. They are usually sheet metal like stainless or galvanized steel, so the repair costs are usually the same as other metal chimneys. They suffer from the same problems as damaged flues and cracks in the smoke chamber.
Masonry Chimney Repair
The average cost for professional masonry chimney repairs ranges from $300 to $1,500. This is the classic brick-and-mortar chimney found on many homes. Masonry chimneys are attractive and add value, but the bricks and mortar can wear from weathering and erosion. These chimneys may need re-mortaring or rebuilding from masonry issues.
Cost to Repair a Chimney by Type of Repair
Chimneys may seem simple, but they are complex structures with multiple parts like the crown, cap, and flashing. Damage can occur to various parts of the chimney, and a range of repairs may be needed to fix each problem. The table below shows common chimney repair types and their average costs.
|Type of Repair
|Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)
|$100 - $250
|$150 - $500
|$200 - $300
|$200 - $500
|$300 - $2,000
|$500 - $600
|$500 - $2,000
|$500 - $3,500
|$750 - $1,000
|$1,500 - $3,500
Chimney Cap Repair
Professional repairs for chimney caps cost between $100 and $250. The cap, or cover, sits on top of the chimney to protect it against rain, snow, and debris. It also keeps hot embers contained to prevent them from causing damage. Often, damaged caps need to be replaced, but you could patch them if the damage is superficial.
Chimney Mortar Repair
The cost to repair chimney mortar ranges from $150 to $500. Mortar is essential for the chimney structure because it seals the bricks, gives structure and strength to the chimney, and acts as a barrier against moisture. Over time, mortar can crumble and wear away. Chimney repair specialists usually offer re-mortaring services to replace crumbled mortar sections, and the costs are usually lower if the problem is identified early.
Chimney Flashing Repair
The average cost for chimney flashing repairs averages $200 to $300. The flashing is a metallic waterproof seal running around the chimney to protect it against water damage and leaks. Flashing can deteriorate or become damaged, reducing its effectiveness. If the damage to the chimney flashing is superficial, it can be patched to avoid unwanted leaks.
Chimney Wood Rot Repair
Homeowners pay between $200 and $500 to repair rotted wood. Some chimneys have wooden sections around the outside that rot due to excessive exposure to heavy rains and moisture. This poses a threat of leaks developing if left unattended, so treat rotted sections quickly. A repairman usually removes the rotted pieces and reseals the damaged area.
Chimney Flue Repair
To repair a chimney flue, prices range from $300 to $2,000. The flue is the tunnel inside the chimney allowing smoke and other combustion products to flow out of the home. The repair cost mostly depends on what work needs to be done. Repairing cracked flue tiles can be done inexpensively, but relining and resurfacing the flue costs much more.
Chimney Siding Repair
A professional chimney siding repair averages $500 to $600. Siding refers to the material positioned around the outside of a chimney. Siding is commonly made of wood, but other materials like aluminum may also be used. The chimney siding can get damaged or become loose from heavy storms or general wear and tear, so it may need to be patched or readjusted.
Smoke Chamber Repair
The average cost of smoke chamber repairs is between $500 and $2,000. The smoke chamber is positioned above the fireplace. It has an upside-down funnel shape to direct particulate matter, soot, creosote, and gases away from the home through the chimney flue. Over time, chambers damage in various ways. Cracks and holes may need patching over, or the chamber might need to be parged. Parging is a process where a fresh coat of mortar is applied to the brick to give the smoke chamber a smoother surface.
Chimney Stack Repair
Professional repairs for a chimney stack range from $500 to $3,500, depending on the problem. Minor damage to the stack can be patched for a relatively low cost. However, damaged stacks might also require more advanced repairs, such as repointing to fix damaged mortar joints or special treatment if the stack is leaning.
Chimney Crown Repair
Homeowners pay between $750 and $1,000 for chimney crown repairs. The crown serves as a roof for the chimney, preventing debris, rainwater, and other items from entering the chimney. Crowns can wear or be damaged in heavy storms. Common crown repairs include sealant applications and crack patching.
Chimney Foundation Repair
Repair costs for the chimney foundation vary from $1,500 to $3,500. This is one of the most expensive chimney repairs a homeowner may need. The foundation is the structure’s base, and the chimney may start to lean if it breaks or becomes damaged. This can pose a serious safety issue, and a leaning chimney requires extensive repairs.
Chimney Repair Cost by Type of Replacement
Depending on the chimney damage, parts of sections may need to be replaced rather than repaired. The cost to replace chimney parts varies wildly, depending on the part and how much work is required. The table shows common chimney replacements and average costs for each, including parts and labor.
|Type of Replacement
|Average Replacement Costs (Labor Included)
|$100 - $1,000
|$300 - $600
|$300 - $700
|$300 - $800
|$1,000 - $3,000
|$1,200 - $4,600
|$3,000 - $7,000
Chimney Brick Replacement
Homeowners pay from $100 to $1,000 for chimney brick replacement. The price mostly depends on the number of bricks that need replacing and how easy those bricks are to access. Replacing one or two cracked bricks in an easy-to-access area does not cost much, but the total costs are higher if many bricks are damaged and need replacing.
Replace a Chimney Cap
The cost to replace a chimney cap ranges from $300 to $600. A chimney cap might need to be replaced if it is excessively damaged, dented, or cracked from storms. Replace damaged caps to prevent moisture, debris, and pests from entering the chimney flue.
Chimney Chase Cover Replacement
Homeowners pay between $300 and $700 for chimney chase cover replacement. The chimney chase cover sits on top of the chase. It works with the chimney cap to protect the chimney against the elements. It also prevents pests, leaves, dirt, and debris from entering the flue. These parts are bigger than chimney caps, so they may have slightly higher replacement costs.
Replace Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing replacement costs between $300 and $800. The flashing is an important part of the chimney structure because it protects the chimney against rain and general moisture damage. Cracks and holes can appear in the flashing over time or after a big storm, and water might start seeping through. If the damage is too extensive to be patched, the flashing must be replaced.
Chimney Crown Replacement
The cost for chimney crown replacement ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the crown size and amount of work needed to replace it. Crowns are susceptible to brickwork cracks and mortar damage from exposure to the elements. If the damage is left unattended for long, the crown might be unfixable and must be replaced.
Chimney Liner Replacement
The average cost of chimney liner replacement is between $1,200 and $4,600, including removing and disposing of the old liner and installing the new one. The price also varies depending on the liner type and material because simple clay liners are much cheaper than stainless steel liners. Chimney liners are recommended to be installed because they provide an additional layer of protection against fires, corrosion, and wear.
Chimney Flue Replacement
Replacing a chimney flue averages $3,000 to $7,000. This is one of the most expensive chimney repairs. It is rare for flues to need replacing because they can usually be relined or resurfaced to cover damages. However, a replacement might be needed if the flue is extensively damaged.
Cost to Repair a Chimney by Type of Problem
Many problems arise with a chimney, and some problems are more severe than others. Minor cracks in the flue do not cost much or take long to fix, but a leaning chimney stack requires more extensive repairs and costs more. The table below shows common chimney problems and the average costs to fix each.
|Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)
|$150 - $500
|Smoke Coming Inside
|$150 - $1,000
|$300 - $1,000
|$1,000 - $2,500
|$1,500 - $3,500
Leaking Chimney Repair
Homeowners pay between $150 and $500 to have a leaky chimney fixed. Leaks occur when cracks or holes appear or the flashing wears away. This usually happens in the area where the roof meets the chimney. Repairmen must repair or replace the flashing and possibly reseal the damaged area to fix the issue.
Chimney Smoke Coming into a House
Fixing a chimney that blows smoke into a house costs between $150 and $1,000. It can be worrying to see smoke entering a home from the fireplace, and several reasons might cause this. It could be caused by issues with the inside-outside temperature difference, a problem with the chimney cap, or a flue blockage. It may need the blockage cleared, the cap replaced, or a smoke guard fitted to solve the problem.
Cracked Chimney Flue Repair
Repairs for a cracked chimney flue average $300 to $1,000. The cracked tiles usually need to be replaced, and damaged mortar joints also need to be patched. Fix cracked flues quickly because cracked flues allow hazardous gases to leak into the home and moisture and creosote to build up.
Chimney Spalling Repair
The average cost for chimney spalling repairs ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. Spalling is when moisture gets into the chimney structure, entering the masonry or brickwork and leading to cracks and crumbling sections. To repair spalling damage, bricks may need to be replaced, mortar joints need patching, and a waterproof sealant may also be installed to prevent additional damage.
Leaning Chimney Stack Repair
Repairs for a leaning chimney average $1,500 to $3,500. A leaning chimney is a serious problem, usually caused by chimney foundation damage. Mortar in key areas may have eroded, or the foundation may be seriously damaged. To fix this problem, helical piers usually need to be installed to provide the chimney with extra support, or it may require a partial rebuild.
Average Cost of Chimney Repairs by Solution
Depending on the problem, repairmen may use various repair methods and solutions. Usually, a repairman must visit the home and inspect the chimney to diagnose the problem and decide on the best course of action. They may decide to re-mortar the chimney if mortar sections are damaged or recommend other services like repointing or restoration. The table below shows common repair solutions and average costs for each.
|Average Costs (Labor Included)
|$150 - $500
|$150 - $500
|$250 - $4,000
|$500 - $2,500
|$500 - $2,500
|$500 - $4,000
|$1,000 - $2,000
Re-Mortar a Chimney
The average cost for re-mortaring a chimney ranges from $150 to $500. Costs are lower if mortar issues are spotted early, and homeowners pay less if the damage is minor. Costs add up when extensive mortar damage occurs. Re-mortaring is another term for mortar repair and replacement. During this process, cracked and crumbling sections of chimney mortar are patched and replaced with new mortar to strengthen the chimney.
Sealing a chimney costs between $150 and $500. This is also known as chimney waterproofing. During this process, cracks are sealed with mortar, and a waterproofing agent is sprayed onto the chimney to protect it against water damage. This can be a useful service if the chimney is located in an area with heavy rainfall or frequent storms.
Professional chimney restoration ranges from $250 to $4,000 or more for large, elaborate, or difficult-to-access chimneys. Restoration restores a damaged chimney to good condition. This may involve patching cracks, resurfacing, sealing, or rebuilding parts damaged beyond repair.
The average cost for repointing is between $500 and $2,500. The total price depends on the damage, amount of work required, chimney size, and accessibility. Repointing involves restoring the mortar joints and brickwork of the chimney stack. Damages in these areas are patched and fixed to support the stack and prevent further problems.
Homeowners pay between $500 and $2,500 for professional chimney tuckpointing services. Tuckpointing is much like repointing, but the focus is mainly on patching and filling mortar joints to match the surrounding brickwork. This can be an important repair to improve the chimney’s strength, but it can also be done for aesthetic reasons to give the chimney stack a harmonious look.
Rebuild a Chimney
Chimney rebuilding ranges from $500 to $4,000. Rebuilding is when sections of the chimney must be reconstructed due to excessive damage. The cost of a rebuilding project depends on how much of the chimney needs to be rebuilt and the chimney size. Small rebuilds can be done quickly and inexpensively, but extensive rebuilds cost much more.
Parge a Chimney
The average cost to parge a chimney is between $1,000 and $2,000. Parging is done in the smoke chamber. The process involves applying mortar around the interior of the smoke chamber, giving the entire chamber a smooth, balanced surface to improve structural integrity. The mortar covers cracks and crevices to prevent residue or creosote from building up and potentially igniting inside the chamber.
Labor Costs to Repair a Chimney
The labor costs for chimney repair range from $50 to $150 per hour. Work with professional chimney repair companies or specialists who understand the unique aspects of fixing chimneys. Chimney repair is dangerous because chimneys are hard to access, and workers may be exposed to creosote and chemicals, so it is wise to work with licensed and experienced professionals. Many professionals charge a minimum fee of $50 to $100. Many also charge extra if they have to travel long distances. Scaffolding may have to be installed to make it easier to access the chimney. The cost of scaffolding for chimney repair can add an extra $50 to $200 to the total costs.
Emergency Chimney Repair
Homeowners may require urgent, same-day chimney repairs. This can occur if a chimney suffers severe damages after a storm or smoke is coming into the house after lighting a fire. They might also need urgent repairs due to cracks in the flue that could cause poisonous gases to enter the home, or the chimney is leaning heavily and may be at risk of falling. In these situations, homeowners usually pay an extra $100 to $300 for emergency repair services.
A good way to prevent the need for chimney repairs is to keep the chimney in good condition. Homeowners can use several simple maintenance tips and tricks to protect their chimneys.
For example, homeowners are encouraged to sweep chimneys regularly. Sweeping is necessary to clear soot from the chimney. Experts recommend sweeping a chimney after every 50 uses, or a homeowner might want to get it done at the start and/or end of each winter season.
Homeowners should also check their chimney regularly. It might be difficult to inspect the various pieces, but they can keep an eye on the general structure from outside and inspect the area in and around the fireplace for signs of weakness or damage.
Installing chimney caps and covers is another good maintenance tip to reduce the risk of dirt and debris building up inside the flue. They may also want to waterproof and seal the chimney to prevent moisture damage and leaks. It is also a good idea to have regular chimney inspections for $300 to $600.
Repair vs Replace a Chimney
Depending on the problem, there could be a choice between repairing and replacing your chimney.
Cost is an important factor to consider when making this decision. The average costs to replace a chimney range from $4,000 to $8,000. So, it might be more cost-effective to replace the chimney if the repair costs are very high.
Age is also a factor. If the chimney is very old and has suffered damage, it may be best to replace it with a new one so that it does not need more covering or repair costs. A new chimney should be stronger and more solid than an old one.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
The average cost of chimney inspections is between $300 and $600. However, homeowners can get various levels of inspections. A basic Level 1 inspection may cost less than $100, while Level 2 inspections, which are more thorough and include cleaning services, cost more. Inspect chimneys yearly to check for damages or weaknesses.
The national average cost for chimney cleaning ranges from $100 to $300. Prices vary depending on the location and other factors, such as the chimney size and the amount of cleaning needed. Cleaning or sweeping a chimney can be very useful for removing excess dirt and soot.
Poultice Creosote Remover
The cost for poultice creosote removal averages $150 to $400. Poultice creosote is a substance produced when wood or coal is burned. It can build up inside the flue, and an accumulation of creosote is dangerous because it may ignite and cause dangerous chimney fires. Poultice creosote remover removes creosote residue in a chimney.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Warranty. Chimney installations may come with a warranty, so it is wise to check the policy and see if it entitles coverage for damages or problems caused by improper installation.
- Insurance. A home insurance policy may cover the costs of chimney repairs if the damage was done by a covered peril like a storm or lightning strike. However, general wear and tear to chimneys is not usually covered.
- Licensed professional. Always work with a licensed professional when making home repairs. Ensure that the license status of the chimney repair worker or company is up to date.
- DIY. It is not recommended for homeowners to take a DIY approach to chimney repair. It can be very dangerous to get on the roof to repair a chimney if they do not have the necessary tools and experience, and chimneys are dangerous due to gases and chemicals.
- Permit. A permit may be needed before performing chimney repairs, especially for rebuilding or adjusting the brickwork and masonry. Check with the local building authority before starting any repairs.
- Home value. A chimney can add value when it is kept in good condition, so it is wise to quickly identify and fix problems with the chimney to avoid serious issues. Also, inspect and clean it before selling the home.
- Will home insurance cover chimney damage?
It depends on the details of the policy. Some policies cover chimney damage when it was caused by certain perils like storms, but they do not usually cover issues related to the chimney’s general wear and tear.
- What is the best mortar for chimney repair?
A good quality masons mortar mix is used for chimney mortar repairs. The best mixes have a Portland cement base with other key ingredients like sand, limestone, and clay.
- How much should chimney repair cost?
It depends on the problem and the amount of work needed to fix it. Average chimney repair costs range from $250 to $1,200, but prices can be higher or lower.
- When should I rebuild my chimney?
Chimney rebuilding is seen as a last resort and only recommended when the chimney stack, crown, or foundation has suffered serious damage.
- What is the difference between repointing and tuckpointing?
Repointing is a repair process focusing on restoring the chimney stack’s mortar and brickwork. Tuckpointing focuses on the mortar and may be used purely for aesthetic reasons to make the mortar match the surrounding bricks.
- How long does chimney mortar last?
This depends on the mortar type used, how well it was installed, and what risks and weather conditions the chimney is exposed to. In general, mortar lasts between 20 and 30 years.
- How often should you have your chimney checked?
Experts recommend inspecting the chimney yearly. This can spot problems and get them fixed before they develop into serious issues.
- What time of year should you have your chimney swept?
The best time to get the chimney swept is before the burning season, which is usually late fall or early winter. It can also be swept in spring or summer to get it ready for later use.