As we step into the fireplace season, a new task rises on many homeowners’ to-do lists. Yes. It’s time to inspect, and most importantly, repair your chimney.
On a general note, chimney repair cost could be as low as $90 to as expensive as $1,800. If you decide to replace your chimney, you could spend as much as $10,000 or above.
In this comprehensive guide to chimney repair cost, we will answer every question you have about chimney repair, rebuild, and replacement. We will also show you how to find the most cost-effective handyman to do your job right.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Signs You Have a Broken Chimney
- Chimney Repair and Replacement Cost for Individual Parts
- How Much Does it Cost to Repoint a Chimney
- How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Chimney
- Ways to Increase Your Chimney’s Lifespan
- Related Questions
Signs You Have a Broken Chimney
If you have tried to use your fireplace, you most likely know your chimney is broken by now. However, you can also tell by the look of your chimney whether it requires repair.
Altogether, there are six significant signs that you may have a broken chimney.
- White staining, a.k.a efflorescence – if you see discoloration on your chimney, chances are moisture is collecting somewhere inside.
- Rust – do you find rust on your firebox or damper? If so, your chimney is allowing excessive moisture to accumulate.
- Deteriorating mortar joints
- Chimney crown damage
- Shaling – when you see thin slices of tiles collecting in your fireplace.
- Spalling – when bits of masonry collect at the bottom of your chimney.
You know something is wrong with your chimney if you see any of the above symptoms. Naturally, some appear to be more severe than the others.
However, you shouldn’t leave your chimney unattended in general, because a broken chimney could lead to dangerous and dire consequences.
What Happens When You Leave a Broken Chimney Unattended
As the old saying goes, fix it while you can.
If you allow small cracks and falling pieces to continue to deteriorate, your entire chimney may eventually collapse. For one, it is utterly dangerous. Secondly, rebuilding and replacing a chimney is far more costly compared to simple repairs.
Thus, chimney repair cost tends to be a pricier spending on a homeowner’s list. Knowing what you need repair for and finding the right person for the job will be your major saving points with chimney repair.
Chimney Repair and Replacement Cost for Individual Parts
Did you know? You were asking two questions whenever you google how much does chimney repair cost.
The better way of thinking is how much it costs to fix the failing parts and how much it costs to replace the chimney entirely.
In the sections below, we will cover the repair cost for the following chimney parts:
Price Summary For Individual Part Repairs
|Parts||Price (Low)||Price (High)|
($65 per sqft)
($100 per sqft)
And we will go deeper into how much it costs to replace the above chimney parts in each section. We will also discuss the repair cost according to materials.
Chimney Crown Repair Cost
Repairing a chimney crown begins around $150. On average, you will spend no more than $350 on a crown repair. However, sometimes this cost can go up to $500.
A typical crown replacement costs $1,000 to $3,000.
Chimney Mortar Repair Cost
Mortar repair often uses an hourly rate, starting at $50. Alternatively, you may also pay $2 to $4 per square foot for the materials. Assuming you caught mortar issues during an early stage, the repair cost will fall between $200 to $400.
Chimney Flashing Repair Cost
A simple flashing repair only costs $20 to $120. However, in most cases, the flashing needs a full replacement when a homeowner calls for help. By then, you are looking at spending $200 to $500.
Chimney Cap Repair Cost
Fixing your chimney cap or the chimney cover usually costs $150 to $200. If you have specific requirements, the price could quickly go up to $700.
This price is decided by your chimney’s dimension, the season you need the labor, and how accessible your chimney is.
Chimney Flue Repair Cost
If the flue is easily accessible, single flue repair should cost no more than $200. In other cases:
- Repairing significant cracks on the flue could cost $250 up to $1,000 depending on the severity.
- Resurfacing a flue could cost somewhere around $2,000 to $3,500
- Relining a flue is usually $900 – $1,200
- Replacing a flue could be as expensive as $7,000!
You also want to confirm if you need a liner if you are rebuilding the flue.
Chimney Repair Cost by Materials
Another way to approach chimney repair costs is by materials.
How Much Does Chimney Repair Cost? (by Materials)
|Material||Price (Low)||Price (High)|
In general, repairing a brick chimney costs $150 to $1,000. Some contractors may charge additional if your project is 10ft or taller.
Meanwhile, repairing a stucco chimney is usually between $500 to $1,500, or $8 to $50 per sqft. Stucco also provides a waterproof surface upon finishing and is a more preferred material in recent years.
How Much Does it Cost to Repoint a Chimney
There are three subcategories of chimney repointing:
- Repointing a chimney stack usually costs between $500 to $2,000, depending on the size and surface area that needs work done.
- Chimney tuckpointing also costs between $500 to $2,000. Standard repairs do not always require this. The point of tuckpointing is to create a seamless look between the mortar and the bricks.
- Re-mortaring usually costs $2 to $4 per sqft. Depending on your state, the hourly labor charge typically ranges from $50 to $80. Be prepared to spend $200 – $400 on re-mortaring in general.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Chimney
At some point, you know the chimney is beyond repair and needs a replacement. That is when things get more expensive.
How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild a Chimney?
|Type of Rebuild||Price (Low)||Price (High)|
|From the Roofline||$1,000||$3,500|
As the table shows, there are different types of rebuilding. In most cases, you shouldn’t need to rip the entire chimney out. In other cases, a full replacement is the best way to go.
If you only need a few bricks replaced, a partial rebuild is your best option. Usually, a partial replacement covers the top feet of a large chimney. This is affordable and time-saving since you don’t need to tear the entire stack out.
Partial replacement costs from $600 to $1,000
Rebuilding from the Roofline
This means you are tearing down the full stack. A stack replacement costs between $1,000 to $3,500 and is required when your chimney has significant deteriorations, such as giant vertical cracks.
Average Cost to Rebuild a Chimney
If you need a full rebuild, meaning you are going from the fireplace to the crown, then the cost can be high. This is only required when structural damage is present both above and below the roofline.
A full rebuild costs $4,000 to $15,000 on average.
Ways to Increase Your Chimney’s Lifespan
Luckily, there are ways to increase your chimney’s lifespan so you can save some good money on repair and replacement. The best part? Some of these maintenance methods are free or only need to be done once.
Waterproofing Your Chimney
The most straightforward method is to waterproof your chimney. Waterproofing makes your chimney more weather-resistant. In return, you avoid building up excessive moisture, cracking, and leakage.
On average, chimney waterproofing costs $150 to $250. If other repairs are needed before applying the sealant, then the cost will naturally increase. For any non-major repair and proofing, you’d look at a total cost of $400 to $600.
You can easily DIY waterproofing with waterproof elastomeric coating materials. They are available at most hardware stores and building supply stores.
Conducting Regular Maintenance
Like all other parts in your home, regular maintenance extends your chimney’s lifespan. It also allows you to catch breaking and destruction at an early stage.
As we’ve discussed above, early repairs are much more affordable than major fix-ups. Therefore, investing in regular maintenance is a better deal in the long run.
Clean your Chimneys
If you notice your fire burning less strongly, your chimney might need a cleaning. According to the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211, your fireplace and chimney need to be inspected at least once a year for soundness, safety, and integrity.
However, the actual cleaning frequency depends on how often you use your fireplace. If you are burning on a daily basis, you definitely want to do partial cleaning more regularly.
Partial cleaning can be done by yourself without any additional costs If you have a wood stove chimney, you can clean it from bottom to top. The same applies to classic fireplaces.
Hire a Professional Maintenance person
If you’d prefer to hire a professional chimney maintenance contractor, you will be spending somewhere between $85 to $100 per cleaning. Depending on where you live, this price could go up to $350 or more.
The national average for chimney maintenance is $242.
Replace Your Brick Chimney With a Metal One
Many new homes now use a steel flue instead of a brick or mortar one because metal chimneys are more durable and cost-effective.
A regular stainless steel chimney liner costs $625 to $1,250 per installation kit. In the meantime, aluminum liners are more affordable and fall between $100 to $300 per kit. If you are hiring someone, then make sure to add on the labor costs.
What affects the cost of repair?
Other than the scope of the project, a few additional features also affect your cost of repair. These include:
- Materials. In general, brick is the most expensive material to work with, followed by mortar, masonry, and stucco.
- Style. Do you have any specific requirements for your chimney? Additional stylistic needs always drive the overall cost up. Therefore many homeowners pay a professional for the fundamental jobs and handle the style issues themselves.
- Dimension. The dimension of your chimney can significantly affect the cost of repair.
- Geography. Each state has its own labor cost average. Some states simply have higher hourly rates.
If you are hiring a contractor to do the repair, make sure you know how to avoid overcharging. Always get multiple bids from different contractors before making a decision.
If my fireplace is already damaged, how much does it cost to repair the fireplace?
On average, fixing a fireplace costs something around $489. Depending on what type of fireplace you are fixing or repairing, the cost can go above $2,000 very quickly.
Repairing gas fireplace costs between $162 to $827. Repairing a traditional fireplace or a wood stove costs about the same. If you are repairing an outdoor fireplace, you may consider adding some weather-resistance touchups on top of the regular repairs.
Replacing a fireplace can start at $1,500 and go up to $5,000 or more. The wisdom behind these numbers is to check your fireplace regularly, so you don’t have to do a full replacement.
How much does a new brick chimney cost?
Even though there are plenty of affordable alternatives to brick chimneys, some homeowners simply love the brick material.
In short, a new brick chimney costs $60 to $200 per linear foot, and a brick fireplace would cost an additional $2,000 to $5,000. Since an average chimney is 15ft tall in total, you are looking at $2,900 to $8,000 for a full brick rebuild.
Can I repair the chimney by myself?
The quick answer is yes. Of course, you can.
For minor cracks and leakage, any homeowner with minor construction knowledge can repair by himself. You can even repoint the mortar and replace damaged bricks yourself without too many difficulties.
However, make sure you are properly protected throughout the project. Violating safety codes can cause severe bodily damage. If someone reports you for unsafe construction, you could also face a fine.