Fireplaces bring comfort to a home throughout the chilly season, but one without a functioning chimney is dangerous. If your chimney is in need of repair, be prepared to spend between $200 and $1,050, or a national average of $635, to have it repaired by a professional roofer.
There are several factors that determine the cost of a chimney repair job, including the extent of the damage, the material of your chimney, and which parts need to be fixed or replaced.
In this article:
- Average Chimney Repair Costs
- Cost Estimator by Chimney Material
- Cost Estimator by Type of Chimney Repair
- Related Services
- Cost by Location
Average Chimney Repair Costs
|National Average Cost
|Typical Price Range
|$200 – $1,050
|Extreme Low End Cost
|Extreme High End Cost
While you’ll most likely pay between $200 and $1,050 for a chimney repair, the overall cost will depend on the extent of the damage, material of the chimney, and which parts need to be fixed or replaced.
Stucco and brick are some of the more expensive materials commonly used for chimneys. Additionally, more extensive repairs like replacing crumbling brick, smoothing out a smoke chamber with mortar, correcting structural damage, or fixing a leaning stack can set you back up to $4,300.
Smaller chimney repair jobs, like sealing a leak or replacing a chimney cap, can cost as little as $110.
Cost Estimator by Chimney Material
Estimating chimney repair cost can be challenging without knowing the specific problem that needs to be fixed. That being said, the material your chimney is made of can give us some insight into what kind of price range you’re looking at.
Brick chimneys, aka masonry chimneys, are popular for their attractiveness and the value that they add to a home, but they will eventually wear from weather and erosion. The average cost of a brick chimney repair is $210 to $1,165.
A simple re-mortaring would be on the lower end, while a more extensive repair like flue damage, spalling of the bricks, or a leaning chimney stack could lead to a costly repair. The number of damaged bricks will also determine how much you spend on a repair.
A stucco chimney, with its smooth finish and waterproof surface, is one of the pricier choices. The average cost of a stucco chimney repair is $690 to $2,475.
Often, homeowners will apply stucco to an old brick-and-mortar chimney to extend the chimney’s life. The price of stucco is more affordable than a complete chimney rebuild.
Metal chimneys are desirable for their low cost compared to brick and stucco and for their durability. The average cost of a metal chimney repair is $235 to $1,200.
Metal can dent in a heavy storm, which can lead to smoke chamber and flue issues. Therefore, it’s not the ideal choice for areas with frequent heavy rainfall.
Prefabricated chimneys, similar to metal, can dent in heavy storms, as they are usually made from sheet metal, such as stainless or galvanized steel. The difference is that prefabricated chimneys are made in a factory and later installed in your home. Their purpose is more for decoration or ambience than for heating. The average cost of a prefabricated chimney repair is $235 to $1,200.
|Average Repair Cost
|$210 – $1,165
|$690 – $2,475
|$235 – $1,200
|$235 – $1,200
Cost Estimator by Type of Chimney Repair
Most chimney repair jobs won’t include just one repair, but multiple. It’s important, when calculating your repair estimate, to factor in each specific type of repair instead of focusing on the generic average. This will give you the most accurate estimate.
The following estimates include the average cost of materials and labor.
Chimney Cap Repair
Chimney caps sit on the very top of the chimney stack, protecting your fireplace from rain, snow, and debris, and containing the hot embers.
Prepare to pay between $150 and $385, on average, for a chimney cap repair. A simple repair will cost closer to the lower estimate, while a total replacement of the cap will cost closer to the higher estimate.
Chimney Crown Repair
The chimney crown is the concrete that sits at the top of the chimney, just below the chimney cap. Its purpose is to help keep rain and pests out, protect the brick and mortar, and keep hot embers in.
Time is of the essence with chimney crown repair because cracks, left unrepaired, can lead to major issues that will require a total chimney crown replacement. The average chimney crown repair costs between $150 and $335.
Chimney Flue Repair
The flue of the chimney is a tunnel that allows the smoke to flow out. A cracked flue is extremely dangerous, as it can leak hazardous gasses into your home.
Chimney flue repair costs $275 to $1,000 on average. Professionals charge between $65 to $100 per square foot. A single cracked flue tile repair will be about $200, while a higher cost flue repair would be relining, which provides ventilation through the flue while protecting the brick from decay and creosote buildup.
Wood Rot Repair
Wood rot poses a leak threat in chimneys. When repairing wood rot, repair people have to remove the rotted wood, replace it with new wood, and seal the area.
The cost of wood rot repair, depending solely on the amount of wood needing to be replaced, averages between $150 and $400. If the wood rot damage is so extensive that it causes structural damage, it’ll require a full replacement or removal of your chimney.
Chimney Flashing Repair
Chimney flashing is made of sheet metal and found where the roofline and chimney meet. It protects chimneys from rain and general moisture damage.
Due to weather, cracks and holes will appear over time and will need to be patched. If the damage is extensive enough, the flashing may need to be replaced altogether. You’re looking at a cost between $225 and $540 for a chimney flashing repair.
Chimney sealing, also known as waterproofing, is useful in areas with heavy rainfall. Any cracks found in the brick and mortar are sealed with new mortar, and a waterproof agent is sprayed thoroughly onto the repaired chimney.
On average, sealing a chimney will cost between $160 and $420. If your brick is already spalling, however, it is too late to waterproof (see Spalling Repair below).
Leaning Chimney Stack Repair
The leaning of a chimney stack can be caused by a settling foundation, mortar joints that have eroded, or an alteration to the structure. In the case of a leaning chimney, it is best to have a structural engineer do a safety inspection.
The average cost to repair a leaning chimney stack is between $1,250 and $4,000. Gaps that appear between the chimney and siding, causing water damage, will need to be repaired. A severely leaning stack, with mortar joints that have eroded, requires a full rebuild or removal.
Spalling, or the crumbling of brick, occurs when moisture seeps into a chimney’s bricks, causing structural damage.
Bricks may need to be replaced, mortar joints may need repairing, and waterproof sealant will need to be applied. For this reason, spalling repairs can be quite costly with an average of $1,000 to $2,835.
Re-mortaring costs an average of $165 to $465. The cost will be lower if the issue is caught early on before brick damage occurs, because you can save a lot of money by reusing the bricks.
Repointing is the process of removing and repairing mortar in order to prevent a chimney collapse. It involves restoring the mortar joints and brickwork and, therefore, will cost you a hefty $550 to $2,500.
Tuckpointing is a process focused on filling in and patching mortar in order to match the surrounding brickwork. It is often used for aesthetic purposes and not necessarily to repair the damage. This, like repointing, will set you back about $550 to $2,500.
Smoke Chamber Parging
Parging is the process of applying a fresh coat of mortar to a chimney’s brick to give the smoke chamber a smoother surface. This process will improve the safety of your fireplace, increase its structural integrity, and reduce the build-up of creosote within the smoke chamber, which is a tar-like substance that accumulates with lingering smoke.
Depending on the size of your smoke chamber and the cost of mortar, this repair process can cost between $950 and $2,000.
|Type of Repair
|Average Cost for Repair
|$150 – $385
|$150 – $335
|$275 – $1,000
|$150 – $400
|$225 – $540
|$160 – $420
|$1,250 – $4,000
|$1,000 – $2,835
|$165 – $465
|$550 – $2,500
|$550 – $2,500
|$950 – $2,000
While there are a number of factors contributing to the cost of a chimney repair, there are also additional jobs, often done in conjunction with the repairs, which can be costly. Some of these include:
After damage from a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or lightning strike, you will want a chimney inspection. A chimney inspection will cost you between $140 and $460.
There are different levels of inspections offered, some including a more extensive inspection or even cleaning services, but all of them involve assessing the structural integrity of the chimney based on the condition of its parts and materials.
A chimney sweep, or chimney cleaning service, often goes hand in hand with a chimney repair. Chimney cleaning costs an additional $110 to $290. Factors of the chimney sweep cost will depend on size, location, and the amount of cleaning needed.
Heavy cleanings, like those to remove creosote and soot buildup from your chimney’s smoke chamber, will cost more than a general sweep.
If a chimney endures weather damage or springs a leak, there may be residual damage to the surrounding roof, as well. While the cost of roof repairs varies based on the size of the roof, accessibility of the roof, and roof material, homeowners typically spend an additional $348 to $1,186 for roof repair, on top of the cost of chimney repair.
Cost of Chimney Repair by Location
Both chimney materials and labor rates will vary based on where in the country you’re located. You’ll pay more for the same service in a metropolitan area, like New York City or Los Angeles, compared to a rural area.
The climate in your area will also be a huge factor in chimney repair cost. Chimneys in areas with frequent heavy storms and freezing temperatures are susceptible to more damage than in areas without.
FAQ About Chimneys and Chimney Repairs
Chimneys can last between 50 and 100 years, depending on how well they’ve been maintained throughout their lifetime. Important factors affecting the lifespan of a chimney include waterproofing, location, and chimney caps.
Here are some tips for helping your chimney last longer:
• Waterproofing: Moisture will break down even the toughest of materials, so waterproofing your chimney is essential for long life.
• Central location on the roof: Chimneys located in the middle of homes are not exposed to the elements like a chimney located on the outskirts of a home, therefore, centrally-located chimneys will last longer.
• Chimney cap: Use a chimney cap to protect the material of chimneys, particularly brick, by keeping debris and rain out.
There are several signs to look out for that will let you know your chimney is in need of repair. These include:
• A bad smell coming through the fireplace during hot weather
• An air draft in the fireplace
• Water in the fireplace or moisture in the surrounding drywall
• Creosote and soot buildup, which can lead to a chimney fire
• Gasses and smoke from the flue are unable to escape and leak back into the home
• Cracked or spalling bricks
• Noticeable crown weathering
It is not advisable to repair a chimney on your own, especially without any experience. There are specific safety procedures that must be followed when dealing with gasses and chemicals or when working on a roof, not to mention the specific equipment that is required. It’s best to leave this job to the professionals.
The coverage of a chimney repair will depend on your specific home insurance policy. Most home insurance policies will cover chimney damage caused by a covered event, such as a lightning strike or fire. However, insurance will not cover damage due to age, normal wear, and tear, or neglect.
For example, a fire caused by creosote buildup in the chimney will most likely not be covered because the presence of creosote implies that the chimney was not properly maintained.
Where to Find a Chimney Repair Pro
All in all, chimney repair is not an inexpensive job. Even so, due to the potential dangers of a damaged chimney, it is important that you refrain from using your fireplace until the proper repairs or replacements have been made.
Because of the specific procedures that must be followed in order to perform the repairs safely, it is strongly advised that you hire a chimney repair professional instead of attempting a DIY project.