Chimneys age and require regular maintenance to prevent problems from becoming severe and more costly.
The most common chimney problems are a result of cracks, whether in the bricks and mortar or in the crown.
Chimney repairs average $200 - $400 and roughly $2,000 - $10,000 to replace completely.
Let's take a closer look at chimney repair costs and when replacement is necessary...
Brick and Mortar Repair
Average Cost: $200 - $2,000
As seasons and temperatures change, mortar joints expand and contract, which can lead to cracks.
Cracks in a chimney allow smoke, carbon monoxide, and potentially stray embers to get into walls or onto roofs.
Cracks typically form at corners before developing anywhere else, though cracks running down the middle of the back of the fireplace are common, too.
If found early, a simple repair of the mortar can fix the problem.
If chimney cracks are left untreated, it can lead to an increased risk of fire, structural damage, and repair costs sometimes costing $3,000 or more.
If cracks are the only issue with the chimney, you can expect to pay around $200 at least.
A complete rebuilding of your chimney from the crown to just below the roofline can cost $1,000 - $3,500 or more.
A full chimney demolition all the way down to the fireplace can cost $10,000 or more.
Average Cost: $200 - $500
Water can leak in through cracks, which can cause mold and wood rot.
This damage usually occurs at the roofline via flashing and seals that have gone bad.
Rainwater is mildly acidic, and when it combines with creosote in the chimney, it can lead to rusty and failing dampers. The incoming water can wreak havoc on existing mortar, damaging any wood near the fireplace, like ceilings, floors, walls, etc.
Repairing water damage in a chimney averages $200 - $500.
Average Cost: $200 - $400
Chimney crowns service a number of purposes:
- Directs rain from entering the chimney flue.
- Protects the chimney’s brick and mortar.
- Prevents pests from entering the chimney.
- Prevents sparks from flying out of the chimney and onto your roof.
Because of chimney crowns’ importance, damage can become quite costly. Water enters the cracks, which leads to significant damage to the bricks and mortar of the chimney and potentially your home’s structural frame.
If you live in an area where it gets cold and the water has a chance to freeze, it can cause the crown’s cracks to get bigger, leading to more cracks and more water leaks.
Eventually, the cracks can compromise the entire chimney and fireplace integrity. This will require replacement, which can cost as much as $10,000 or more.
All this can be avoided by maintaining your chimney crown and repairing it when necessary. If caught early, crown repairs generally cost $400 or less.
Regular chimney maintenance is the best defense against costly repairs and replacements. Schedule annual chimney maintenance with a local professional in your area to keep your chimney in tip-top shape.
Repairing cracks, water damage, and chimney removal are all jobs best left to the professionals. Making repairs yourself can be dangerous, inefficient, and more expensive in the long run, so find a qualified chimney repair and removal specialist to handle the work.