Here's How Much A Chimney Repair Will Cost You

There's nothing more relaxing than curling up in front of a warm fire on a chilly evening, but It's important to keep your chimney working properly by addressing any necessary repairs. The average cost to repair a chimney is $635 — although there are several factors that will affect this estimate. The amount will depend on the area of the chimney that needs to be repaired and the materials required to make the improvement. While some repairs are just minor adjustments, a larger restoration that affects the structure of the chimney will result in a higher price tag.

While the cost of repairing a chimney may seem daunting, the price of not making a necessary repair is even more alarming. Tiny cracks that begin to develop in the structure can cause serious damage to the home and pose a dangerous threat to those living inside. For example, water can leak through cracks that develop, damaging the roof or the drywall in the rooms below. If carbon monoxide seeps into the home through these small cracks, it can be life-threatening. A chimney that is structurally unsound carries a risk of collapsing, while even a small fissure can pose the risk of fire spreading from the living room to the roof or other parts of the home. Here's a look at several types of common repairs and what they cost.

Protection from the elements

Beginning with the least expensive types of repairs, it will cost between $150 and $385 to repair or replace the chimney cap or crown. The cap is the covering that sits at the very top of the chimney to keep precipitation out of the fireplace, and the crown is the concrete piece that is situated below the cap. These two pieces work together to contain hot embers so they don't reach the roof area. Repairing or replacing any wood rot around the stack may cost between $150 and $400. Wood rot could cause the stack to become unstable if left unaddressed for too long. When faced with the choice of making this repair or the possibility of replacing the entire chimney, this is a preventative measure that is definitely worth taking.

In order to protect your roof and home from costly leaks, expect to spend between $225 and $540 to repair the chimney flashing. The flashing is the sheet metal positioned at the intersection of the chimney and the roofline, and it will inevitably start to show signs of weathering over time. You can also prevent rain damage by re-mortaring the chimney and then sealing it to make it waterproof. This kind of work will cost between $160 and $465, and it is especially helpful in climates that receive a lot of rain.

Erosion repair

A crack in the flue, which is the long duct that removes the smoke from the house, can pose a dangerous threat of leaking poisonous gas into your home, and it can also create a dangerous fire hazard. Brock Brocklehurst works as both a chimney inspector and a firefighter in Zanesville, Ohio, making him an expert when it comes to chimney fires. "Flues have clay liners that have to be in good shape. Chimney fires happen so fast," he explains. "Heat will seek out the smallest crack, it will stop and go in the crack and burn your house down. The big danger is cracks in the flue wall," (via Times Recorder). To prevent this type of disaster, prepare to spend between $275 and $1,000.

When the chimney has experienced significant erosion over time, the repairs can become more costly and often require a structural engineer to assist with the work. Spalling is when the bricks have begun to crumble, which means that the mortar joints have been compromised as well. Addressing this type of issue will cost between $1,000 and $2,835. Tuckpointing and repointing both involve replacing the mortar either to improve the appearance of the chimney or to prevent it from weakening and disintegrating. Both of these repairs will cost between $550 to $2,500.

Structural repair

One potentially dangerous result of using a fireplace on a regular basis is the buildup of creosote in the chimney. Creosote is a tar-like material that coats the interior of the flue, and it is highly combustible. Smoke chamber parging (applying a thin coat of mortar) will help reduce this risk by smoothing the chamber, and costs between $950 and $2,000. It may also be necessary at some point to repair a chimney that has begun to lean, often as a result of a foundation that has settled or when the mortar joints have started to deteriorate. In this case, it's important to consult with a structural engineer to estimate the work that needs to be done. This kind of repair can easily cost between $1,250 and $4,000.

An important matter to factor into the cost of any repair is the type of materials used. For example, chimneys made of brick, metal, or prefabricated materials will fall within a similar range of costs, however, repairing a chimney made of stucco will cost more. As you consider these kinds of repairs and their respective price tags, it's worth noting that an annual chimney inspection only costs about $140, a reasonable amount compared with the alternatives. A regular chimney inspection will protect your chimney from serious damage and is a worthwhile investment for the safety of your family.