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Chimney Repair Costs

chimney-repair-costs

A fireplace is a beautiful and cozy addition to your home, but it is important to keep your chimney in good repair and up to code in order to prevent leaks, carbon monoxide and smoke intrusion, and chimney fires. Chimney damage can be caused by a number of issues, from inclement weather and earthquakes to simple weathering over time. When it’s time to complete your chimney repairs, finding the right chimney repair service at the right price may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, if you are looking for accurate cost estimates related to chimney repair, you are in the right place!

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Average chimney repair costs, by component and material
  • Additional costs for chimney repairs and modifications
  • Costs for chimney removal and sealing
  • Whether homeowner insurance covers your chimney repairs
  • Ways to save money on your chimney repairs

What Is The Average Cost To Repair A Chimney?

The cost of repairing your chimney will depend greatly on the type of chimney, the components that must be repaired, their location, and the amount of damage to be repaired. Below is a short summary of the average cost per repair.

Chimney Crown Repair Cost

Chimney crowns are the first part of your chimney to be exposed to the elements, and unchecked damage can result in increasingly expensive damage to the rest of your chimney. The crown of your chimney is a slab of concrete that protects your chimney’s flue, brick, and mortar from rain, pest intrusion, and keeping your roof safe from flying sparks.

The crown of your chimney can be damaged in a number of ways. Cracks can collect moisture, which can eat away at the cement, mortar, brick, or metal of your crown. It is therefore important to have your chimney crown repaired as soon as you detect a problem. Depending on the extent of the damage, your crown repair can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000. More extensive damage can increase your repair costs.

Cap Repair Cost

Your chimney cap is the metal cap perched at the top of the flue that prevents water leaks that can damage the interior of your chimney. Caps can become damaged due to extended exposure to moisture, high winds, hail, ice, and other inclement weather conditions. Fortunately, chimney cap replacement is relatively inexpensive, ranging from $60 to $250, depending on the cap material and whether you have it installed or DIY. As with any chimney component, it is critical to complete your cap replacement as soon as possible, as moisture leakage into your chimney can cause more expensive problems over time.

Chimney Flue Repair Cost

Your chimney flue is the clay, ceramic, or metal passage between your fireplace and the outdoors. Its purpose is to direct heat and fumes out of your home without causing damage to the surrounding area. Over time, your flue can be damaged by leaking water due to exterior deterioration, structural damage from an impact or earthquake, or extended exposure to high temperatures and smoke from chimney use. If your flue is unlined, the cost to repair damage to flue tiles or resurface a cracked flue interior can range from $65 to $100 per foot. If you need to install or replace a chimney liner or flue liner, expect to pay between $2,500 and $7,000, depending on the liner material, insulation requirements, flue length, and diameter.

Leak Repair Cost

Water leaks are the cause of most problems experienced by chimney owners. The cost of fixing a leak depends greatly on the location of the leak, the extent of the damage, and the type of material that must be repaired or replaced. A leaky chimney can be caused by cracks, rust or deterioration in the crown, cap, flue, liner, flashing, or masonry of your chimney. Your chimney sweep will often be able to detect a leak by noting the presence of creosote, or mineral buildup, on the brickwork of your chimney. To fix a leak, it is important not only to repair the source but to trace and repair any damage that has occurred as soon as possible.

Remember that every part of your chimney is constructed to direct harmful smoke, gases, and sparks out of your home. A damaged flue may not direct heat or smoke correctly, increasing the potential for smoke and heat to escape into your home. Similarly, a damaged damper, firebox, or smoke chamber can reduce the efficiency of your fireplace and allow smoke and fumes to blow back down the chimney and into your home. Cracked or deteriorated exterior components that have been eroded by moisture can allow excess heat and sparks to escape, significantly increasing the risk of fire. Left unchecked, a water leak can cause spalling and structural damage to your chimney that makes it very expensive to repair or replace, so time is of the essence.

Water damage from a leak is cumulative, so be sure to check your entire chimney for water damage. Due to the wide range of issues, repair costs for leaks vary widely, from under $100 to replace a cap to over $7,000 for a full flue replacement. If your damper has rusted due to a water leak, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for cleaning and rust removal. However, the costs will be higher if it is necessary to remove or replace chimney components.

Flashing Repair Cost

The flashing of your chimney is a protective layer of sealant material installed around the chimney where it meets your roof. The primary purpose of flashing is to act as a waterproofing sealer that prevents moisture from leaking around your chimney and roofline into your roofing, insulation, and interior. It is critical to repair chimney flashing as soon as a leak is detected, as water intrusion can cause rot, mold, microbial growth, and structural damage.

The cost of repairing or replacing your chimney flashing depends largely on the type of chimney and the amount of damage to be repaired. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500 to replace the flashing, but repair costs will likely be higher if there is damage to surrounding areas.

Leaning Repair Cost

If your chimney is leaning, it is a sign of a serious problem that should be repaired as quickly as possible. Not only does a leaning chimney create gaps in your roof where pests and water can intrude, but there is also a risk of falling bricks and masonry from the top of the chimney. A leaning chimney is typically caused by a structural or foundation issue, which generally requires that the chimney foundation be repaired or replaced. Depending on the size and design of the chimney and the extent of the damage, repairs for a leaning chimney fall between $1,200 and $3,000.

What Is The Average Cost To Repair A Chimney By Material?

Chimney repair costs are largely dependent on the type of material that your chimney is made of. The two most common chimney materials are brick and stucco.

Brick Chimney

Repairing your brick and mortar chimney may be as simple as replacing and re-mortaring a few bricks, which can cost as little as $200 for small cracks and up to $2,000 for extensive repairs. For widespread water damage or foundation issues, costs can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

Stucco Chimney

When caught early, cracks or damage to stucco can often be repaired at a cost between $8 and $50 per square foot. If there is more extensive damage to the stucco or the substrate that requires removal or replacement, the cost can increase by thousands of dollars.

Check out the video below for a comprehensive chimney repair checklist:

What Are Additional Costs For Repairing A Chimney?

In addition to component and structural repairs, masonry chimneys often require additional attention, including chimney repointing and re-mortaring.

Chimney Repoint Cost

Chimney repointing, also known as tuckpoint, is the process of re-applying mortar to the mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney to prevent cracks and leaks. Contractors will add new mortar, filling in the gaps and holes where the previous mortar has been worn away. In addition, they may add caulk to provide additional waterproofing. On average, you can expect to pay $10 per square foot for chimney repointing.

Chimney Re-Mortar Cost

Chimney re-mortaring is synonymous with chimney repointing and tuckpointing. As with repointing, it involves the reapplication of mortar to damaged and worn mortar in a brick and mortar chimney.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Chimney?

Whether your chimney is beyond repair due to age, earthquakes, weather, or other events, chimney removal can be expensive. Full chimney removal involves taking out the entire chimney, including the portion inside your house, so you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 or more. Should you choose to remove your chimney in full, be sure to consult with an engineer to ensure that the structural integrity of your home is not compromised, and determine whether a new chimney should be installed.

How Much Does It Cost To Seal A Chimney?

Rather than removing your chimney altogether, you can opt for partial removal, which involves removing only the visible outer stack and sealing the opening. This procedure is less expensive than full removal, with a cost between $400 and $1,000.  Sealing your chimney can also help improve your overall energy efficiency by reducing unwanted airflow into and out of the home.

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Chimney Repair?

Homeowners insurance will sometimes cover your chimney repair, but it depends on the terms of your policy and the nature of the damage. If, for example, your chimney requires repairs due to flooding or other water damage, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover repairs, though your flood insurance might. When obtaining estimates for your chimney repairs, be sure to contact your homeowners insurance to see whether they will cover the damage, what the coverage parameters are, and whether they have a preferred contractor.

How To Save Money Repairing A Chimney

Repairing a chimney can be an expensive endeavor, but there are a number of ways for you to save money repairing your chimney. First, be sure to contact your homeowners insurance carrier. Even if your policy does not cover damage to chimneys, insurance companies often partner with select companies to offer discounted rates.

Although the least expensive way to finance your chimney repair is to pay cash, there are also financing options available. If your contractor offers financing, be sure to read the contract thoroughly so that you are not subject to high fees and interest rates. Take the time to look into other financing options in order to find the best deal, and check with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to see if you are eligible for assistance such as FHA Title I Property Improvement Loans, which may offer better interest rates than private financing.

How to Hire a Chimney Repair Company

In addition to financing, you can save yourself money by thoroughly vetting your potential chimney repair companies. Many chimney repair companies offer free chimney inspections in order to assess the damage and provide you with an estimate. When selecting a company, be sure to get multiple bids that are apples-to-apples, with the same services, hourly estimates, materials, and warranties. Keep in mind that a very low estimate may be too good to be true, and check to ensure that there are no additional fees or add-ons that may bloat your repair costs after the work begins.

Chimney Maintenance and Timely Repair is Critical

To keep your chimney repair costs low, constant vigilance and regular chimney maintenance are key. If you believe your chimney requires attention, be sure to take care it as quickly as possible. The longer you wait to repair damage, the more costly repairs will become.

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