Chimney Repair Costs 2024

By Melissa Brock · May 07, 2024 · 14 minute read

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Chimney Repair Costs 2024

Fewer things are more comforting than a crackling fire on a chilly day, but what happens when your chimney needs a little TLC? Repairs generally cost between $160 to $750, with an average repair running around $455, according to HomeAdvisor. But the amount you end up paying will depend on several factors such as the type of repair needed, your chimney’s materials, and labor costs.

Even if you only light your fireplace for part of the year, you’ll want to fix any chimney problems as soon as you can. A damaged chimney could increase the risk of a fire or prevent toxic gasses from passing safely into the air outside.

Here’s a closer look at common chimney repair costs so you can plan accordingly.

Factors That Impact Chimney Repair Cost

If a chimney is well maintained, you can expect it to last for 50 to 100 years. Still, it’s a good idea to carve out space in your household budget for occasional maintenance and repairs. When you’re planning how to pay for the fixes, keep in mind that several different factors can impact your chimney repair costs.

Type of Repair

The type of repair can impact the overall cost of a project. For example, capping repair usually involves replacing the very top cap on your chimney. This type of project typically costs between $150 to $300, according to HomeAdvisor.

Another common repair is fixing the mortar and bricks in a chimney. The job might entail tuckpointing, which incorporates two different mortar colors to make the chimney look newer. Masonry chimney repair costs usually cost between $300 and $1,500, while prefab chimneys cost less because they have fewer components. The job typically costs between $250 and $1,200.

Lining repair involves fixing the chimney liner, which, when cracked, can pose a fire risk. Chimney liners cost between $625 to $7,000, with a national average of $2,500.

Recommended: What Are the Most Common Home Repair Costs?

Type of Chimney

Chimney types vary by material, and this can impact how much a repair costs. Four common types of chimneys include brick, stucco, metal, and prefabricated.

Depending on how much damage there is, brick chimneys cost $175 to $1,000 on average to repair, though you can expect to pay more for more significant work. If you’re fixing a metal and prefabricated chimney, plan on paying in the neighborhood of $200 to $1,200, depending on how extensive the damage is.

Have a stucco chimney? You’ll likely need to pay more to have it repaired. Projects typically run between $570 to $1,920, though bigger jobs can run as high as $4,200.


Professional chimney repairs usually cost between $50 and $200 per hour. That said, the more damage there is, the harder the damaged area is to reach, and the more time a project requires, the more you may end up paying in labor costs.

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Additional Costs

A repair may not be the only cost you encounter. Chances are, you might also pay for routine chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, ongoing maintenance, and permits.

Chimney Inspection

Whether you’re buying a fixer upper or renovating your current home, you should plan on having your chimney inspected by a professional once a year. The condition a chimney is in determines the type of inspection it needs. There are three levels of inspection:

•   Level one inspection: A level one inspection is an annual routine inspection and typically costs between $100 and $950.

•   Level two inspection: A level two inspection goes a step further to include a more extensive investigation into potential structural issues caused by recent damage. It costs between $200 and $1,000.

•   Level three inspection: A level three inspection looks at every part of a chimney, inside and outside, which may require taking out walls or portions of the chimney. It costs between $500 and $5,000.

Chimney Cleaning

Cleaning a chimney typically runs between $120 and $390, or an average of $250. If your chimney has not been maintained well, there may be heavy creosote buildup or other damage. This could lead to a higher clean-up bill of up to $5,000.

Ongoing Chimney Maintenance

All chimneys need regular maintenance. Depending on the type of upkeep required, you may pay for a simple cleaning (an average cost of $250). But if a chimney repair contractor finds that your chimney restoration needs more attention, you could pay more.

Permits and Related Fees

Once you find a contractor and finalize your plans, work can begin. Keep in mind that before constructing or changing the outside dimensions of a structure, your contractor will need to secure a building permit. A building permit generally costs $50 to $300 for small jobs.

Types of Chimney Repairs

From the crown to the flashing, we’ll look at the various parts of the chimney and what it might cost to fix each one.

Stack Repair

The chimney stack is the part of the chimney that appears above the roof. Chunks of missing masonry, crumbling brickwork, and visible cracks can signal that your chimney stack needs to be repaired.

Mortar Repair

Mortar acts as a buffer between the bricks in a chimney. But that buffer can crack and deteriorate from movement and pressure, so pay attention to how your mortar looks from year to year.

Repair could involve repointing and/or tuckpointing. Repointing means removing and replacing damaged mortar joints, while tuckpointing uses two different colors of mortar to make the mortar joints look different.

Crown Repair

The crown is the top part of the chimney and prevents rainwater from getting into your chimney. Typically made of concrete, the crown should be checked for visible cracks, deterioration, wall damage, and pooling water.

Cap Repair

Chimney caps, usually made of steel or copper mesh, sit on the crown at the very top of the chimney. The cap covers the flue, or the duct that allows smoke to leave the chimney. Caps also keep rainwater, animals, and debris from entering the chimney. Missing tops, rusted screens, creosote accumulation, and screen holes can all indicate that your chimney cap needs attention.

Foundation Repair

Chimneys often have their own foundations, but they sometimes settle. This could allow moisture, critters, and other items to enter your home. Look for a crumbling foundation, which might also present fire hazards and falling bricks and mortar.

Liner Repair

A chimney liner, or flue liner, is the vertical passage located inside your chimney that carries fumes to the outdoors. Similar to an exhaust pipe, the flue keeps wasteful gasses from spreading into your chimney cavity.

There are some signs that yours may need a replacement, including finding broken shards and flakes of parts of your chimney and smoke in your home. It’s a good idea to consider replacing your chimney liner if it’s older. Less-expensive models should last up to five years, while a well-constructed liner can usually be counted on for up to 20 years.

Wood Rot Repair

Wood rot can compromise your home’s structural integrity and affect any part of the chimney that has wood in it: the crown, cap, or flue liner. Indications of wood rot might include discoloration or staining, a musty smell, cracks in the wood, and evidence of pests.

Smoke Chamber Repair

The smoke chamber refers to the part of the chimney located just above the damper and connects the firebox to the flue. It guides smoke from a fire up into the flue and out of your home. Since many smoke chambers contain steps, gaps, and holes, they can contain flammable creosote and soot buildup.

Flashing Repair

The flashing of a chimney joins the roof to the chimney and is made of aluminum, steel, copper, vinyl, or PVC. The flashing should last 30 years. But if there’s damage, you could end up with leaks in the roof due to rusting and corrosion, animals, loose caulk and gaps, and wear and tear.

Flue Repair

A flue is any open, vertical part of the chimney that lets smoke escape. (Don’t confuse this with the chimney liner, which lines the flue.) Signs the flue needs attention may include broken shards and flaking and smoke in your home.

Cricket Repair

A chimney cricket, also called a roof cricket, sits behind your chimney and looks like a tiny peaked roof. It juts off the main roof and sits directly against the backside of the chimney to divert water from the masonry. Water stains on the ceilings or walls, rafters near a chimney or damaged mortar and bricks or rotten wood can identify whether the chimney cricket is working or not — or if you need a chimney cricket and don’t have one. (Tip: Chimneys that are 30 inches or larger need a cricket.)

Brick Replacement

Brick replacement may involve replacing just a few bricks — or redoing the entire chimney. Note that if the bricks are in areas that are hard to reach, a professional may charge more for the job.

Siding Repair

If you have a chimney made of siding, it can be at risk for rotting, swelling, and deterioration. Even if it looks good from the ground, a “diseased” chimney could be rotten and cause water to enter your home through the roof or ceiling.

Repairing vs Replacing a Chimney

The extent of your chimney’s damage determines whether you should have it replaced or simply repaired. However, there are some clear signs that indicate you may need to completely replace your chimney:

•   Large cracks in the bricks

•   White streaks on the bricks

•   Spalling bricks (bricks falling down)

•   Tilting

Even if some of those indications are present, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional to know exactly what to do next about your fireplace chimney repair.

Signs You Need a Chimney Repair

Indications you need a chimney repair include cracks that appear, smoke blowback, leaks, leaning, or spalling bricks. Let’s walk through what these might mean.


Cracks in the chimney’s masonry can signal that it needs attention. Cracks can lead to gas seeping into your home, which can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Excess moisture, earthquakes, or other weather events; hail; acidic decay; wind; and hot or cold temperatures usually cause cracks to appear.

Smoke Blowback

Smoke blowback creates a safety and health hazard. Not only could your house sustain a fire, but you could also face carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and other pollutants in your home. There are several causes for smoke blowback, including a blockage in the chimney or even a home that’s too well insulated.


Chimney leaks are a common problem. When your chimney drips water or you see moisture in the fireplace or surrounding walls, you may also see attic and wall damage. The chimney itself may have a leak, or the roof may leak. For example, the chimney cap or crown may be damaged, bricks or mortar may have issues, the flashing may not be working properly, or condensation may have built up in the chimney.


Exposure to all sorts of weather can cause the mortar joints in a chimney to decay. This causes bricks to loosen and the chimney to lean. Other reasons for leaning include a lack of footings and shifting soil. A leaning chimney doesn’t just look bad — it can also pose a safety risk and may even collapse.

Spalling Bricks

Spalling brick refers to bricks that flake, pit, or crumble and fall away from the masonry. Small cracks usually start and grow larger until the brick completely deteriorates. Improper mortar, weather, improper insulation, non-breathable masonry sealants, cleaning with a pressure washer, and impact to the bricks can all cause spall. Spalling poses a safety risk — there’s a possibility the structure collapses and damages the rest of the roof.

Shaling Tiles

Have you noticed pieces of flue tiles accumulating at the bottom of your chimney? This may be the result of shaling, which is a sign that your flue tiling is damaged. A professional can use special equipment to confirm whether there’s an issue, identify the problem spot,and offer potential solutions.

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Can I Repair My Chimney Myself?

Depending on the issue, fixing a chimney can take a big bite out of a homeowner’s budget, but there are several ways to finance the cost of chimney repair. For instance, you may decide to dip into emergency savings, use a credit card, take out a personal loan, or turn to your homeowners insurance.

Or, depending on your situation, it might make sense to explore a cash-out refinance, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or consider emergency home repair financing options. As you make your decision, it’s a good idea to compare the interest rates and the pros and cons of each type of financing.

You may also be tempted to attempt to tackle the work yourself and save some money in the process. Though many home improvement projects may be appropriate for the DIY-er, chimney work is not one of them. You assume serious risks when completing a chimney repair yourself — the same kinds of risks you’d face repairing a roof. Even if you can overcome those risks, you’ll still have to know how to repair the chimney. And certain tasks, such as a complete chimney replacement, require advanced knowledge of the mechanics of a chimney.

Recommended: How to Pay for Emergency Home Repairs, So You Can Move on ASAP

The Takeaway

A well-maintained chimney is designed to last for decades, but that doesn’t mean it won’t require the occasional repair or maintenance. Repairs typically cost between $160 to $750, though that price depends on a range of factors, including the type of chimney you have, the work being done, and labor costs. But chimney upkeep is an important line item to include in the budget because there are potential safety risks involved when repairs aren’t made.

When it comes to financing chimney repairs, homeowners have several options, including homeowners insurance, dipping into an emergency fund, and taking out a personal loan.

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When should I replace my chimney?

You may never need to replace your chimney as long as you live in your home, since chimneys can “live” up to 100 years. However, if you live in an old home or can see issues with your chimney, consult a chimney repair contractor, who can determine whether it needs to be replaced.

How often should I clean my chimney?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests having your chimney cleaned and inspected once per year by a chimney sweep. You should also have your chimney swept at least once per year. A professional can ensure that everything is in working order.

What qualifications should I look for in a chimney repair contractor?

Hiring a professional with the right credentials is important, so look for certifications by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and Certified Chimney Professionals (CCP). Check a chimney repair contractor’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Ask for a portfolio and recommendations, and confirm that the company is insured.

How do I compare quotes from different chimney repair contractors?

Get several quotes from various contractors in your area and compare them apples to apples. The cheapest one may not be the best fit for the job. For example, one contractor may offer a more thorough repair than another for, say, brick chimney repair costs. Ask for a list of services and a detailed list of the costs involved before you decide on the contractor. It also doesn’t hurt to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Are there any permits or inspections required for chimney repairs, and how much do they cost?

A building permit typically costs $50 to $300 for small jobs, though it may depend on where you live. Once you find a contractor, they should be able to answer your questions about the costs of a building permit.

Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of chimney repairs?

If your home is damaged by a covered loss, your insurance will cover the cost of chimney repairs. For example, your insurance will likely provide coverage if lightning strikes your chimney and ruins the brick and mortar. However, if your chimney has been neglected and causes a fire in your living room, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage. Ask your insurance carrier for more information about your specific situation.

How can I finance the cost of chimney repairs?

Consider a variety of different types of financing, from using your credit card to taking out a personal loan from a lender (such as your mortgage lender). Also consider emergency home repair financing options, a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Compare the interest rates, pros and cons of each type of financing, to determine which type of financing works best for you. For example, if you know you will have a repointing chimney cost on your hands, consult with at least five contractors and get prices, then ask your bank or credit union for more information about financing options.

Are there any tax breaks available for chimney repairs?

Generally, home repairs, such as fixing a broken chimney, are not tax deductible. However, a home improvement, such as adding a chimney to your house, may be tax deductible. Check with an accountant for more information.

How can I ensure my chimney repair project stays within budget?

Put together a budget so you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on your chimney repair. Keep in mind that the chimney repairs cost could run you between $160 to $750, with an average repair cost of $450, to fix your chimney. Chimney rebuild costs will likely cost the most. Check with an experienced contractor in your area to learn about your project’s costs, and be sure to get a list of costs ahead of time.

What are the risks of not repairing my chimney?

Leaving chimney issues unchecked can result in a number of safety hazards, including fatal fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other toxic chemicals. To help you spot and address problems early on, consider getting an annual inspection recommended by the NFPA. A professional chimney inspection could uncover a chimney repair problem you can’t see from your living room or from the ground.

Photo credit: iStock/arak7

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