Chimney Repair Near Me: How to Hire the Best Chimney Repair Service Based on Cost, Issue, and Other Considerations
If you’re searching “chimney repair near me,” this guide will help you find the best local chimney repair service.
Hiring the Best Chimney Repair Near Me
When a chimney shows signs of wear and tear, it’s crucial to have it repaired as quickly as possible. Failure to regularly inspect your chimney can lead to chimney fires and other malfunctions, putting homes and their residents at risk.
For homeowners who are having chimney issues and are now searching “chimney repairs near me” online, this guide offers crucial information on the true cost of repairs, common issues that professional chimney companies can fix, and how to find reputable chimney repair contractors and chimney repair companies.
Cost of Chimney Repair Near Me
The average cost of repairing a chimney ranges between $160 to $750. However, the exact rate will vary largely depending on the type of repair and the material of the chimney. Surface-level replacements on a few bricks, for example, won’t be priced as high as significant repairs and replacements for the entire structure.
Repairing a brick chimney typically costs between $175 to $1,000, depending on how many bricks need to be repaired or replaced; a total replacement will cost about $10,000. Stucco chimney replacements tend to run between $570 and $1,920, though more extensive projects can run up to $4,200.
Common Issues Chimney Contractors Near Me Can Fix
Chimney repair contractors can fix a wide variety of issues, including the following:
- Crown and cover repair and replacement. The slab of concrete at the top of any chimney, known as the crown, serves a dual function. It not only keeps rain and pests out of the flue, but it also prevents sparks from flying out of the chimney and catching on the roof. Chimneys often also have a cover or cap at the very top for further protection. A chimney repair professional can diagnose and fix any issues with the crown or cover.
- Flue repair. Chimney repair professionals can fix cracked tiles, install flue liner, and reline the flue if necessary. Pieces of tile or ceramic in the fireplace are a common sign of a shaling flue liner, which means the liner has begun to crack or flake.
- Leaking chimneys. When flashing and sealers fail, cracks can form at the roofline. Professional chimney repair companies can seal the cracks with mortar. They can also repair or reinstall metal where the chimney and roof meet, also known as flashing. A quick search for “chimney flashing repair near me” will highlight professionals versed in this type of repair.
- Cracks and wood rot. Chimney contractors can repair cracks within the chimney, which can occur due to temperature fluctuation. They can also repair small areas of wood rot, though extensive rot will typically require a complete replacement.
- Broken or missing bricks. Also known as spalling, broken or missing bricks can cause significant damage when left untreated. Chimney repair professionals can quickly replace these bricks.
- Mortar replacement. Chimneys companies can replace mortar, which wears down over time. Processes include repointing (removing and repairing the mortar) and tuckpointing (filling in the mortar and blending it in to match with existing bricks).
Do I Need Chimney Repair?
Homeowners experiencing chimney issues may wonder whether they need chimney repair. Here’s how to know whether chimney restoration is necessary and how urgently it must be addressed.
These chimney problems should be addressed as soon as possible:
- Excess creosote buildup. Creosote is a gaseous byproduct that is produced when burning wood, coal, pellets, or oil. These gases rise through the chimney and coat the inside of the liner in the process. Creosote buildup can be hazardous due to its high combustibility, and significant buildup may be too difficult for the average homeowner to remove without professional help.
- Large cracks and crevices or missing bricks. Fluctuating temperatures, poor drainage, and tree damage can contribute to cracks and crevices in chimney bricks. Small cracks can be quickly sealed to prevent further damage, but larger ones should be repaired immediately by a professional. Missing bricks should also be replaced.
- A chimney fire. A chimney fire is a scary experience that can lead to significant damage to the fireplace and home. It’s best to call in a professional to assess the damage before using the fireplace again.
- A leaking chimney. If there is water at the base of the fireplace, contact a professional to determine the cause of the leak. Signs of excess moisture or leaking may include white staining, a rusted damper and firebox, and water stains on the wall surrounding the chimney.
- Damaged mortar joints. Failing mortar joints increases the risk of the chimney collapsing on the homeowner and their property. This is often a sign of accelerated chimney damage and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Minor, non-emergency chimney problems will need to be addressed by the homeowner or a professional sooner rather than later. However, these concerns are not as urgent as the above emergency issues.
- Minor cracks and crevices. Chimney bricks and surrounding roof structures with minor cracks should not go untreated. However, a handy homeowner can use sealant on roofs and mortar on chimney bricks to keep these crevices from growing.
- Minimal cleanup. Small amounts of creosote buildup or debris in the chimney cap can be taken care of by the homeowner if they feel comfortable tackling the project. However, excessive amounts of buildup may call for more immediate professional help.
Chimney Repair vs. Chimney Replacement
A crucial question to consider is whether the chimney should be repaired or replaced. This will largely depend on the extent of the damage. Typically, replacing or repairing the damaged sections will be enough to solve the problem without replacing the whole structure. However, when damages are sufficient to become a structural liability for the home, it’s best to replace the chimney.
Chimney repairs will typically cost less than chimney replacements. Homeowners should contact a chimney contractor to determine whether repair or replacement is the best course of action, as well as the cost to carry out the job.
DIY vs. Hiring a Chimney Repair Professional
While a DIY approach can solve certain chimney projects, others should be handled by a chimney repair professional. The homeowner’s experience level must be considered, so they do not tackle any project they aren’t comfortable finishing.
A handy DIYer can tackle minor repairs such as patching up holes with mortar, replacing flashing, and clearing out chimney cap debris. However, larger-scale repairs and replacements are often best left to professionals, as they can identify potential issues that the average homeowner might miss.
Chimney repair comes with the added risk of falling off of a ladder or roof. Chimney repair companies are more experienced with ladder safety and will typically have at least one other person on-site in case of an emergency. Even if homeowners have the technical know-how, they must assess the risk of falling.
How to Find Reputable Chimney Repair Companies Near Me
When searching for a local chimney repair company, it’s crucial to find one that has the proper credentials and experience to make the necessary repairs. Keep the following tips in mind during the search:
- Ask around for referrals. Not sure where to begin? Friends and family, colleagues, and even home improvement store employees can often provide names of local professionals.
- Conduct the necessary research. An online search for “chimney repairs near me” with your geographic location will help you find local chimney contractors. From there, look for companies that have certified technicians and the experience required to repair. Verify the business’s contact information, licensure and insurance, and any testimonials.
- Speak with the contractor(s) directly. After researching to ensure that prospective candidates are qualified, schedule a meeting with the chimney contractor or company. Get any contracts or agreements in writing before making payments and beginning work.
Questions to Ask Your Local Chimney Repair Service
Asking the right questions can ensure that all chimney repairs go off without a hitch. Here are some questions to ask chimney repair professionals:
- What training and experience do you have? What is your specialty?
- What kind of equipment do you use?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost? What is the payment schedule?
- Will cleanup be included after the project is finished?
Get answers to homeowners’ most commonly-asked questions before starting chimney repairs:
Q. How much should a chimney repair cost?
The cost of a chimney repair will vary greatly, depending on the type of project, the material of the chimney, and the extent of the damage. Average repair costs will typically run between $160 to $750.
Q. Is it normal for water to drip in a chimney?
No. If water is dripping in a chimney, this signifies an issue with the chimney system. Leaky chimneys can cause moisture damage to the structure of the chimney, which can eventually lead to bricks collapsing inside of it. An unchecked leak can also cause further moisture damage to the home.
Q. How do I stop rain in my chimney?
To stop rain from coming into the chimney, it’s critical to first find the source of the problem. Leaks can result from damage to the chimney structure or the crown, as well as from cracks in the chimney lining. Roof leaks near the chimney area can also lead to rain coming down. Once the source of the water has been identified and repaired, rain will no longer enter the chimney.