All of Your Chimney Repair Questions Answered

While you don’t always think about your chimney, it’s an essential part of your home. Your chimney directs harmful smoke and chemicals outside and away from your family during cold months and without it, an indoor fire would be impossible. Unfortunately, due to the way a chimney sits on the roof, they’re usually the most exposed area—which means they get more wear and tear than the roof itself. Instead of letting your chimney deteriorate, get educated and understand when it’s time to call a professional for repairs.

What Causes Chimney Damage?

Since chimneys are the most exposed part of our roof, they’re more susceptible to damage from general wear and tear or extreme weather. The changes in temperatures, excessive rain or snow fall, and the impact from strong winds all contribute to deterioration that happens faster than other areas of your home.

How To Avoid Chimney Damage

The main way to avoid costly chimney damage is to be proactive about maintenance. Rather than waiting until the damage is done and you need to do a complete teardown and rebuild, it’s important to get your chimney inspected—both inside and out.

While a professional inspection is recommended to make sure that you don’t miss any small signs of damage, you can also do a visual inspection on your own. During this time, keep an eye out for any cracks or holes forming in the mortar between the bricks. This is one of the first signs of deterioration and is easily fixed early on with tuckpointing.

If the damage is more substantial, you need to have the repairs done immediately to avoid further catastrophes. Substantial damage is identified through mortar joints that are completely missing, broken brickwork, deep crevices or holes in your masonry, and visible signs of water damage. If you notice any of these, call your professional masonry today.

How to Repair Chimney Damage

When you find damage on your chimney, the repairs are pretty straightforward. Rather than doing simple spot tuckpointing, it’s recommended to do solid tuckpointing over the entire structure and get everything looking like new. Since chimneys are smaller areas, this is quite affordable and will ensure you fix any and all damage present.

Companies begin by tuckpointing the entire chimney, removing or repairing any failing bricks, and then moving to the chimney cap. If this is damaged as well, it will be repaired or replaced as needed. The flashing is then inspected, repaired, and finished with caulk to secure the seal. Some companies finish with a sealer, which will leave your chimney looking like new. The cost of this repair will depend on your chimney, as every home has different levels of damage and chimney characteristics.

Other Common Questions

Here are a few other common questions that homeowners have when it comes to their chimneys.

Why is there so much soot and tarry smoke being produced?

Both of these factors are caused by a buildup of creosote—a dangerous, highly flammable, substance that builds up in the lining of your chimney. If you notice soot and tarry smoke, stop using your chimney until you can get it professionally cleaned. An unpleasant odor is another sign of creosote buildup.

Is it necessary to waterproof my chimney?

This question really depends on the levels of rain that your home is exposed to. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, waterproofing your chimney is usually a good investment. If you get average rainfall, but still want to take this measure, you will prolong deterioration.

How often should I have a chimney inspection?

Chimney inspections should take place at least once a year, prior to using them each season. This ensures that your chimney is safe for use and is a great way to be proactive with your maintenance.

Your chimney plays an important role in keeping you and your family safe. If you notice any signs of damage or large creosote buildups, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. It’s imperative that you fix and clean your chimney prior to the beginning of the colder months to avoid costly damages and potential life-threatening situations. All of the professionals at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc are experienced in everything chimney-related and can help make sure your chimney is in good condition. Being proactive and doing bi-yearly maintenance is much more affordable than waiting until big problems happen. At Chicago Tuckpointing, all of our professionals are certified masonry contractors and will help you get the job done right, the first time around. Give us a call today at (708) 942-1951 or visit our website at