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All About Rebuilding a Chimney

If you want to know all about rebuilding a chimney for which you will foot the bill, there may be good news. The cost of chimney rebuilding can often be avoided if masonry problems are addressed quickly, but that largely applies when the problem is mortar decay. Chimneys are especially vulnerable to moisture damage, though other issues can result in the need for a complete or partial chimney rebuild. More details follow, including common signs that a chimney rebuild is likely needed.

Professional Chimney Tuckpointing in Carytown VA Tuckpointing Instead of Chimney Rebuilding

Tuckpointing is a procedure that can restore the structural integrity of a chimney while avoiding the expense of a partial or complete masonry rebuild. Mortar is the cement-like substance that bonds masonry together. When the tuckpointing procedure is performed, deteriorating mortar is scraped out and replaced with fresh mortar.

One of the functions of mortar is to prevent water from entering the chimney masonry system. It is crucial to catch early signs of mortar decay. Otherwise, there is a much greater risk of moisture infiltration, which has the ultimate effect of destroying bricks. If water intrusion has already occurred, it’s good to know all about rebuilding a chimney, since that is what will be needed.

When is Chimney Rebuilding Needed?

If a chimney is leaning, a chimney rebuild is needed. However, evidence that such major masonry work is required is rarely so obvious. The infiltration of moisture in the masonry system is the leading cause of chimney problems. This is true even though virtually every component of a properly built chimney contributes to the overall effort to keep moisture out.

The chimney crown, for instance, is the white part at the very top of masonry chimneys. Chimney crowns are supposed to act like an umbrella that keeps water off the chimney stack underneath. Chimney crowns also prevent rain and other types of precipitation from getting between the chimney exterior and the chimney lining. Unfortunately, the material chimney crowns are built with is prone to deteriorate. So, chimney crown repair is a common type of service chimney sweeps provide. One of the results of a damaged chimney cap is a need for chimney rebuilding.

Besides water damage, other potential reasons a chimney rebuild may become necessary include a lightning strike, major chimney lining damage, an intense chimney fire, and damage caused by the installation of equipment, such as a television antenna.

Signs that Chimney Rebuilding is Necessary

You may not have a birds-eye view that alerts you about chimney crown damage, but it’s possible to spot signs that chimney rebuilding is needed. Actually, the best way to detect signs of chimney damage early enough to avoid needing to know all about rebuilding a chimney is to schedule annual chimney inspections. During chimney inspections, certified chimney sweeps safely gain roof access and perform a thorough check of your chimney system and determine what repairs, if any, are needed. Common signs that a partial or complete chimney rebuild is necessary follow.

A Chimney Leak

A chimney leak that shows up in your home interior is often evidence that a chimney rebuild has become necessary. Water stains near the chimney on walls and ceilings are proof plenty that the masonry system is water damaged.

White Staining on the Chimney

If you see discoloration on your chimney, especially if it is white in color, a partial or complete chimney rebuild is a likely necessity. White staining plus other tints provide evidence that moisture is in the masonry. It has to do with water mixing with salt content that may be contained in the bricks. The water travels to exit on the brick face and then evaporates, leaving behind salt residue.


Spalling is when bricks flake and chip off as a result of water intrusion. If you see bits of masonry at the base of your chimney, on the ground below, or in your firebox, it is a sign of spalling. A partial or a complete chimney rebuild is necessary.

Chimney Rebuilding in Richmond VAChimney Rebuilding in Richmond VA & Surrounding Area

The CSIA-Certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions know all about rebuilding a chimney, when tuckpointing will do the job, and how to rebuild a chimney properly so that it performs with optimal efficiency. If you live in Richmond VA or the surrounding area, contact Chimney Saver Solutions today for the full gamut of chimney services. We offer chimney inspections, masonry repair, chimney liner replacement, chimney cleaning, chimney cap installation, and much more. Contact us at Chimney Saver Solutions through our handy contact form or schedule an appointment by calling 804-440-5000 today.

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