The Ultimate Guide to Chimney Repair and Replacement

There’s nothing better than gathering around a cozy fireplace with loved ones on a chilly day. But, if your chimney isn’t in good shape, you’ll not only lose out on using your fireplace, but you could also be putting your home at risk of serious damage. Throughout this detailed guide, we’ll cover the importance of regular chimney inspections, the most common chimney problems and how to do a chimney repair, when to consider a full replacement, and more. This will help you feel more prepared should a problem arise with your chimney. 

How Often Should You Schedule a Chimney Inspection?

As a general rule, we recommend scheduling a chimney inspection at least once every year. By getting preventative inspections with a chimney expert like GF Sprague, we’ll be able to spot potential problems before they become more serious. 

During the inspection, your chimney pro will do a visual check of the chimney and fireplace, specifically looking for any obstructions or signs of damage. Throughout the process, we’ll be able to determine your chimney’s efficiency and whether there are any areas in need of repair. We’ll also clean your chimney as part of the inspection.

Scheduling a yearly cleaning and inspection is the best thing you can do to make your chimney last as long as possible. Of course, if you notice any issues with your chimney or fireplace between inspections, don’t hesitate to ask our team to come out and take a look.

chimney restoration before

Most Common Problems and Chimney Repair Services

Aside from getting regular inspections, it’s also important to keep an eye out for potential chimney problems. The faster you’re able to detect the following issues, the less likely that they’ll lead to more serious (and expensive) issues down the road. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common chimney problems we see and how we can repair them. 

Cracked Bricks

Over time, bricks can start to crumble, lean, or even collapse if they’re not properly maintained. If you noticed cracked or spalling bricks, call our team to replace them. We have decades of experience in brick repair to help make your chimney more stable. By repairing brickwork as needed, we can help prevent a total chimney collapse in the future. 

Missing or Damaged Chimney Caps and Chase Covers

A chimney cap plays an important role in protecting your chimney from moisture, debris, and animals. However, over time your cap and chase cover will need to be replaced. During your chimney inspection, we’ll check your cap to see if it’s still in good shape or if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Obstructions in Your Chimney

If there’s a blockage in your chimney, smoke can’t escape properly. This can allow toxic fumes to build up in your home, causing safety concerns for your family. Oftentimes, these obstructions are due to a bird’s nest, excessive soot, or fallen leaves. If you suspect your chimney has a blockage, call the GF Sprague team so we can remove it. 

Cracks in the Flue

During your yearly inspection, our team will check your chimney flue for cracks, using a special camera. If we notice any developing holes or cracks, we’ll talk to you about the best possible solutions for filling them. Keeping your flue in good shape helps to prevent heat and fire damage to your home. 

Damaged Mortar and Flashing

Both mortar joints and chimney flashing help to protect your home from water damage. If they’re no longer doing their jobs, you risk letting water seep into your ceiling and walls, which can eventually lead to structural damage. Our chimney repointing services can restore crumbling mortar to make your chimney look and function as if it were new. We can also replace damaged flashing so your chimney remains leak-proof for years. 


If you use your fireplace, then it’s only a matter of time before creosote will start to accumulate in your chimney. If you don’t remove it, you’re at risk of a chimney fire. This is why it’s important never to skip your yearly inspection! When you hire our team for chimney cleaning services, we’ll remove the built-up creosote so you can use your fireplace without concern. 

copper chimney crown before

When to Schedule a Chimney Replacement

Unfortunately, some chimneys are beyond repair. If more than a few bricks on your chimney are crumbling or there’s significant water damage to the structure, then it’s likely a better option to completely rebuild it rather than trying to repair it. 

When we inspect your chimney, we’ll help you determine whether it’s better to partially or completely tear down your chimney and come up with a plan for rebuilding it. Here at GF Sprague, we offer the following chimney replacement services:

  • Partial chimney rebuild
  • Chimney rebuild from the roofline up
  • Total chimney rebuild

Of course, we’ll try to salvage and reuse any existing bricks that are still in good condition when possible, to help keep down costs. We’ll also carefully match the style and color of the new chimney to the rest of your home so it matches your home’s aesthetic. 

Trust the GF Sprague Team for Your Chimney Inspection, Repair, and Replacement Services

Whether you’re due for your yearly chimney inspection or you suspect that you need repair or replacement services, our team of experts is here to help. We offer scheduled and emergency inspection services along with chimney repair and replacements for homeowners in the greater Boston area. 

Contact us today to request a free estimate for any of our chimney services so you can enjoy your fireplace without worry.