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Rebuilding vs Chimney Repointing

Your chimney needs regular maintenance and care. An inspection can help establish a baseline for the health of your chimney. After your inspection visit, you may need to invest in chimney repair, depending on what your technician discovers. Our team member can walk you through what that will look like and which of our two options is best: rebuilding vs repointing. At the surface, both types of repair are designed to restore your chimney to functional performance. However, there are distinct differences between each technique.

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First, what is chimney repointing?

The mortar joints between your chimney’s bricks can weather over time. The freeze and thaw cycle that we frequently experience here in the Northeast plays havoc with the structure of your chimney. Eventually, voids and pockets can develop, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the mortar, eroding it even more.

Repointing fills in these gaps with fresh mortar, though your Northeastern Chimney technician will clean any debris out of the gaps first.


As a potential variation to repointing, your technician may recommend tuckpointing. This completely removes the mortar joint material and replaces it with new.

Either way, repointing and tuckpointing both help to waterproof your chimney while simultaneously solidifying its structural integrity. In addition, repointing can help mitigate potential fire risks and refresh the look of your chimney, making it look virtually brand new.

Next, what are the three types of chimney rebuilding?

Rebuilding is a more labor-intensive method, though necessary if the damage to your masonry or bricks is extensive.

Partial rebuild

If the chimney damage involves more than repointing, you’re looking at a partial rebuild. It can involve tearing down one (or more) layers of your chimney to repair the damage.

Roofline rebuild

Roofline rebuild involves — you guessed it — repairs to your roof in addition to your chimney. If the framing, sheathing, or rafters are damaged, a roofline rebuild will replace them in addition to the repairs to the chimney mortar.

Complete rebuild

Finally, a complete rebuild involves demolishing the existing chimney and starting over. Your mason will install a new crown, damper, and flashing, building a new chimney layer by layer.

Preventative measures

Of course, preventative measures can help mitigate the need for repairs such as rebuilding or chimney repointing. Annual sweeps will eliminate creosote from your flue. Waterproofing can minimize the effect of the elements. Relining is another option that can help to reinforce your chimney from the inside out. Finally, an annual inspection will catch minor issues early on before they turn into a later (and far more costly) project.

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Rebuilding vs chimney repointing

Both techniques will restore your chimney to working condition. It simply depends on the health of your chimney and how much weathering is present to answer the question: ‘is chimney repointing right for this chimney damage or do I need a full rebuild?’ As Connecticut’s premier chimney maintenance company, contact one of our Northeastern Chimney team members today. We can quickly schedule a sweep, inspection, or repair at your convenience. Simply call us at 860-233-5770.

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