Chimney Resurfacing 101: Everything Homeowners MUST Know!

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Chimney resurfacing is an activity every homeowner with a wood-burning fireplace should do periodically. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year.

But depending on how often you use your fireplace, you may need to do it more frequently. Resurfacing your chimney will help extend its life and prevent any severe damage. Moreover, it ensures that your chimney is working efficiently and that there is no risk of fires.

This guide will discuss everything you need to know about chimney resurfacing. We will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself.

What Is Chimney Resurfacing?

Chimney resurfacing is the process of repairing the outer layer of your chimney. Over time, your chimney will suffer from wear and tear due to weathering, animals, and general use.

The most common type of damage is cracked or missing mortar. When this happens, it’s essential to repair the damage as soon as possible. Otherwise, water will seep into the cracks and cause even more damage.

In some cases, the damage may be so severe that you must replace the entire outer layer of your chimney. This process is known as “refacing.”

Why Is Chimney Resurfacing Important?

Chimney resurfacing is vital for two reasons: safety and efficiency. These are the two most important factors to consider regarding your fireplace.

A well-functioning chimney is a key to a safe and efficient fireplace. A chimney that is not properly functioning can be a fire hazard.


Your chimney is an integral part of your home’s structure, and it keeps the fire contained and prevents dangerous gasses from entering your home.

If the outer layer of your chimney is damaged, it can lead to severe problems. For example, cracks in the mortar can allow water to seep in and cause the chimney to collapse.

In addition, damaged chimneys are more likely to catch fire. This is because the cracks provide a path for sparks to escape. If the sparks ignite something nearby, you could be facing a severe house fire.

Therefore, it’s crucial to repair any damage to your chimney as soon as possible. Not only will this prevent accidents, but it will also give you peace of mind.


In addition to being safe, your chimney needs to be efficient. This is because a well-functioning chimney will draw the smoke up and out of your home.

However, if you have a damaged chimney, it may not be able to do this properly. This is because the cracks can allow outside air to enter the chimney. As a result, the smoke will not be drawn up and out of your home as efficiently.

In addition, a damaged chimney can also cause your heating bills to go up, and this is because the heat from your fireplace will escape through the cracks.

Therefore, keeping your chimney in good condition is essential to prevent wasted heat. Not to mention, it will also save you money on your energy bills in the long run.


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When Should I Resurface My Chimney?

You should resurface your chimney when it shows signs of wear and tear. If you see cracks or chips in the brickwork or the mortar between the bricks is starting to crumble, it’s time to resurface your chimney.

Resurfacing your chimney will not only improve its appearance, but it will also help to prolong its lifespan.

If you are wondering when’s the best time to resurface your chimney, here are the signs you should look for:

Wear and Tear Signs on Your Chimney

Over time, your chimney bricks may develop cracks, chips, and other forms of damage. These damages can be due to several things, such as age, poor construction, or harsh weather conditions.

If you notice any of these issues, having your chimney resurfaced as soon as possible is essential. Ignoring these issues can lead to even more damage and, in some cases, structural problems.

Leaning Chimney

A leaning chimney is often a sign of structural damage. This issue is usually caused by poor construction but can also result from water damage or other problems.

Using a leaning chimney can be dangerous and cause even more damage, and this is because the weight of the chimney can put too much strain on the structure, causing it to collapse.

Missing Bricks or Stones

Missing bricks or stones is an issue that can occur due to poor construction, water damage, or other factors.

If you notice any missing bricks or stones, it’s essential to have your chimney resurfaced. Using a missing brick or stone chimney can be dangerous and may cause further damage.

Can You Reface a Brick Chimney?

In most cases, it is possible to reface a brick chimney. However, here are a few things to remember before you reface your chimney.

  • First, ensure the bricks are in good condition. If the bricks are damaged, it’s best to resurface the chimney.
  • You also need to check that the chimney’s structure is still sound. If there is any damage to the chimney’s system, it’s best to resurface it.
  • Third, have the proper tools and materials for the job. Refacing a chimney is complex; if you don’t have the right tools or materials, it’s best to leave it to a professional.
  • Finally, ensure you know what you’re doing. If you’re not confident in your ability to do the job, it’s best to leave it to a professional.


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What Can You Reface Your Chimney With?

You have a few different options when it comes to refacing your chimney. You can use stone, brick, or stucco.

We discuss each option below and the benefits of each.

Stone Veneer (Pros and Cons)

Made from thin slices of natural stone, the stone veneer is popular for chimney refacing. This material is available in various colors and styles, so you can find an option that fits your home’s style.

Stone veneer is also durable and easy to install, making it a great do-it-yourself project. However, stone veneer is also one of the more expensive refacing options.


  • Available in a variety of colors and styles
  • Durable
  • Easy to install


  • One of the more expensive refacing options

Stucco (Pros and Cons)

Stucco is a plaster made from Portland cement, sand, and water, and you can apply it to surfaces such as masonry or wood.


  • Very durable and can last for many years.
  • It is also resistant to fire, weather, and pests.
  • Stucco is low maintenance and does not require painting or sealing.


  • A porous material that can absorb water, leading to mold and mildew growth.
  • It can crack over time.
  • A heavy material that can stress your chimney structure.

Faux Stone (Pros and Cons)

Faux stone is an artificial product designed to look like natural stone. It comes in various colors and textures, so you can find an option that will complement the exterior of your home.


  • Lighter than natural stone, so it is easier to work with.
  • Less expensive than natural stone.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.


  • Doesn’t have the same durability as natural stone.
  • It can fade over time.
  • Not as fire-resistant as natural stone.

How to Reface an Old Chimney? (Step-by-Step Guide)

The term “refacing” refers to propping up the walls of your brick masonry chimney with a prefabricated mortar that is pre-mixed and prepared for installation.

The water-resistant properties of the stone are another appealing feature. Stone is similar to a natural waterproof cover or barrier that protects your existing brick masonry from moisture, which can harm it.

What You’ll Need

  • A pail of clean water
  • A stiff-bristled brush
  • A putty knife or trowel
  • Caulk (optional)
  • Chimney resurfacing kit
  • Resurfacing instructions
  • Protective clothing and eyewear

Step 1: Inspect Your Chimney’s Interior and Exterior

Before you begin, you first need to take a good look at your chimney. Check your chimney’s interior and exterior for any structural damage or cracks.

Step 2: Make Any Necessary Repairs

Once you have inspected your chimney, make any necessary repairs before beginning the resurfacing process. This may include filling in any cracks or gaps with caulk or mortar.

Step 3: Prepare the Work Area

Before you begin resurfacing your chimney, you must prepare the work area. This includes removing any loose debris or dirt from the chimney’s surface. It would help if you also wet down the site to help keep the dust down.

Step 4: Mix the Resurfacing Material

Follow the instructions included with your resurfacing kit to mix the resurfacing material. This usually involves adding water to the dry mix and stirring until it is the consistency of pancake batter.

Step 5: Apply the Resurfacing Material

Once the resurfacing material is mixed, you are ready to begin applying it to the chimney. Start at the bottom of the chimney and work your way up, using a putty knife or trowel to spread the material evenly.

Step 6: Allow the Resurfacing Material to Dry

After applying the resurfacing material, allow it to dry according to the instructions in your kit, which usually takes 24 to 48 hours.

Step 7: Inspect the Resurfaced Chimney

Once the resurfacing material has dried, inspect the chimney to ensure it is smooth and even. If there are any uneven spots, you can sand them down with fine-grit sandpaper.

Chimney Refacing Cost

The cost of chimney refacing can vary depending on the size and type of chimney you have and the materials you use. Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3,000 for the project.

If you want to save money on your chimney refacing project, you can always use our guide on resurfacing a chimney. However, it would be best if you hired a professional to carry out the services for you.


There are many benefits to resurfacing your chimney. A new surface will protect your chimney from the elements and improve your home’s value. Consult a professional to determine if it is the right option.

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Thomas Green

Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.