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Cracked Chimney

Are you concerned about worsening cracks in your home’s chimney? Professional repairs deliver lasting solutions.

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Exterior photo of a chimney separating on a brick home.
Close up of a brick cracked chimney.

Chimney cracks can indicate potential structural damage in your home. Ignoring repairs can only lead to more significant damage—and more expensive repairs. At Groundworks, we have the expertise and equipment to assess, repair, and prevent chimney cracks, keeping your home safe by installing robust foundation repair solutions.

On this page, you’ll learn more about the causes of chimney cracks and their impact on your home’s overall structural integrity, helping you to recognize the seriousness of the problems and find the right solutions to repair them.

If you need your chimney repaired, contact Groundworks for a complimentary inspection and repair estimate. We prioritize your safety, employing only top-quality materials and tools for lasting repairs.

What Are Chimney Cracks?

They often stair-step across the bricks of the chimney itself or cut vertically at corners where your chimney meets the rest of your home’s exterior walls. They most often appear on the outside, but also sometimes on the inside of your home, mostly around your fireplace. Cracks in and around your chimney are signs of foundation settlement and damage.

Call Groundworks today for a professional evaluation.

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Are My Chimney Cracks Dangerous?

A measuring tape in front of a cracked chimney.

Here are some indications that the damage is serious and potentially very dangerous:

  • Cracks shaped like jagged lightning bolts
  • Large gaps between bricks or stones over 1/4 inch across
  • Missing, crumbling, or broken masonry sections
  • Leaning, bowing, or detached areas
  • Crowns or caps that are off-center
  • New cracks appearing after a storm

Hairline cracks might not be due entirely to serious issues, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. These signs suggest your chimney’s stability is compromised and requires immediate attention. They may also indicate larger issues with your foundation or basement that need to be addressed.

Why Is My Chimney Cracked?

Your chimney needs a strong base to stay upright and work well. If the house’s foundation has issues from settling soil or poor drainage, it often shows up most clearly around the chimney.

Here are the most common causes of chimney cracks:

1. Foundation Settlement

Changes in ground water and temperature can make the soil around your house expand and shrink. This can make your home’s foundation move and shift (a phenomenon called “foundation settlement”) more, which can also affect the chimney. The cracks you see are due to the stress on the chimney.

2. Excess Moisture in the Soil

Sometimes excess water in the soil can siphon up into the chimney, slipping and expanding between the structural elements of the chimney and its exterior masonry. Changing temperatures cause the water to expand and contract, so the trapped water can break apart the material and causes cracks. Excess moisture can also corrode the interior flue liner, leaving the interior exposed and vulnerable to damage.

3. Age and Wear

Over time, environmental factors like wind, rain, snow, sun exposure, and changing temperatures weaken masonry joints, causing them to fail over time. Like any other part of your home, the older it is, the more worn out it will get.

4. Improper Construction

Chimneys made with poor-quality materials or shoddy workmanship mean that the structure is fundamentally unsound from the outset, and problems will develop quickly.

5. Accidents

Falling tree limbs, lightning strikes, or other acts of nature can damage the chimney, so sometimes, the cracks and gaps you see may not necessarily mean your foundation is compromised. However, it’s better to have a professional evaluate your home to ensure there are no lurking dangers.

How to Repair a Cracked Chimney

Cracked chimneys require immediate attention. By choosing Groundworks, you’ll get industry-leading chimney repair methods for any underlying structural problems.

Foundation Piering

A repaired chimney.

Foundation piers come in various types (including helical piers and push piers) depending on the unique factors of your home’s structure and surrounding soil. Piers are long pipes that attached to the foundation of your chimney and drive deep into the ground until they reach load-bearing soil where they can’t shift or settle with soil. 

Here’s what we do to repair your chimney with our SettleStop™ Foundation Piers works:

  • Excavate the soil down to the chimney footer
  • Use hydraulic equipment to advance the piers into the soil
  • Monitor the pressure and depth of installed piers
  • Advance the screw-like piers until they reach stable soil or bedrock
  • Attach a durable steel bracket to the footing, ensuring load transfer
  • Install small rivets in the exterior brick as benchmarks
  • Backfill excavated soil

Piering adds the support that your chimney needs to remain stable, and it can even lift portions of your foundation back into position. 

By choosing Groundworks, you can also benefit from our annual maintenance programs that ensure your chimney remains in good condition. 

Why Address Cracked Chimneys ASAP?

Ignoring chimney damage will only make things worse. It won’t fix itself, and the longer you wait, the more unstable and unsafe it becomes. Here’s why you should fix those cracks and shrinks in your chimney:

  • Bigger cracks can weaken the structure and it might fall
  • Water can get into big cracks and cause rot
  • Leaning parts will keep getting worse
  • A broken flue liner might leak dangerous exhaust gases indoors
  • Pieces falling from a damaged chimney could hurt someone
  • Cracks can let in more air, making your heating and cooling less efficient

With Groundworks, you can permanently repair your chimney cracks using top-of-the-line solutions backed by national warranties. Get your free quote today to learn more.

Contact Groundworks for Chimney Crack Repairs

Ground Works man is being welcomed at the door by happy homeowner

If you don’t get professional help, your chimney’s cracks could worsen, cost more to fix, or even break away and damage your home. With Groundworks, you can stop chimney cracks at their source.

Don’t just go for a quick, surface-level fix. Choose a lasting solution from the Groundworks experts. Get in touch for a free estimate today.

Cracked Chimney FAQs

We recommend annual inspections—ideally, before winter, after heavy storms, or after accidents that caused damage.

Usually, yes. A cracked, leaning chimney can increase damage to the sections of your foundation immediately around it as it pulls away from your home.

Each insurance provider has unique terms for covering repairs, so check your policy or consult your insurance agent, but usually it’s not covered if the damage is due to preventable issues.