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Chimney Rebuilding vs. Re-Pointing: What’s the Difference?

A chimney is very prone and susceptible to damage due to excessive heat and high degree temperatures hence this might necessitate some repairs, which normally assume the nature of chimney rebuilding or chimney repointing. There is a paucity of information around this topic hence it is only imperative to elucidate more on the same. Many experts have abdicated their duty and failed to accord people ample clarification and information around this subject. This article shall therefore purpose to highlight, discuss and pinpoint the subtle differences between the two so that you may be able to know the best and most fitting alternative.

Chimney Repointing

This is the equivalent of a repair in a bid to avoid the further deterioration of the current condition of the chimney.

Brick chimney repair.
It is primarily geared towards the mitigation of a situation where the chimney damage is not too advanced hence a repair in the form of repointing is deemed to be sufficient. It entails the use of motor joints to ensure that the chimney is steady and in place. However, the downside with regard to repointing is that it is more of a temporary fix since, with the advancement of time, the motor joints commence to decay in varying areas of the chimney such as in between the bricks.

This is attributed to the harsh and extreme weather or related elements, which have a very adverse and compounding effect on the overall state of the chimney. Nonetheless, it is still ideal for a chimney that is not extremely damaged and it aids to improve the general chimney aesthetics. It can be deluding if perceived as a permanent or long-term fix but it is great for anyone who just desires to use it as a short-term solution before settling for some better alternative with more longevity.

Chimney Rebuilding

This is done as a measure of last resort where repointing is deemed to be inadequate. It happens when the chimney has been overly neglected hence implying that repointing at that juncture will only cause more damage than good. This is the price paid for many years of declining to give ample care and maintenance to the chimney and it ultimately ends up costing you more. A rebuild at that point is the most logical and prudent thing to do to avoid a recurrence of the same issue over and over as it would mean that you expend more effort and resources towards a project or endeavor that can be simply resolved through a single rebuild and a permanent alleviation of the problem. There are different types of chimney rebuilding such as a complete rebuild, a partial rebuild and a roofline up rebuild.


As depicted in the foregoing, there are several differences when it comes to rebuilding and repointing a chimney. Repointing is perfect in the cases where there is just some minimal damage whereas rebuilding is a good measure for a chimney that is completely ruined and one that cannot be salvaged through repointing. Further, rebuilding is a relatively pricey affair compared to repointing.

Rebuilding is also more technical and holistic compared to repointing. It also guarantees more longevity and the elimination of lingering or niggling chimney issues. This renders it a very good solution in the instances where repointing has failed or resorted to the aggravation of the issue instead of resolving it. Concisely, a chimney rebuild will normally involve a total removal of the stonework, bricks, and mortar joints all done accordingly to the chimney base. This is then remodeled by laying new brick with some adjustments according to the client’s specifications and the sound advice of the professional involved. On the other hand, repointing is not as intricate as it entails the simple removal of the thinnest layer of debris and the use of the tuck-pointing method to replace the aging joint material. It is vital to point out that tuck-pointing does not remove the existing brick, stonework, or mortar joints but it simply deals with the solder joint material and the replacement therein as many people remain in the dark when it comes to these minor and seemingly insignificant details, which are quite critical but always overlooked.

This article has amply discussed the differences between chimney rebuilding and repointing so you stand to be well advised on the best option for you. However, you should not hesitate from indulging in the services of a professional in case there are any blurry areas that might require expert opinion.