The cost to point a chimney will be determined by how high and large the chimney is. It’s location is also a key factor:
Small chimney about 1 metre above tiles in height – These are very easy to point and don’t always require scaffolding by an external scaffold specialist. Scaffolding may not be required as your roofer should have equipment to do this without hiring from a separate company.
Large chimney located at edge of property – These are not as difficult to access as they’re located either at the roof eaves (by the gutter) or next to a apex/gable. The Figure below include scaffolding which will be required, mostly likely a tower type scaffold system.
Large chimney stack located in centre of roof – These are often the most costly to point. They require extensive scaffolding up from the ground level and across the roof tiles. The figure below includes the scaffolding cost which is variable and really does depend on the height of the roof and general access up to the roof.
As you can see, access to the chimney is a primary factor in the cost to point a chimney. The actual workmanship will most likely be quoted/costed on a per square metre basis. It’s access issues that can really bump up the cost. The price of sand and cement is negligible.
How to Point Bricks on a Chimney
Here at Roofers Rates we would never advise a homeowner or DIY enthusiast to go up on a roof to point a chimney but here is a list of steps we normally undertake when we point a chimney. We suggest you make sure your chosen roofing company has quoted for all of this:
Mix 3 parts sand to 1 part cement with added plastizer.
Push cement into brick course and smooth over (point) to leave a neat finish.
Lay new cement cap.
Remove all waste material.
Brief Intro to Pointing:
How Not to Point a Chimney
Some unscrupulous roofers will mix the sand/cement and simply smudge it thinly over the existing crumbly mortar. This thin layer will not adhere correctly as it hasn’t pushed into the gap between the bricks.
This is how the cowboys do it, it will look nice for a while but the cement will soon fall off. This type of work is very quick to complete and from ground level the work looks visually acceptable.
A small chimney can be raked out and pointed in a morning. Medium sized chimneys will take all day and a large tall chimney can take anything from 1 – 3 days. This doesn’t include the time it takes to erect scaffold.
If the cement is very loose it can be raked out easily, if however some of the cement is very hard it will need to be cut out with a power tool. This can add some time to the project.
We assume that the chimney pots are in good condition and do not need to be replaced. We also assume that the chimney brickwork will only be pointed down to the level of the roof. Any leadwork will be quoted separately.
Consequences of Failing to Maintain Chimney Pointing/Brickwork
The brickwork and cement/mortar on an exposed chimney is subject to wind driven rain so the cement can fail early. Much earlier than mortar located elsewhere on the property.
This can result in the chimney cement being washed out and the bricks collapsing onto each other. Should a chimney deteriorate to this extent, it would impossible to repoint and would require a complete rebuild.
If the pointing is in a poor condition, the bricks can come loose and lift off the top of the chimney in high wind. There is also an increased risk of water ingress.
Different Types of Pointing
There are several different types of pointing, some are more labour intensive than others. Here are the most common:
Intricate Tuck Pointing:
Weather Struck Pointing:
External Sites We Like
We think these sites are worth exploring:
The Homebuilding and Renovating site has a page dedicated to chimney repointing and repairs. Check it out here.