This is a common sight on many homes, and it will usually end up on the Home Inspection Report if you are selling a house with a chimney that looks like this. It might not look that bad, but neglecting this for too long can multiply your problems. To start, the cracks will hold water, and that water can run down the inside of the chimney and cause numerous problems like mold and damage to sheetrock walls and ceilings below. During winter months, that water can freeze inside the cracks over and over. When it does, the frozen rain expands and makes the cracks larger. That repeats until the brick actually break loose.
Right now I can see from the ground that 2 brick have lost their bond with the mortar and brick below them. They will need to be reset and the chimney needs to be pointed up. Also, the mortar cap on top needs to be removed and replaced.
This chimney cap is approximately 30' above ground. There is a lower roof on back of house. So the bricklayer or chimney sweep that does this repair has two choices. Build 30' of scaffold, or use ladders and safety ropes and do the repair from the roof. That requires protecting the shingles from damage while doing the repair.
At this stage of damage, a seller can expect to pay $700.00 to $1000.00 for this repair. If it had been repaired before the brick and mortar started decaying and breaking loose, just replacing the mortar cap on top would have been the only maintenance needed, and the cost probably would have been closer to $300.00 to $500.00
So don't neglect home maintenance whenever possible. Especially if you have plans to sell in the near future. Things like this just add to the overall stress of moving and might cause delays you haven't planned on.
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