Leaning Chimney | Foundation Repair or Structural?

A very common problem in residential construction is a leaning chimney.  Which way the chimney is leaning will tell you if you have a structural issue or a foundation issue.

 The two main types of leaning chimneys are:

  • A Chimney Leaning AWAY from the house.

  • A Chimney Leaning OVER or ON the house/roof.

If you have a chimney where the top portion (near the roof line) is leaning over or on the house and looks like if it continues it will come crashing into your home – you have a serious structural problem.

 If your chimney looks like it is leaning away from your house – as if it was going to fall in your yard – you most likely have a foundation problem.  While there are many reasons a chimney can lean away from a house – the most common are

  • uncompacted fill material (such as a chimney near a basement or deep crawlspace)

  • Shallow footings

  • Poor or unsuitable soils to handle a concentrated load

  • Poor drainage/water management

In any of these cases, the use of a helical or resistance pier can be used to support the falling or leaning chimney.  In many cases the chimney can be pushed back and lifted at the same time resulting in a much improved look.  We typically see 50% or more of the chimney lean restored.

ramjack chimney.rjpg


Get good professional advice before you make any decisions about how you are going to repair your leaning chimney.

Today’s RamJack foundation repairs methods make it possible to move a chimney back into plumb position.

This can be done without the higher cost of demolition and rebuilding of your chimney.

If your chimney foundation is in good repair then the repair that is most used today is the helical pier. Helical piers can be used when forces like the chimney is pushing into the soil around it.

It is like a big steel screw that will be driven under the leaning chimney until it reaches a good soil base.

Brackets are placed on the helical piers and slipped under the chimney footing.

Next a hydraulic jack will be used to slowly lift the chimney up into plumb position. The brackets are secured and your yard was hardly touched. This will once again stabilize the chimney.

Not repairing a leaning chimney can be dangerous for your house and your family, even your neighbors. You could have further damage to your house and bigger repair bills.

Take the steps today to ensure this doesn’t happen. Contact an foundation engineer to find the right underpinning solution for your leaning chimney.


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16646 Scheer Blvd.
Hudson, FL 34667

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