Curb Potential Health Threats with Chimney Cleaning
One of the lesser-known ways chimney cleaning helps to protect your family is by minimizing the number of health threats. It is good to rely on professional chimney services for chimney cleaning to make sure the job is done right and to enjoy greater peace of mind. Creosote is among the biggest health threats, and only one of the three different forms of creosote can be removed with simple chimney brush equipment. Read on to learn about some of the threats to health that can be avoided with regular chimney cleaning.
Health Issues Caused by Creosote
Highly flammable creosote is the messy, sooty substance in the chimney of your wood-burning heating appliance. All wood fires leave behind some creosote, but incomplete combustion multiplies the amount of the tar-like substance that builds up inside of chimneys. Burning green wood, also known as unseasoned firewood, produces excess amounts of creosote. Exposure to creosote is known to cause the following health effects, to name a few.
If your chimney has excess creosote buildup, debris from the toxic substance can get into or on your eyes and cause irritation. Creosote acts as an irritant and can cause a burning sensation in the eyes as well as sensitivity to light. It’s possible to suffer chemical burns to the eyes due to creosote exposure, and the substance can even permanently damage the cornea.
Breathing creosote fumes can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and irritation of the respiratory tract, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Creosote has long been recognized as a carcinogen. Several types of cancer are caused by prolonged exposure to creosote. In previous times, small boys literally climbed inside chimneys to perform top-to-bottom chimney cleaning services. These young chimney sweeps often developed soot wart, a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and scrotum. The occupational hazard was first identified in 1775.
Exposure to creosote emissions can cause redness, burning sensations, rashes, and skin irritations. Major skin issues can occur from direct physical contact with creosote.
Mold Inside the Chimney
Chimneys are highly vulnerable to moisture damage. If there is no chimney cap or if there is a chimney leak causing dampness in the chimney flue, mold can develop. Mold can be a serious threat to health as it grows and spreads quickly in damp environments. Some types of mold can damage the lungs.
Bird and Bat Droppings
It is normal for birds and bats to make their way into chimneys, though the installation of a chimney cap can avert such activity. If birds get into your chimney and if there are humid conditions, their droppings can cause humans to suffer an infection from a fungus found in the droppings. The illness is called histoplasmosis, and if it is confined to the lungs, it is not serious. If, however, it spreads throughout the body, it can be fatal.
Always rely on trusted chimney sweeps to deal with issues related to wild animals in your chimney. There are various risks associated with such exposure, and it is better to leave it to qualified professionals.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps
All of our technicians at Guardian Chimney Sweeps are trained and CSIA-certified. We care about you, your home, and your family. If it is time for chimney cleaning services, give us a call today. Members of your family could begin to enjoy better health by maintaining a clean chimney. Give us a call at one of our numbers below.
Conroe – (936) 271-9781
Houston and surrounding area – (713) 401-2011
Toll-free – (888) 306-6069