Is Mold in my Fireplace and Chimney?
Your home could have poor air quality because of mold in the fireplace and chimney. Most people know that mold thrives in humid environments such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Unfortunately, chimneys are prone to suffer damage caused by moisture intrusion, often due to chimney leaks, which results in higher levels of humidity that can attract mold growth. Below, learn about health threats caused by mold and some of the reasons mold could be growing in your fireplace and chimney.
Mold in the Chimney and Related Health Problems
Exposure to moldy environments affects people in different ways. Although some people don’t notice any health effects, others can suffer severe reactions such as shortness of breath, fever, and permanent lung damage. Common symptoms of exposure to molds include a stuffy nose, itchy or red eyes or skin, and wheezing. Symptoms of the development of upper respiratory tract problems include coughing and wheezing in people who are otherwise healthy. Children can be especially susceptible to the development of asthma due to mold exposure.
Is There Mold in My Chimney and Fireplace?
Mold can go undetected for a long time. Oftentimes, the presence of mold is discovered due to resulting unpleasant odors. Another common way mold is found is because the growth is seen, but it’s difficult to see inside chimney flues. The following are some of the ways moisture gets into the chimney system, ultimately resulting in mold growth.
No Chimney Cap
Moisture will be a problem in your chimney if there is no chimney cap at the top of your flue or if the chimney cap is damaged. Schedule chimney cap installation as soon as possible because, otherwise, every time it rains, sleets, hails, or snows, the moisture will go directly into your chimney flue and fireplace. The potential for mold growth in the chimney and fireplace when there is no chimney cap is tremendous.
Chimney Crown Damage
The cement slab at the top of the chimney is the chimney crown, and its function is to keep moisture from getting between the chimney flue and the masonry exterior. Chimney crowns are prone to crack and deteriorate. It helps to protect chimney crowns from the harsh outdoor elements with the installation of a full-width chimney cap aka an outside-mount custom chimney cap.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Chimney
Keeping humidity out of your chimney system will discourage the growth of molds. Because chimneys are vulnerable to moisture intrusion, the best preventative measure you can take is to schedule annual chimney inspections and keep up with chimney maintenance and repairs such as chimney crown repair and chimney flashing repair. Fire safety experts agree that everyone with a chimney needs an annual chimney inspection.
Among the reasons for annual chimney inspections is that mold growth can be detected and removed by a chimney sweep qualified in mold removal.
Waterproofing of your chimney performed by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep will prolong the built-in protection against moisture intrusion and mold growth.
Call the Pros at Guardian Chimney Sweeps
Chimney sweeps at Guardian Chimney Sweeps are all CSIA-certified, which means they are trained, experienced, and qualified to provide you with every type of chimney service you may need, including mold removal. If you think you may have mold growth in your chimney and fireplace, don’t hesitate to give Guardian Chimney Sweeps a call at any of the numbers below:
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011