Most people are conversant with mold issues in bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen areas. However, not as much know that mold problems extend to chimneys and fireplaces.
Such widespread mold problems can be tricky and annoying. Upon discovering this situation, you’ll need to find the causes and address them.
About Chimney Mold Growth
To have you tag along, it’s necessary to provide a clear explanation of what mold is. These are spores (fungi spores to be precise) the settle wherever ideal conditions are present.
Such ideal conditions include warmth, humidity, and damp areas. Do a chimney and fireplace have such conditions? Not every time.
A well-maintained chimney and fireplace won’t have mold issues due to the absence of humidity and dampness. These fungi spores that grow into the mold are invincible to the naked eye.
Such spores find their way to chimney and fireplace crevices and cracks from where they develop into mold. Now, fungi spores announce their presence through dark spots known as mold growth.
This is even more pronounced when conditions are perfect.
To know better, it’s necessary to discuss the attraction that brings about mold growth in a chimney.
Causes Of Fireplace & Chimney Molding
More often than not, mold growth is witnessed in different parts of a chimney while it’s absent in others. The same applies to a home. Some parts of the home may be seen to have mold growth while it’s absent in others.
It’s natural to wonder how certain areas within the same vicinity are free of mold growth while others aren’t. The main reasons are the presence of moisture, zero ventilation, and darkness.
Moisture is another reason why you’re seeing mold growth in your chimney and fireplace.
One of the key reasons why you’re witnessing mold presence in chimney and fireplace is because there’s little to no ventilation. All other conditions favorable to mold growth are influenced by ventilation or the lack of it.
With proper ventilation, moisture buildup is reduced. The problem with mold growth in chimneys and fireplaces is that it creates a mess.
Symptoms of Mold in Chimney and Fireplace
Mold presence in chimney and fireplace is often announced by certain symptoms. When mold is noticed in the same room hosting a fireplace, the fireplace and chimney be likely affected.
Mustiness and dampness, and visible signs of mold growth on fireplace bricks are among the signs.
Mild to medium respiratory issues are also symptoms of mold in the chimney and fireplace. Now, some explanations for each of these points will be in order.
Mold in Room Hosting a Fireplace
When mold is noticed in a room with a fireplace, it’s important to also have the fireplace and chimney inspected.
As a matter of fact, such a chimney may be the cause of mold in your room. It’s important to adopt causal treatments rather than focusing on the effects.
With mold presence confirmed in your room, your next action will determine whether your chimney is truly the source of the problem.
You can either call a professional chimney technician for a thorough inspection or take the step outlined in the next point.
Mustiness and Dampness
While calling a chimney technician is a great way of dealing with mold presence in chimney and fireplace, it isn’t the only option. You can confirm if your chimney is the source.
One simple way to do this is by taking a whiff close to the fireplace opening.
The point is to perceive if there’s a musty and damp smell. If there is, then it’s likely your chimney is laden with mold. You might want to carry out a double confirmation by calling for professional inspection as well as treatment.
Visible Signs of Mold Growth on Fireplace Bricks
Sometimes, you don’t need to do much to confirm mold presence in your chimney and fireplace. This is because there’ll be clear signs of growth on fireplace walls.
In such situations, mold will be seen growing on your fireplace brickwork.
This isn’t as common as having mold hidden within the chimney structure. Nevertheless, this symptom is worth taking action over. You’ll need to find out the extent of the spread and have the areas treated accordingly.
Mild to Medium Respiratory Issues
Sometimes, none of the above symptoms may be noticed. However, you may develop mild to medium respiratory issues such as sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and headache.
Treatment for these minor issues should also be followed by an inspection of your surroundings for mold growth.
Health Risks To Mold Inside Chimney
We earlier mentioned a few health-related risks associated with mold presence.
Anything that negatively impacts your health should be tolerated. Additional toxic mold poisoning symptoms include persistent headaches, dizziness, labored breathing, severe fatigue, and asthma attacks.
There are also nausea symptoms, chronic sneezing, and coughing, as well as hives. One or more of these health issues should necessitate taking far-reaching measures such as those contained in the next section.
Treating Mold in Chimney and Fireplace
We’ve mentioned some of the root causes for mold presence in the chimney and fireplace. Two other possible reasons for mold presence are damaged chimney crowns and damaged chimney cap.
To fix this problem, the chimney crown will need to be repaired by a professional chimney sweep.
If there’s a damaged chimney cap, it should be replaced or fixed. Whatever the issue is, it should be attended to by an expert.
Have it Cleaned
A mold situation is one you shouldn’t take lightly. A thorough cleanup of your chimney and fireplace areas is necessary. A certified and experienced chimney sweep should be called for this job.
While attending to the effect or mold presence, the chimney sweep also fixes the causes.
A mold cleaning service performs all necessary cleaning and maintenance of your chimney. Such actions should be enough to resolve the problem.
Ventilation and Waterproofing
These are important provisions that need to be made immediately.
With better air movement and a waterproof chimney and fireplace, you’ll notice a marked improvement in your air quality as well as chimney and fireplace efficiency.
Mold in chimney and fireplace is one issue often raised by homeowners. We’ve attempted to provide answers to these and how best to go about the process.