At A to Z Chimney Sweep, we talk to our clients a lot about preventing moisture intrusion, from waterproofing masonry chimneys to making sure that properly sized and installed chimney caps are in place. We stress the importance of keeping moisture out because water, overall, is your chimney system’s worst enemy.
On the outside, excess moisture can rust your chase cover, erode your masonry joints, crack your chimney crown and more. On the inside, moisture intrusion can damage your firebox, your flue liner or your damper — and it can also lead to mold growth. And mold is a serious problem in and of itself.
How Does Mold Grow In My Chimney?
Mold spores are everywhere — that’s why food that is left out for a prolonged period of time becomes covered in it. All mold really needs to thrive is a welcoming surface, some moisture to feed on and oxygen. A leaky chimney provides all of that.
Why Should I Care About Chimney Mold?
First, mold can pose health issues for people in your home — particularly those who already struggle with respiratory issues. The Environmental Protection Agency has a rundown of common health problems linked to mold exposure, including pulmonary and skin irritation, respiratory issues (like triggering asthma attacks), even up to lung infections. Prolonged exposure to mold — particularly “toxic” black mold that commonly forms on moisture-riddled building materials — is just an overall bad thing, and it’s a problem that needs quick attention.
Second, mold is an indicator of a moisture problem — in this case, a leaky chimney. Its presence means there’s damage that needs to be repaired, and in a chimney, that can be anything from torn chimney flashing to degraded masonry. To get rid of mold, and keep it away, the cause of your chimney leak needs to be addressed and repaired.
How Do I Know If I Have Chimney Mold?
If you see discolored areas in or around your chimney — often black or green dingy patches — that can be an indicator of mold growth. But more often than not, your nose tells you first. Most of us know the smell of mold when we come across it — it’s that dank, musty odor we usually detect in an old basement. If you detect an odor around your chimney, call A to Z Chimney Sweep — we can see if you have a mold problem, find the cause of your moisture intrusion, remediate the mold and make repairs to keep it gone.
Have any more questions or concerns about chimney mold? We’re always glad to help our valued clients. Just give A to Z Chimney Sweep a call!