You know that saying, “canary in a coal mine,” nodding toward things that can tip us to hidden dangers and problems? In your chimney, we might call mold that figurative canary. (Though suppose that’s not really fair to canaries.) If mold shows up, it’s announcing the presence of an even more tenacious issue: water intrusion:
While we’re all prone to saying that someone/some structure has a “mold problem,” truth is, the existence of mold in or around a chimney is really a symptom of a root problem — namely, a chimney leak. Getting rid of mold, when it shows up, is just a part of a remediation process. To truly get rid of mold, chimney pros like Ashbusters put the focus on solving the initial problem, and finding and repairing leaks.
Are You Telling Me I Don’t Need To Worry About Mold?
Don’t get us wrong — mold is absolutely a problem, and one worth putting the energy forth to deal with. Mold brings along a heap of headaches. Certain types have been known to cause all sorts of health issues, particularly with folks who already suffer from respiratory problems like asthma. We’ve read about sinus issues, breathing issues, allergic reactions and more serious health problems associated with exposure to mold spores. You don’t want mold in your home, and you definitely don’t want to be breathing mold spores in.
The point here is that mold is just an outgrowth of your main problem, which is moisture intrusion. Getting rid of the mold without dealing with the water issue would only leave you dealing with mold again.
How Do I Know If There’s Mold In My Chimney?
Sometimes the signs of a chimney leak will lead you to discover mold growth. Sometimes the telltale signs of mold will lead you to discover your leak. These tend to go hand-in-hand, so it’s worth being vigilant about indicators of both.
Mold more often than not announces its presence by creating a dank, foul odor — most of us recognize it as the perfume of a humid and moisture-rich cellar. If you smell something musty in your chimney, there’s a good chance you have mold growing, and a better chance that you’re having some moisture issues.
Sometimes we see something before we smell something. If you notice discoloration on or around your chimney, stains in the building materials of the adjoining walls or ceilings or peeling paint, those are good indicators or moisture intrusion, and possible mold.
How Do I Get Rid Of Chimney Mold?
The Environmental Protection Agency figures that moldy areas that cover a patch smaller than about three feet by three feet can generally be handled by homeowners. It’s smart to consult a professional for larger areas. But regardless of the amount of mold coverage, safety is always a concern, so homeowners and professionals alike need to take precautions — particularly when it comes to respiratory protection — when dealing with mold. Wearing a respirator and goggles and using the right tools and cleansers is key.
Ashbusters technicians are extensively trained to properly and safely remediate mold problems. And since we’re all-around chimney pros, we’re also armed with the knowledge and experience to get to the bottom of the moisture issues that led to the mold in the first place, and to make the proper repairs.
Are you worried about mold? We’d be glad to help, whether you need information, an inspection or repairs. Just give Ashbusters a call!