Chimney Mold and Its Dangers
Water always finds a way. And when that water gets into your chimney, it can cause real damage. In addition to damage of your chimney, water also produces mold – and those dangers can spread to your physical health. Never touch mold anywhere in your home without first protecting yourself with gloves and a ‘surgical mask’.
Mold can cause reactions that range from irritation of eyes and skin to severe infections and if not treated, long-term health issues. Common indicators of mold exposure are congestion, cough and headache. Since these indicate so many other things, avoiding contact is recommended. Sometimes mold in your chimney produces a musty smell, but regular chimney maintenance can remove and prevent mold.
Keeping Mold Out
Homeowners can contribute greatly to its prevention with some really simple measures that make systems maintenance easier. Before you paint, use a mold-killing primer, especially on ceilings, bathroom walls. Outer interior walls around deck doors and windows are also key areas to monitor. Mold grows fastest in dark damp places, like water-compromised chimneys or duct work, but “damp” is all it really needs.
Dehumidifiers can help to reduce the dampness in the air. Check with certified HVAC professionals to see whether this might work for you. Do not carpet damp areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms, as the moisture in this area is a tempting breeding ground for mold. Keep your supply registers and return vents vacuumed out and free of obstruction. Resist the urge to hide baseboard registers with furniture; give them room to breathe and keep them clean. All of these measure are particularly helpful in areas of high humidity.
Removing mold from your chimney is a job best left to a professional chimney sweep. Where there is mold, there is water, so the system needs cleaning, inspection, and repair. Wherever water and fire meet, chimney sweeps go. Mold is a danger for you and your pets. Protect those you love by securing annual chimney maintenance.