Fireplace mold can be a serious problem for a homeowner. Since we do not use our fireplaces for half the year, it can be very common for mold to be present in a chimney stack. The moist environment with lack of heat allows for a perfect environment for the mold to grow, and it doesn’t take long either. Prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause health problems like respiratory diseases, nerve damage and pulmonary illness. So here is everything you need to know about chimney and fireplace mold.
Typically, the first sign of chimney mold is a musty smell. If you smell something coming from your fireplace that smells like old basement, you should get your chimney checked out. Another sign is that there is a discoloration in the masonry or adjacent building materials. A sign that mold might be in your chimney is the collection of flaky, crystallized, white efflorescence. This could be a sign of moisture intrusion which greatly helps mold to grow. Most of the time, the sure sign of mold will be the smell.
Here is what to do about mold in your chimney: call a chimney service. If you do find mold, it is best to leave it up to the professionals. Removing the mold by yourself would require special tools. The normal person does not have the necessary tools for this and any fix you do yourself would only be temporary.
You can prevent chimney mold from happening. To make sure there is no dampness, you need to make sure to seal all the brick on the outside of the chimney. You also need to be sure to cement your chimney caps to prevent water from leaking down into the stack. You can also install stainless steel rain covers with screening that keeps out animals as well. All of these are the best practices to prevent your chimney from mold.