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All About Chimney Mold

Poor mold — aside from cheesemongers and penicillin farmers, no one’s ever excited to find out it dropped by.

Addressing Chimney Mold Image - Columbia MO - Advanced Chimney

The first sign of water intrusion in your chimney should be addressed ASAP to prevent mold growth.

The truth is, though — sorry mold — the bad reputation is entirely earned. When mold spores are given the moisture they need to feed and thrive (say, from a leaky chimney), mold grows and spreads quickly, bringing a wide array of frustrating and potentially dangerous side effects along with it.

Where Does Mold Come From?

Mold spores are around, pretty much everywhere — which is why your food can become moldy pretty quickly when it’s left out in the air. By and large, take an organic substance, add oxygen, moisture and time, and you’ll end up with mold. That’s part of why chimney experts like Advanced Chimney Techniques technicians talk so much about preventing moisture intrusion — water damage is one factor, but the potential dangers that come with mold growth need to be considered and addressed as well.

What Can Mold Grow On?

If there’s anything good to be said about building surface mold, it’s that it’s incredibly open-minded about its living situation. Mold will grow on a wide variety of different surfaces in your home — wood, drywall, insulation, paper, carpet, ceiling tiles, the masonry materials that make up your chimney, inside your vents and on and on. If moisture and oxygen are available on or around that surface, mold will take advantage of the opportunity to grow and spread.

Why Do I Need To Worry About Mold?

For starters, mold in your home is an indicator of trouble. The fact that it’s growing — whether that’s inside your chimney or on the building materials around it — tells us that there’s an issue with moisture intrusion, like a chimney leak. Mold in, on or near your chimney is almost certainly alerting us to the fact that there’s an issue we need to address.

But more specifically — and you’ve likely heard this before many times — mold can be dangerous, even toxic, to come into contact with. Some molds create Mycotoxins that have been connected to a mix of health issues when breathed in, ingested or exposed to skin. The United States Environmental Protection Agency shares a lot of good information about the potential effects of mold exposure, including allergic reactions, the triggering of asthma attacks, pulmonary or skin irritation, even lung infections. People with respiratory issues and illnesses are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of mold exposure, so if someone in your home is suffering from asthma or a similar ailment, it’s worth being particularly cautious and aware.

Mold’s growth process also includes breaking down and destroying whatever it’s growing on — so when that “whatever” is part of your home, you definitely wouldn’t want to leave mold alone, even if it wasn’t dangerous to have around.

And then, let’s be honest: Mold is stinky, and it’s unpleasant to have moldy odors in our home.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mold?

Since mold exposure is potentially dangerous, precautions need to be taken when removing it, including wearing respirators, gloves and goggles and using the correct cleansers and tools to remove and contain the mold spores. It’s not recommended that you attempt to remediate mold if it covers a surface area of more than 10 feet (about 3-foot-by-3-foot square). Professionals — like Advanced Chimney Techniques technicians — are trained to safely and effectively remediate mold problems.

But to really deal with a mold problem, the key is to deal with the moisture problem. If that isn’t addressed, you’d just end up with mold again anyway as the moisture returned.

If mold is growing in or around your chimney system, Advanced Chimney Techniques can perform a thorough chimney inspection to assess whether you have a leak and if so, what’s causing it.

Some common contributors to chimney leaks include cracked chimney crowns, rusty or corroded chase covers, damaged masonry joints or chimney flashing and missing chimney caps, among other issues. Advanced Chimney specializes in chimney repairs, and we can make your moisture issues, and your mold issues, a thing of the past.

Do you have any other questions about chimney mold or chimney leaks? We’re always glad to help our valued clients. Just give Advanced Chimney Techniques a call!