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Chimney Mold: An Explainer

What You Need to Know About Mold

Taking care of your chimney isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time, materials, skill and constant attention. We need to constantly monitor and maintain our chimneys in order to ensure our home and our family’s safety.

Every year, there are a number of homeowners from all over, emailing and calling our friendly team at Basic Chimney Sweep & Repair to inquire about each of their chimney concerns. From tips on prevention up to simple how-to’s, we’ve made sure to respond to as many of your questions as we possibly can.

You have questions about the growth of mold in your chimney? We have answers.

You have questions about the growth of mold in your chimney? We have answers.

We are frequently asked about one concern – it’s about chimney mold and its impact on our safety.

So, we’ve decided to come up with a compilation of a few important facts and helpful information that you might want to know regarding chimney molds.

Water is the Enemy

Aside from water being known to cause damage in your chimney’s mortar and brick, and not to mention the risk it has on potentially damaging your chimney’s structural integrity, water is our number one enemy because it is the key ingredient in mold proliferation.

Signs and Indications

What are the early signs to look out for that are indicative of mold growth? To be able to detect mold growth without actually going up your chimney to take a peak would require you to be very observant. First, you need to take note of the season and the weather. Since the potential for mold growth greatly increases with the presence of water, you need to be more alert whenever it’s warm, rainy or humid. Second, you need to take note of the smell. If you notice a musky odor circulating, then that is definitely a tell-tale sign of mold growth.

Potential Risks

Every person has a different reaction to certain substances. The same is true with a person’s reaction to molds. Here are a few of the common physical reactions attributed to mold growth:

  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Memory loss
  • Weakened immune system

Of course, these reactions vary depending on the severity of the mold growth and exposure and the person’s physical state upon contact.

Preventive Measures

In order to prevent the possibility of mold growth, the best thing for you to do is to waterproof your chimneys. A waterproofing sealant can be applied on the walls of your chimney. Another preventive measure is to install a chimney cap. Chimney caps cover the opening so that little or no water at all can enter. Eliminating the possibility of water also eliminates the possibility of mild growth in your chimney.

 

Tips for Hiring a Chimney Sweep

Lovable Bert, who forever left us with an impression of chimney sweeps as soot faced rooftop dancers, was in some ways a fitting caricature. He was, after all, a jack of all trades, selling kites one minute, cleaning chimneys the next. That can be what you get these days if you do not ask the right question when you choose a chimney sweep.

Professional Fitness for a Changing Job

It is important to remember that this profession began with less than scrupulous simple vent cleaners who were no longer a good fit for modernized chimneys. That pretty well describes some of the “chimney sweeps” who completed a quick training in the use of specialized brushes and got a business license. They may be equipped to clean a modern chimney, but they are a bad fit for modern fireplace systems and they are not really into them.

CSIA Certification - Baton Rouge LA - Basic Chimney Sweep

Bert was not the guy to handle an inspection of the chimney to assess its condition, safety, and performance. He was the type to tap dance around clearances without ever knowing they were there. You may love him, but Bert is far from a CSIA certified chimney sweep, and not the guy you want to entrust with your home safety.

One Tip Is All You Need

The ability to professionally inspect your chimney is the primary thing for which you should be looking. That is what takes years of training and ongoing education, and that is what results in chimney sweep certification. Young boys living in orphanages were quickly taught to clean chimneys, but nobody relied on them to do more than that.

The most important tip we have for you is really the only one you need…to make a good choice. Ask the sweep you called if they have proof of industry certification in addition to a license and insurance. If he is not a certified sweep, simply look elsewhere to find someone that is truly qualified to clean your chimney.

By Ronald Caillais on March 12th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment
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