When we think of mold in the home, we usually visualize basements, bathrooms, and behind walls – the obvious places, right? But did you know that there is also a risk of mold in your chimney? Just like with any other surface, mold will grow in a chimney when there is dampness, darkness, and poor air ventilation. The chimney is designed to carry smoke and gases out of your home, but that doesn’t mean it is impervious to mold growth.
It is important to have your chimney inspected, especially if you can smell something musty coming from it. But how do we prevent mold from being in our chimneys in the first place?
- Chimney Cap: A chimney cap is vital and assists in keeping water out of your chimney in the first place. But a leaking, damaged, or even a faulty chimney cap, will allow water to escape past it and make its way into your chimney. These caps can be damaged by severe weather, and especially constant freezing and thawing in winter. So the addition of expansion joints on the caps will help to prevent this sort of damage.
- Chimney Crown: A chimney crown is made of cement and is installed at a slightly downward angle, and overhangs the bricks by two inches. With this overhang, water will run off of the crown and down the roof, never coming into contact with the sides of the chimney bricks. For this reason, a chimney crown is a necessity if you want to keep water away in order to prevent the growth of mold on or in your chimney. These are also important to have inspected by a professional to make sure it is properly installed and in working condition.
- Waterproofing & Sealing: Another way to prevent dampness in the chimney is to have the bricks on its exterior sealed. Seeing as chimneys are hit by the worst of severe weather, they are at risk for damage and therefore, at risk of penetration and leaks. Sealing the chimney’s exterior, and essentially waterproofing it, will aid in keeping water locked out and protect the bricks from water damage.
- Good Condition: Is the chimney in good repair? However, before any of the above steps can be taken, it is necessary to determine if the chimney is in good condition, or in need of repair. For instance, sealing damaged bricks or mortar joins will not prevent water from getting inside.
You should have your chimney inspected and consult with a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) Certified professional about the best options for repairing any damage and adding preventative measures for the future life of your chimney. Both of the licensed and insured chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA certified with experience dealing with common chimney problems as well as some more complex issues that homeowners may face with their chimney. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney problems and we’ll help you get a handle on any mold issues you may have in the chimney as well.