Mold in Chimney
Allergies to mold spores commonly cause sinus and respiratory problems, coughing and headaches, as well as eye and throat irritation. Constant exposure to high levels of mold can weaken the immune system, causing long-term health issues. While it may not be an obvious culprit, your chimney could be to blame if you have been suffering from any of these symptoms.
Wet areas with no sunlight are where mold growth frequently happens. A chimney is obviously the ideal environment for that sort of thing to take place, but there must be a point of entry for the moisture. High humidity levels, as well as external water entry.
The most obvious way to tell if your chimney is moldy is with your nose. A musty odor coming from fireplace indicates a problem, but there are other signs to look for as well, like discoloration of the walls and ceiling or cracks in the paint. Another indicator is a white film on the exterior surface of the chimney, called efflorescence. While this is not mold, it indicates that water has been leaking into the structure.
There are some DIY things that will reduce the amount of moisture that enters your chimney. Installing a dehumidifier will take unwanted water out of the air and away from your fireplace. There are also external issues that may be playing a hand, and in this case, contacting a chimney specialist will help determine what they are and how to address and resolve them. If you live in the Louisville, KY area, All American Chimney Service, LLC is qualified and ready to meet your needs.
Waterproofing is a great way to keep unwanted moisture out of your chimney, as well as installing a chimney cap to keep moisture from weather away, and checking the flashing (the seal between the joints of your chimney and roof that keeps water out) for necessary repairs.
Preventive measures are always best, and will save you money. Waiting until a problem overtakes your chimney and home almost always costs more. Scheduling an annual inspection and cleaning is your first line of defense.