Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Mold in Your Chimney?

The Danger of Molds in your Chimney

Water is, in more ways than one, beneficial to each individual. As a matter of fact, it’s a person’s source of life. There are thousands of ways to acknowledge the importance of water and how it has supplemented the lives of many, but this article tells a different story.

Water in your chimney is something to look out for. Actually, water should not be allowed in your chimney area at all. A simple leak can allow numerous problems to arise because it can serve as a breeding ground for deadly molds to accumulate, grow and multiply.

Moisture not diverted away by a chimney cap encourages the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Moisture not diverted away by a chimney cap encourages the perfect breeding ground for mold.

The FYIs about Molds

If you ever notice unusual looking spots of either green, white or black with a particularly disturbing earthy odor on the walls of your fireplace, that could be a sign of molds that have infested your chimney and are slowly making their way into your home. They can attach themselves to areas where they can feed of moisture. This usually happens in your chimney because water and debris left after combustion in the fireplace make a very scrumptious snack for molds.

Outside the home, this fungus can be of great help; breaking down decomposed organic substances and the like. This is complemented by a combination of humidity and moisture in a particular area. However, molds in the home do the complete opposite of helping and they pose a health threat to those living inside.

The Symptoms

If you think that molds are just there to destroy your chimney structure, you’re dead wrong. It affects your health as well. Exposure to it can cause allergic reactions and symptoms like irritation on the skin and to other areas like the eyes, the throat or the nose.

Other symptoms like cough and headache are sometimes dealt with lightly or completely ignored until it passes because they are common and can be caused by many factors. But in the case of mold exposure, these are not to be taken for granted. Once this is starting to happen to you, be sure to see a doctor immediately. High level exposure to molds can cause permanent damage to your health.

Prevention is Better than Cure

But don’t panic just yet! Do not fear or be dismayed because there is always a solution. There are two things experts would highly recommend:

First, the use of dehumidifiers to regularly check the humidity level in the home and make sure that it is at 40-60%. This will prevent excess moisture from accumulating in any area in the home. This should be strictly monitored most especially during sunny summer days.

Most importantly, regular chimney inspections and sweeping should be done. This will prevent water leaks, moisture and humidity from interfering with the overall functions of the chimney. To solve your problem of chimney molds, call the certified experts of Pozzi Chimney Sweep, Incorporated. They will be able to take out the mold and waterproof your chimney in no time.

 

Air Quality Issues

Sure, you might enjoy the smell of a wood fire on a crisp fall evening—but that’s not a smell you should be experiencing inside your home from your fireplace. In fact, smelling smoke means not only that your chimney isn’t doing its job, but also that the air inside your home is being polluted and is hazardous to your health. We all spend a lot of time in our homes, and want to do what we can to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air. Let’s take a look at how we can eliminate your chimney from contributing to bad air.

If draft isn't happening properly, some air that should go up the chimney is coming into your home. This can cause breathing difficulties.

If draft isn’t happening properly, some air that should go up the chimney is coming into your home. This can cause breathing difficulties.

Smoke pollution, also called spillage, is when air gets pulled down through the chimney, instead of allowing the smoke to exit up. This pushes the smoke into the home. Even in small amounts, this can be dangerous. Elderly or children are especially susceptible to this kind of pollution—it can cause respiratory and cardiovascular issues, lung cancer, and can damage lung tissue.

There are a number of things that can cause spillage. An average fire consumes all the air that can fit into a 1200 square-foot space three times within 24 hours of operation. If your home isn’t properly ventilated, that fire is going to get the air from somewhere. There can also be issues with your flue size or the position of the fire grate. A smoke guards or exhaust fan is often a practical and effective solution to this problem.

Mold spores are another, more invisible foe, and your chimneys can often be the culprit. If there is moisture trapped inside the chimney it’s the perfect place for mold to grow—dark, damp and warm. It’s also responsible for a number of health problems, like sinus and respiratory problems, coughing, headaches, and eye and throat irritation. Having a chimney cap installed and waterproofing your chimney will rid it of moisture and help keep your air cleaner.

As you can see, keeping up with the regular maintenance of your chimney is a vital part of being a homeowner. Be sure to schedule an annual inspection and cleaning, so your chimney sweep can keep you one step ahead.

Is It Time To Clean Your Vents?

 

Is it Time to Clean Your Ducts?

Clogged vents may or may not impact your health – this is open for debate . However, there is no debate about keeping vents clean for proper functioning. So how do you know whether it is time to have them cleaned? Here are some things to looks for: dust, critters and/or visible mold.

Clogged Ducts

It is completely normal to see some dust in your return vents, since they pull air into them. Lots of things contribute to the presence of lots of different particles in the air they draw. If you see piles of dust or debris, or if dust is coming out of the supply registers, then the time for action is now.

Clean Vents - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney Sweep

Clean Vents – Aurora IL – Pozzi Chimney Sweep

Creepy Crawlies

An occasional spider is not cause for concern, but no one should live with creepy crawlies in their ducts. No one questions the need to clean vents that are infested with insects or rats. If roaches, wasps, or rodents have made your air vents their home, the vents need to be cleaned!

Visible Mold

Where there’s mold, there’s moisture, and everyone agrees that you need to keep moisture out of your ductwork. You might be able to smell it even if you cannot see it, but visible mold is a clear basis for a cleaning – at the minimum. If you see mold either in sheet metal ducts or on other HVAC components, vent cleaning is both necessary and possible!

When Your ‘Needed Cleaning’ Needs More…

With mold, things like wet insulation have to be removed and replaced. This is true for all duct work materials that contain fiberglass. Biocides are not approved for use on fiberglass duct liners, and their application to porous duct materials is illegal. Furthermore, cleaning is not effective in preventing a recurrence of mold in fiberglass…it needs to be replaced.