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Be careful of your leaky chimney -- it becomes the perfect environment for molds to grow.

Be careful of your leaky chimney — it becomes the perfect environment for molds to grow.

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we specialize in troubleshooting and repairing leaky chimneys. Chimney leaks, at their worst, can cause a lot of damage to your chimney structure — even the interior of your home. But did you realize that chimney mold was a big cause for concern, too?

Do I Really Have To Worry About Mold In My Chimney?

Even though your chimney system’s function is a pretty ingenious blend of engineering, design and physics, we can boil its key jobs down to three things: keeping fire in, ushering combustion byproducts up, and keeping water out. When all of that is happening, you have a well-functioning chimney.

Since it’s somewhat easier to pay attention to fire — what with it being hot and bright and pretty much the whole point of having a fireplace or stove — a lot of us forget how important the water part of that equation is. When water intrusion occurs, you could be left with a bunch of different problems: stained walls, discolored ceilings, damaged masonry and yes, mold. Mold needs moisture to grow and thrive, so when water starts to make its way into your chimney system, mold very often follows.

And we’re all pretty aware at this point of how troubling mold can be. It’s tough to remove, and can be dangerous to be around — a lot of different health problems have been linked to mold exposure, from respiratory issues to allergy flare-ups.

How Do I Know If I Have Mold In My Chimney?

In addition to trusting your Jack Pixley Sweeps techs, when we come to inspect your chimney, you can also trust your senses when it comes to mold.

Mold tends to grow in dark, moist and often out of the way areas, so the first indication of its presence may be an odor. Mold has a musty, dirty smell that’s hard to ignore.

Our eyes tell us a lot too. If you see discoloration on your masonry or the walls around your fireplace and chimney — from green to brown to black spotty or splotchy areas — you might be looking at some mold growth. If you’re noticing moisture getting into your system, even if you don’t see stains, there’s a good chance you have the stage set for mold growth.

If you have any suspicions or worries, call Jack Pixley Sweeps — our CSIA-certified technicians have years of experience dealing with leaks and mold growth, removing mold and repairing leaks to prevent that mold from coming back.

Removing And Preventing Mold

The Environmental Protection Agency’s guideline is to call in a professional if water damage is considerable, or if mold growth covers anything as large as a 3-foot-by-3-foot area. Since your mold is almost certainly the result of a leak issue, we think it’s advisable to call a professional if there’s any mold in your chimney system at all, since the mold will only come back if you remove it without clearing up the leak that caused the mold in the first place.

Finding the chimney leak issue that led to mold growth is a tricky process — we inspect the chimney top to bottom to figure out what’s offering access to moisture, including the chimney flashing and chimney crown. Once we find the problem or problems, we’ll share a plan of attack that’ll have your chimney shedding water again (which may include having us apply a strong waterproofing sealant to protect your masonry and repel moisture).

Don’t let chimney mold problems scare you — Jack Pixley Sweeps is always here to help. If you have any questions, or want to make an appointment, just give us a call!