Molds in Your Chimney?
Structural damage can be very serious, but it’s not the only danger present. The fungi that breeds in the moisture can cause respiratory problems and other health issues for you and your family. Many types of fungus can grow from the moisture inside your chimney, but by far the most common is mold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of species of mold ranges from tens of thousands to perhaps 300,000 or more.
Mold requires moisture to reproduce, so it grows best when it’s exposed to warm, damp conditions. The fungi do perform a necessary function in nature, breaking down decomposing organic compounds, but when spores breed indoors, they can be a major source of danger. Indoor mold has many different varieties, including: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus.
Mold is Found in the Darnedest Places
The first step in preventing mold from damaging your home or threatening the health of you and your family is to become familiar with its causes and appearance. Mold, with the right amount of food and moisture, can grow and spread rapidly. Wet areas that don’t get much sunlight and have dying plants near them are where mold usually breeds. Any place that stays humid in your home, such as a bathroom, can be a breeding ground for mold spores. Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours in an area where wet surfaces or materials are not properly dried or discarded. Some places are more vulnerable to mold than others, due to the atmosphere. These include greenhouses, saunas and flower shops. Mold can be green, which, black or brown, depending on the individual species. Mold will show up as fuzzy patches or slimy stains on many surfaces, and they might have an earthy or musty smell.
Associated Health Concerns
People can be allergic to the spores in mold and might even have an allergic reaction when they come in contact with mold. Nasal and sinus congestion, a cough and headache, and irritation of the eyes, throat or skin are good indicators of mold exposure. Toxic effects and infections from the exposure of mold are rare, but they do happen. High levels of mold exposure can lead to serious, long-term health problems. For this reason, it is extremely important that you see a doctor as soon as you show any signs of mold exposure.
Using a few simple measures, you can easily prevent mold from occurring in your home. You can use dehumidifiers in your home to help you maintain the proper level of humidity (not to exceed 40-60 percent); this will be especially helpful during the summer. You should never use carpet on areas of your home that contain high humidity (your bathroom or basement), and always use paints that contain mold inhibiting agents. When cleaning bathrooms, mold-killing products are also available to lower your chances of being affected by mold. Preventing mold is easy when you rely on the professionals at Chimney Saver Solutions. Fill out our online contact form or call us today at (804) 440-5000 to see how we can further assist you with.