If you live in Memphis, or anywhere in Tennessee, you’re probably used to the high levels of humidity year-round. We suffer from mosquitoes, unbearably sticky-hot weather, and mold growth. Mold is a lot like that old saying about fish and guests, except that fish and guests don’t multiply. Mold doesn’t just stink; it starts to reproduce in 2 days or less. Remember Gremlins? It’s kind of like that.

Mold grows on many surfaces in the home, like ceiling tiles, drywall, wallpaper, and insulation and siding. It also thrives in non-synthetic carpets (like wool), fabrics, and upholstery. Visible mold growth usually appears in many colors as surface discoloration, stains, or as a fuzzy growth. What many of us don’t realize, however, is that mold lives in a lot of unseen places, like HVAC ductwork and chimneys. And it’s a lot more than a nuisance—it can cause severe health problems.

Mold can grow inside the flue of your chimney and cause numerous health issues.

Mold can grow inside the flue of your chimney and cause numerous health issues.

Mold thrives in environments that are dark and damp, and a chimney can be exactly that kind of environment. It might seem odd to think about a place that smoke and heat travels through getting damp and moldy, but remember that there is a large part of the year that your chimney isn’t in use, and moisture from the outside weather conditions can enter. Once inside the chimney, mold gets to work growing and reproducing.

“So what?” you say, “If I don’t have to look at it, doesn’t bother me.” The problem is, it does bother you, because the mold that grows inside your chimney doesn’t stay in the chimney. Mold spores take to the air to reproduce, which means pretty soon your home can become filled with toxic air. The health risks of mold exposure vary from moderate to severe, depending on the level of exposure.

Symptoms of mold exposure:

  • Coughing
  • Sinus issues
  • Eye/throat irritation
  • Skin rash
  • Headaches/body pains
  • Respiratory issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Long-term illness

At Coopertown, we are CSIA certified and are experts at dealing with mold and leaks in chimneys. We’ll inspect your entire chimney to identify the problem areas that may be allowing moisture in, among them, checking for leaks in the flashing (the seal between the joints in the chimney) and looking for water damage. We may recommend that you have a chimney cap installed (if you don’t already have a good one) and waterproof the inside of your chimney—where we apply a vapor permeable formula on the inside of your chimney that repels moisture and allows any trapped moisture to escape.

Do you think you might have a mold problem in your chimney? Then don’t wait to act. Give your chimney sweep a call at 901-358-7777.