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How to handle mold?

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Jul 22, 2013, 05:30 PM
Mongaux
How to handle mold?
After a very wet and humid start to the summer, we found we had a very moldy chimney. Apparently, our old bricks were extremely porous and were just soaking up all the moisture and then it was molding. We had a chimney service come. They checked for cracks, etc. and then they applied water repellent to the whole chimney exterior. The expert noted the mold smell coming through our blower vents, and the condensation, and said that it would resolve itself once it dried up outside. Does this sound right to anyone? We still have a very moldy smell coming from the fireplace. I know the humidity has not dropped, and we've had more rain, so there has not been much time for improvement. But I want to get some more opinions. Should I have a mold inspection? Light a fire? Help! Thanks!
Jul 22, 2013, 05:52 PM
Jaybee
If your chimney is still sound, I'd go ahead and light a fire. Certainly can't hurt and should kill any mold spores in and near the flue.


Jaybee
Jul 22, 2013, 05:54 PM
Mongaux
I'll try it tonight. Wish it would get below 80 so I didn't feel so weird about it. Smile

There seems to be a small air leak where the interior brick facing of our fireplace meets the ceiling. I know this because a little mildew is up there in a blow pattern the last few days. Should I caulk the seam?
Jul 22, 2013, 09:44 PM
GardenSprite
Put some bowls of baking soda or cat litter around the areas that smell of mold; they'll help absorb the odor. I wouldn't put them by the fireplace when it's on though.
Jul 23, 2013, 08:56 PM
Mongaux
Thanks! I'll try that tomorrow.

Tonight we noticed bubbles in the paint on the wall to the right of the fireplace. I cut away a bubble and it doesn't appear to be wet underneath. Is it possible the very high humidity is causing this to happen? We painted that wall last year.
Jul 23, 2013, 09:00 PM
Jaybee
If there was moisture trapped within the wall surface prior to being painted, it could cause the bubbles.


Jaybee
Jul 23, 2013, 10:32 PM
GardenSprite
Question on the moisture in the chimney...wouldn't there be moisture accumulating on the interior of the bricks as well as the exterior, and if so, would sealing the exterior only solve the problem?
Jul 24, 2013, 07:58 AM
Mongaux
The water repellent is "breathable". So apparently air and moisture can come out, but not in. Just waiting for that to happen...
Jul 24, 2013, 10:33 AM
Conrad
Do you currently have a functioning rain cap/spark arrester on the chimney???

This keeps rain/snow from falling inside and causing moisture issues in the brick. If this is not addressed, any other fixes will not last.
Jul 24, 2013, 01:30 PM
Mongaux
Yes, our chimney cap was installed 2 years ago, so it should be good. We had a chimney expert out last week to waterproof the chimney and he said everything else looked good. Although I suppose he could have been wrong. This afternoon I see new bubbles on the ceiling along the edge of the fireplace wall. I've called a contractor and am hoping to hear back soon. Luckily, there does not appear to be any bubbling in the same wall upstairs. I think it's seepage from the chimney and suspect the moisture that got in before sealing did not evaporate the way we were told it would. We'll see...