I think we’re all fed up of hearing about the “Storm of the Century”. Now it’s time to clean up the mess that it left behind. Contractors in the mold remediation and renovations business and public works employees are working 24-7 these days. Up to 200,000 homes up and down the Texas coast have been damaged according to reports.

While you’re main priority is as it should be on your immediate living spaces such as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens, an area or in this case a heating appliance that homeowners overlook is the fireplace. Mold on bricks can usually be found in unused fireplaces and in those parts of the country that don’t use their fireplaces for at least half the year. There isn’t a  veneer (brick, stone, siding, and stucco) that’s strong enough to keep out all moisture. The small amount of moisture that gets past it needs to be drained and dried or it can lead to dangerous mold and damage to building materials. Many strains of mold grow very quickly, so it doesn’t take long for a serious problem to develop.

While you might see some of the obvious signs of mold on the bricks in your fireplace, often mold grows inside fireplaces where it’s hard to spot. You might notice that mold is growing in other areas of the room. However, since mold spreads easily from one place to another, mold growing in one part of a room with a fireplace spreads and can make its way to the fireplace.  You should inspect the fireplace for mold.Other signs of mold include a musty odor and the sudden development of respiratory symptoms including nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. A telltale sign is a musty, lingering odor.

A quick stop at your local home improvement store to pick up an antifungal cleanser like Foster 40-80, and a stiff brush and you might be able to remove mold on bricks. You’ll need a long-handled brush to clean hard-to-reach parts of your fireplace. And don’t forget to use a mirror and a flashlight to help you see all parts of the fireplace. Before you try cleaning the mold on your own, talk to your doctor to be certain that it’s safe for you to attempt to clean up mold yourself.

Mold hides out in the inside of the fireplace so make sure you inspect the inside of your chimney for mold, as well as other parts of your home, since most types of mold spread so easily. After you’ve cleaned out all of the mold you should get a certified mold inspector come in and test your home for mold.

Because it can be difficult to access the inside of your chimney to inspect it for mold and it can be difficult to adequately clean the entire fireplace and the inside of your chimney, you’re better off calling in a professional, like Professional Chimney Services. Take advantage of the free consultation that we offer. We’ll inspect your home for mold; provide you with an assessment that includes the work that needs to be done, and a written cost estimate. We’ve seen it all before and we’ll be able to put you at ease by explaining the extent of the problem to you, so you’ll know the exact issues that you’re facing and the best way to deal with them.

As Houstonians and Texans, we’ve learned a lot about our ability to overcome and survive. We hope that all of you are able to get through this difficult period and we want to extend our condolences to those that have lost loved ones. Houston, Texas, Strong!