If you have not used your fireplace in awhile, you may open up the doors to build a fire, and suddenly a strong odor of mildew or must hits you. If you have ever dealt with mold in your home before, the smell may be familiar to you and may send your mind whirling. Most people do not realize it, but mold can grow in a chimney, which is why you may have this scent present. Here are a few of the questions you may have about mold and your chimney when you smell this scent. 

Why Would Mold Be Growing in a Chimney? 

Mold likes to grow in damp, dark places. If moisture is able to get inside of your chimney and mold spores are present, mold can begin to grow. Unfortunately, since the flue of your chimney is hidden from your line of sight, mold will continue to grow until you are able to either see it or smell it. This means that by the time you figure out there is mold present in your chimney, there is a lot present. 

How Do You Remove Mold From a Chimney? 

Removing mold from your chimney is not a do-it-yourself job. If you smell a musty or mildew-like smell, you will want to call in a chimney repair, restoration and/or chimney cleaning company to help you. They have the tools to determine how much mold is present and what type of mold is present. Depending on the type and amount of mold present, a mold remediation company may be needed. If mold remediation is not needed, the chimney company can remove the mold using products that will kill the mold but won't hurt your flue or masonry that the chimney is built from. They can then find out how water is getting into your chimney and repair it so moisture is no longer present. 

How Can You Prevent Mold in Your Chimney? 

In order to prevent the growth of mold in your chimney, you need to ensure water does not get in. The best way to do this is by having a yearly chimney inspection and cleaning. During this inspection, a professional will look for cracks in the exterior portion of your chimney, ensure the flashing is in working condition and verify that the cap is keeping debris, including water, out of the chimney. If there are any problems, repairs can be made before issue like mold develop. 

The best way to prevent mold in your chimney is to have your chimney inspected on a regular basis. A chimney repair company, like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service, can come out and inspect your chimney to help prevent mold. But if it is too late and you smell that musty scent, a chimney repair company can still help you. They can remove the mold and then find out what caused the mold to help prevent it in the future.