Creating More Living Space Outdoors

Stubborn Allergies Won't Go Away? Get Rid Of The Mold In Your Unused Fireplace

by Emily Flores

If you suffer from allergies that won't go away no matter how much medicine you take, clean out your unused fireplace to get rid of mold. Sometimes, mold forms in unused fireplaces that become damp from moisture. Because unlit fireplaces tend to be dark, mold can grow without you ever knowing about it. Inhaling mold spores can cause or lead to allergies in some people. The symptoms of a mold allergy include watery eyes and nasal congestion. You can get rid of your stubborn allergies to mold with the tips below.

Make Your Mold Cleaning Solution

If you have allergies to commercial cleansers that contain harsh chemicals and ingredients, it's a good idea to make a safe, natural cleaning solution made with white household vinegar and water. Vinegar is a popular and common household cleaning ingredient that destroys over 80 percent of mold species today. 

Mix 3 cups of vinegar with 6 cups of cold water in a gallon-size spray bottle. Vinegar gives off a tart scent, so you want to dilute it with water to control the smell. Also, wear gloves, eye goggles and a face mask during your cleaning. The protective gear protects your hands, nose and eyes from any debris that flies off the surfaces of the fireplace during the cleaning.

Now, you're ready to get started.

Clean the Fireplace

First, remove any old logs, wood and pokers from the fireplace. Discard the items if they show signs of mold and rot. Because firewood is dead, organic material, it can eventually develop mold. The moisture inside your unused fireplace may help encourage mold to grow on the wood. Discarding the items now helps control the mold growth in your fireplace and home later.

Now, follow the steps below:

  1. Vacuum out the fireplace hearth and firebox until clean. 
  2. Position the hose of the vacuum toward the throat, or opening that leads to the smoke chamber and chimney. Turn the vacuum to high, then move it back and forth to suck out any airborne debris floating inside the throat.
  3. Move the vacuum along the sides of the fireplace, including the damper casing. You want to suck up as much dust and old soot as you can.
  4. Cover the hearth and surrounding flooring with a thick tarp, then use the spray bottle of vinegar and water to saturate all areas of the fireplace.
  5. Wait 20-30 minutes for the solution to destroy and remove the mold.
  6. Wipe down and dry the surfaces with clean towels. Be sure to change out the towels as they become wet and soiled.
  7. Discard all items, including the soiled vacuum bag, tarp and protective gear, in the trashcan outside the home. The items may contain mold spores from your cleaning. 

If you don't plan to use the fireplace in the near future, block off the throat with a seal to prevent mold spores from entering the fireplace through the chimney. If you need help with this step, contact a chimney cleaning specialist for assistance.

For more tips on how to prevent or keep mold out of your unused fireplace, schedule an appointment with a chimney cleaning provider like one from today.