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3 Pollutants That Buildup Inside Your Chimneys

Post by : dminCMC


old brick chimney

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the concentration of certain pollutants is higher indoors than outdoors. And the source of these pollutants is sometimes right there in your house, i.e., the chimney.

The chimney can not only become a passage for harmful smoke re-entering your home, but it also becomes home to many toxic pollutants that build up over time to pollute indoor air quality.

Without regular chimney cleaning, the following pollutants can build up in your chimney.

Black Carbon

Commonly known as soot, black carbon is a byproduct of firewood or coal-burning in fireplaces. It has a powder-like texture, and it deposits itself on surfaces, often staining chimneys, walls, and ceilings.

Sometimes, the accumulated soot can get pulled back into the house through the chimney due to poor air ventilation. This not only stains any carpets and the floor, but also pollutes the air quality inside your house.

As a byproduct of carbon, soot can be extremely harmful to our lungs if inhaled in large enough quantities. It can lead to long-term illnesses and even early mortality.


This is another byproduct of firewood that settles in your chimney, building up over time until it’s removed. When the smoke from fire moves up the chimney to exit, it cools down a bit, enough to condense. This condensed substance, mixed with existing moisture and chemicals in your chimney, becomes creosote.

Unlike soot, creosote can get sticky and is quite hard to remove from the chimney’s insides. If left uncleaned for too long, it can clog your chimney, resulting in poor airflow.

Creosote is severely toxic and can lead to serious health hazards such as allergies, respiratory issues and even cancer. But alarmingly, it is one of the most common causes of fires across the world. Creosote deposits are highly flammable, which is why you regularly need to have your home’s chimney inspected and cleaned by professionals.


Mold growth is an expected occurrence in dark, covered places like chimneys, especially those with moisture. The main source of concern with mold is that it spreads very easily throughout the house.

It can lead to health issues like allergies and respiratory illnesses; therefore, it should be removed as soon as possible. However, cleaning mold inside the chimney is not as simple as cleaning it on other surfaces with over-the-counter anti-fungal products. It would be best if you got an expert to do this.

A simple way to stop mold growth inside your chimney is to have a qualified expert inspect it for damaged chimney caps or crowns as moisture can get in through these cracks to promote mold growth.

If you’re located in Connecticut, get in touch with us, at Creative Masonry and Chimney, for prompt chimney services and free estimates!