Mold can cause a lot of health problems if you let it sit and grow in your home. Normally, you can spot it easily, but it can appear in your air ducts out of your sight. There are, however, ways to detect and eliminate it that Trussville area homeowners should be aware of.
What Are the Signs of Moldy Ducts?
The first sign, according to the local pros at Service Tech, Inc., is the obvious smell of mold. If you smell this in a few adjacent rooms or throughout your house, then there’s a good chance that there’s mold in the air ducts.
Another group of signs involve health issues. If, for example, you or your loved ones start experiencing allergic reactions like a runny nose or watery eyes when you’re in a room with air ducts, there’s a possibility of mold. If you have unexplained headaches that go away after you leave the house, that’s also a sign. Nausea, fatigue, dizziness and irritation of the nose and eyes are all telltale signs that you have mold in your air ducts.
In warmer and more humid climates like Trussville’s, it’s quite easy for mold to grow, so you should heed these signs. In situations where you can see the mold appearing inside intake vents, drip pans and visible sections of the air ducts, there are some things you can do to get rid of it. But first, you’ll need to know whether or not you’re dealing with dangerous black mold.
Is Black Mold the Likely Culprit?
Mold requires three things to thrive. These are heat, humidity and darkness. Add the fact that most molds love to eat dust, and you have a perfect breeding ground in your vents for many varieties of mold such as penicillium and claedosporium. However, stachybotrys chartarum, the unique species that we know as black mold, doesn’t usually thrive on metal surfaces. It prefers drywall, so the mold in your vents likely won’t be black mold. Only a professional can tell you just what type it is though.
How Do I Deal With the Mold?
For visible mold that you can easily reach, all you need to do is clean it out. Before you do, you’ll need a mask, thick industrial gloves, safety goggles and coveralls. Scrubbing mold will result in some spores going into the air, and you don’t need to breathe it in and get sick from it.
You can buy a commercial, EPA-approved mold cleaning solution, or you can make your own. All you need is:
- 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cup of water
Mix it up carefully, and you have your cleaning solution.
Once you have the proper gear, the first step is to turn off all the heating and cooling vents. Next, take a wet rag or a light brush to the moldy spot and start scrubbing it thoroughly. If it’s a particularly large infestation, then repeat as needed. When the mold is gone, dispose of the rags in thick, airtight trash bags to prevent it from wafting back into your home. Once that job’s done, you should apply an EPA-approved mold growth inhibitor on the surface. If you don’t, the mold will reappear in a few weeks.
This is a strenuous and time-consuming task, and you’ll also have to make sure the area is thoroughly dried before using your HVAC unit again. If the problem persists, there are more things you can do. These include replacing your air filters, insulating the air ducts, cleaning the drip pans and sealing any spots that might cause potential moisture leaks. You can also invest in a dehumidifier for your family room, which would reduce the likelihood of mold there.
What Should I Do if I Can’t Remove It Myself?
If the mold’s in a difficult area, then contact the professionals at Service Tech, Inc. They can also check your air ducts on a regular basis and let you know if there’s a recurrence of mold. Keep you and your family safe from indoor air pollutants like mold, dust and germs by having your entire HVAC system serviced regularly.