Mold in Air Ducts: Common Respiratory Problem

Mold is found everywhere, and with everywhere, we mean absolutely all the places where moisture can be detected. It is common for mold in air ducts. Mold can be growing inside your heating and cooling systems as well. The ductwork, drip fans, and coil evaporators of ACs are the most favorite regions for mold. Duct work produces condensation in areas of the property where hot and cold air meet. Most of the time our duct lines run in areas where the temperature is not controlled like unfinished basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Which can cause the duct line to have condensation (humidity) along with the dust and debris in the duct line it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold in air ducts is one the most dangerous and overlooked areas. Allowing to easily penetrate your respiratory system through the air in your system. Mold can also be easily circulated throughout the property if precautions are not taken during the process of removing molded drywall and materials. Let’s explore some facts about the mold in air ducts, precautions, steps to resolve and prevent.

Why is Breathing Mold in Air Ducts a Concern When it is Found in Nature?

When growing externally, mold presence isn’t dangerous, but in fact, they balance the ecosystem. Mold belongs to the family of fungus and grows inside tiny filaments. They are capable of floating in the air and settling anywhere they can find moisture. Mold is a natural product of nature that causes things such as wood, leaves, and dust to break down and decompose. In nature, mold releases toxins, however, with the vast air space the mold spores that you breathe are not as concentrated as an indoor environment. Many fall allergy suffers are reacting to mold in the air. Even with seasonal allergies, the outdoor environment cannot produce a toxic mold level due to the vast air space. However, indoors where the air is continually being recirculated through the air system and the indoor air environment is limited to a small space the toxins produced by mold can easily become a dangerous level. As a result, you get exposed to toxic mold which can cause severe health problems and respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies.

How to RESOLVE Mold in Air Ducts?

1. Go directly to the source of the mold problem by removing any mold damage in the property by a certified mold professional who will follow EPA guidelines.
2. Have your ducts and air handler thoroughly cleaned by a professional vent cleaning company that will put your duct line under negative pressure. It is NOT recommended to use a vent cleaning company that uses a brush or blows air through the duct line without negative pressure, as this can cause your problem to become worse. At FreshStart depending on the mold removal job we are doing, we automatically include cleaning of the duct lines in our estimates.
3. In addition to cleaning, we recommend fogging the duct lines with an antimicrobial solution to kill any remaining mold spores in the duct line.

Following these above-mentioned steps is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your indoor air environment.

How to PREVENT Mold in Air Ducts?

1. Prevent condensation in the duct line by wrapping any air ducts exposed to a temperature change with insulation.
2. Prevent mold by having any form of water damage remedied by a professional water damage company that can effectively remove all forms of moisture in unseen areas like wall cavities, behind cabinets, etc.
3. Never remove mold over 10 square feet or mold that is located in close proximity to air vents without a certified mold professional.