Ask anyone where mold is likely to grow, and they’ll say the bathroom, the basement, and maybe even the attic. But would you think about the duct work in your home?
Unfortunately, mold in the HVAC system and ductwork is common. Like other unseen areas, ducts can have mold growth for a long time before you know it’s there. This can lead to mold spreading all throughout your house, and it can cause severe allergy symptoms in anyone living in your home.
It’s better to work at preventing mold in your home, especially hard-to-reach areas like the ductwork, than it is to have it removed once colonies form.
Why Mold Grows in a Home’s Ductwork
To address the question above, “Where is mold likely to grow?” any mold pro will tell you that no part of your home is off limits for mold.
Mold needs a few things to grow: oxygen, water, and food. In addition, it prefers a warm, dark climate for ideal growing conditions. All these things, as you know, are readily available in every home.
Ductwork is even more at risk for mold growth because they are always dark, and equally important, the ducts are always within the ideal temperature range for mold growth. Besides these two important factors, ducts have dust and dirt that mold can feed on, as well as moisture due to condensation.
When all the conditions are right, mold will begin forming colonies immediately. Another thing mold prefers is to be left alone. Nowhere is it easier to accomplish this than tucked away in your home’s ductwork.
Mold in the ductwork is far more dangerous than it is anywhere else in your home because all the air that circulates through your home comes from the air conditioner and HVAC system and passes through the ducts. For this reason, mold in the ductwork can lead to a serious mold problem throughout your home.
Mold severity is classified in levels 1-5. Level 1 mold growth is when an area smaller than square feet is covered by a mold colony. Levels 2, 3, and 4 follow suit, classifying mold by how large the mold damage is in increments up to 100 square feet.
Level 5 mold damage is when mold is growing in the HVAC system, regardless of how much mold is present. This should illustrate how dangerous this problem is.
If your home is found to have level 5 mold damage, a mold remediation specialist will need to get inside the ducts with special equipment to thoroughly remove it. This is a dangerous and complicated job, and more than likely you won’t be able to stay in your home while these services are being performed because of how dangerous loosened mold spores can be.
It’s inconvenient to evacuate from your home for any amount of time, and you’ll end up spending hard-earned money on a problem that could have been avoided.
How to Prevent Mold in Ductwork
So let Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois share a few ways to prevent mold growth in your homes ductwork and HVAC system.
Use a Dehumidifier
Moisture in the air ducts is usually the result of too much humidity in the home. A home’s humidity level should remain between 30-50%. Anything above that can quickly lead to mold.
A dehumidifier (or more than one if you have a larger home) can help to stabilize the moisture levels in your home. To keep a check on this, you can purchase a hygrometer for just a few dollars that can give you a constant interior humidity reading.
Place your dehumidifier in an area that is notoriously high in humidity for them to do the most good.
Stay on Schedule for HVAC Maintenance
Your HVAC specialist or a mold removal team should be called to inspect your HVAC system for mold. either of these professionals will have the equipment to thoroughly check the ductwork of your home.
It’s recommended that you maintain a strict maintenance schedule for your heating and air conditioning system so that it runs efficiently and does its job well, but it also ensures that mold isn’t growing in the ducts, filters, vents, or the unit itself.
You should also have your home tested yearly for mold. A quick test of the room air can tell your mold team if there is any mold present, then they can perform a visual inspection of reachable areas. It may then be necessary to use cameras to inspect the ductwork if mold wasn’t found in any other area.
As long as you keep a regular maintenance schedule for your home’s HVAC system (and regular mold inspections) you should never have to worry about mold in your ductwork.
Keep Vents Clear
The vents are passageways where air is exchanged from the ductwork to the rest of your home, so it is very important to keep them clear.
Don’t block them by putting furniture in front of them, and remember to change your filters regularly. The filters’ job is to trap debris – like mold spores – before they spread around the room. Clogged filters are not effective at protecting your home from mold.
Professional Mold Remediation for Ductwork
If you didn’t already know, breathing in mold spores is what causes allergic reactions and allergy-like symptoms. For people with respiratory problems, mold can be devastating to their health.
Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois makes the mold remediation process safe, simple and affordable for homeowners. Our service is demo-free and eco-friendly, meaning it is safe for your home and the environment. It is also one of the most affordable options on the market when it comes to professional mold remediation in Central Illinois. Think there might be mold in your ductwork or HVAC system? Let us perform a mold inspection for you! We can determine how much mold is in the home and whether remediation is recommended.