How to spot mold in your air ducts

How to spot mold in your air ducts

It’s important to know the different types of mold found in air ducts and why they’re dangerous. Mold in a home or office building can spread throughout the building and cause a number of problems, from allergic reactions to serious health issues. Many people don’t realize that their air ducts are full of mold until they’ve done an inspection.

Here is a guide that will help you understand what are the most common types of mold that can grow in your air ducts, health issues caused by them, how to spot them, and what to do if you find them.

Health issues caused by mold

Mold spores found in the air ducts of homes or offices usually only cause an issue when the spores are warm, wet, and/or airborne. The most common type of mold spores are the common house mold. Common house mold can be found in around 40-60 percent of homes and is one of the leading causes of allergies, causing runny noses, irritated eyes, and other symptoms.

The most common types of mold

Mold can grow in almost any building with air ducts, even ones with rigorous indoor air quality (IAQ) controls in place. There are many types of mold that can grow in your air ducts. A few examples of common mold include acremonium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).

Acremonium - Common type of mold in air ducts
Acremonium – Common type of mold in air ducts
  • Acremonium: Acremonium is often found in cooling coils, drain pans, and other areas with a lot of moisture. This white and powdery mold tends to grow in the crevices of damp or wet air vents. While it rarely causes health risks to humans, it can still be dangerous and should be cleaned out by a professional.
  • Alternaria: This is a very common form of mildew found in HVAC systems. It takes the appearance of a velvet-like fabric and tends to be green or brown in color. This mold requires a steady supply of HVAC system water to survive and thrive. It is one of the most forms of allergenic mold and causes asthma-like symptoms.
  • Aspergillus: This one takes on a variety of appearances and is hard to identify. However, it is commonly found near air duct leaks. It can range in color from brown, yellow, or white.
  • Stachybotrys (Black Mold): This black mold is very toxic. It may be hard to see, but it generally develops deep within air ducts, where it is somewhat difficult to spot. This mold spreads rapidly and causes health issues if you are exposed to it for a long period of time

Spotting mold in your air ducts

Mold in ducts can be invisible, the real problem here is that it is often present, and you may not even know it. To avoid problems with mold in the ducts, make sure that you take a look at the ducts at least once a year and have someone who is knowledgeable inspect and clean your air ducts regularly. Mold can easily travel through walls and ducts, so it’s important to make sure that you’re cleaning up any spills as you go along.

The first step in identifying mold in your ducts is to know what it looks like. It’s a good idea to have a trained professional inspect your ducts. Your air ducts are located in the walls, ceilings, and/or inside the building so you need someone who knows what to look for.

These are some signs that there is mold in your air ducts:

  • Presence of black dust in your vents: This is a very strong sign of mold, black dust is incredibly poisonous and it’s highly recommended you call a professional to check this out.
  • Damp smell: This is another strong sign of mold presence. it has a very unique dank odor. If you notice this damp smell, chances are that you have mold in your air conditioner. The smell can worsen in time if the mold is not taken care of and be very harmful to your health
  • Moisture: Mold is also often found in moist air ducts, moist encourages mold growth and bacteria.

What to do if you find mold in your air ducts

If you want to avoid a number of problems, like health issues, the best solution is probably to have your air ducts checked by a professional, they will do a full inspection on your air ducts to ensure that you have a clean, safe environment to live in.

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