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Mold and Other Allergens in Your Air Ducts

There are many possible allergens and pathogens in your air ducts. Sources include mold, pet dander and pest infestations, and these allergens are introduced into the ducts through multiple causes. Air traveling through the home and into the ducts can bring in pet dander, while insects and rodents can crawl into openings and vents. Mold will grow where moisture from condensation is present. This blog answers common questions that you may have about mold and allergens.

How Does Mold Fungi Thrive Inside an Air Duct System?

Moisture is essential for fungi to grow and thrive, and the source of moisture in your air ducts is usually condensation. Condensation occurs in areas of the home that are exposed to higher humidity, such as attics, crawlspaces and the spaces inside your walls, where air conditioners or dehumidifiers can’t reach. If the air ducts in these vulnerable areas are not properly insulated and sealed, condensation can seep inside the ducts.

What Are the Health Effects of Mold Fungi in Air Ducts?

Individuals who are allergic to specific fungi may experience an allergic reaction to mold fungi. These symptoms include runny noses, sneezing and rashes. Asthmatics can also experience attacks upon exposure to mold fungi. Even if you don’t have an allergy, you can experience allergy-type symptoms because mold fungi also act as an irritant when inhaled. 

How Is Mold Fungi Removed From Air Ducts?

Removing mold fungi from air ducts is not as simple as just vacuuming the inside of the ducts, and often requires professional expertise. A mold remediation company must create multiple openings in various areas of the ducts where mold is found, then use cleaning machines with brushes that dislodge the mold. 
While the brushes displace the mold, a high-powered vacuum must also be working to collect the dislodged mold fungi as well as any errant spores that are released into the air. The vacuum equipment must either vent the expelled air outside of the home or through a powerful HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that is able to trap mold spores before they can travel to another area of the home.

What Can Mold Remediation Companies Do to Prevent the Mold From Returning to the Air Ducts?

Vulnerable ducts can be treated with a mold inhibitor that prevents the growth of mold fungi, but the main solution is controlling the moisture in the home.
In addition to these treatments, any openings created in the air duct line to dislodge the mold must be patched and sealed with duct sealant. The entire air duct system must then be checked for air leaks and also sealed. Duct in areas such as attics or crawlspaces may need to be wrapped in additional layers of insulation or at least have the existing insulation secured.

What Are Some of the Other Allergens Found In Air Ducts?

Allergens can make life miserable for individuals who are sensitive to them, and your air duct system is the perfect delivery and dispersion avenue for them. Air ducts can contain various biological allergens from both pets and pests, including:
pet dander and saliva
dust mites
cockroach droppings and saliva
rodent urine and feces
flakes of dead skin
Pollen can also be dispersed through your air ducts as doors and windows are opened, and contaminated air is sucked into return air vents.
Duct cleaning service providers use their powerful vacuums to thoroughly clean your air ducts of all of these irritating and unhealthy materials in order to reduce indoor air pollution in your home. 
If you're in the North or South Carolina areas, you can't go wrong with Carolina Ductmasters, who will treat your home honestly and fairly and allow you to breathe freely in your own home.