How do you test for black mold in air ducts?
If you see black spots or black dust appearing around air vents, there's a good chance that mold is growing inside. These black spots are usually difficult to wipe off, and if it has a wet, slimy texture, that's another indication of black mold.
Unfortunately, your air conditioning system and your air ducts are a common place for black mold to reside. Moisture plays a significant role in the growth of mold. Your air conditioning system can act as an incubator for black mold because of its constant change in humidity levels throughout the summer season.
Use an EPA-registered disinfectant labeled for HVAC use to clean non-porous surfaces (Ductwork, coils, plenums, pans, etc) of mold, mildew, and other dirt. BIOSPRAY-TOWER ready-to-use disinfectant and mold cleaner will kill and remove mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria.
Air duct cleaning will not only get rid of dirt, dust and other particles, but it will also get rid of mold. Mold can be quite detrimental to human health. These spores can easily cause various symptoms to emerge, and they can cause someone who is immunocompromised to become more ill.
If you go the DIY route while testing for black mold, you will need to purchase a mold testing kit from a hardware or home repair store, take samples of the air and affected areas yourself, and then send these in to a testing facility, which will report back as to which type of mold is present.
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it. Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance.
Known for being found in dark, dank places like many other kinds of molds, black mold has a strange musty odor—definitely not a pleasant scent for human nostrils. Some people have compared this smell to that of rotting wood or paper, while others have said it smells like cedar.
- Postnasal drip.
- Dry, scaly skin.
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat.
- Nasal congestion.
Mold can grow extremely quickly once you start to have moisture building up in the air ducts of your HVAC system. Within just 48-hours of that moisture being present, mold can begin to form and once it does, when the air passes through, so will the bacteria and such from the mold throughout the rest of the home.
Clean ductwork to remove mold and mildew
You can use a mixture of water, baking soda, bleach and borax to disinfect any mold infested parts of the ductwork.
What happens if there is mold in your air vents?
If there's enough mold in or around the vents, it can spread in the air, causing allergy like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, irritated nose and throat, and itchy eyes.
Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath could all be symptoms you experience if there is decaying vermin or mold in your air vents. The American Lung Association warns that poor indoor air quality can contribute to the spread of bacteria, infections, and even lung disease in extreme cases.
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.
The recommendation for air duct cleaning is every three to five years. But it depends on various factors. Location, climate, and HVAC use affect air duct cleaning frequency schedules. Other issues, like mold and illness, may also be a sign that your ducts need cleaning.
If you allow dust and other outside particles to build up inside your HVAC and your air ducts, you're likely to see shortness of breath, chest pain and other common symptoms of an asthma flare-up. These problems are all completely avoidable as long as you're regularly cleaning out your filter and your air ducts.
In the same way that smoke detectors identify smoke not fire, the Biomatrix Mold Monitor identifies unseen moisture that can lead to widespread mold growth.
A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system's response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.
This IgE antibody allergy test uses a blood sample to determine if you are allergic to the mold Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra), or black mold. Stachybotrys chartarum (or Stachybotrys atra), also known as black mold, is a dark green or black microfungus.
- Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
- Spray the moldy surface completely to saturate the area with hydrogen peroxide.
These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss.
What can be mistaken for black mold?
Black mold is known for its characteristic black hue after reaching maturity. However, the color black isn't unique to Stachybotrys — people often confuse it with similar-colored molds like Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, and Dreeschslera.
The HVAC mold remediation process takes about 1-3 hours and then we run an EPA-approved disinfectant fog through the entire system to ensure the elimination of every inch of mold. Our HVAC duct cleaning services are tailored to meet all your needs in the most convenient way.
Can Mold Travel Through Air Vents? The simple answer is yes. Since the mold spores are airborne and carried through the air duct system when the furnace or air conditioner unit is turned on, the spores will travel throughout the system until coming to the place that has moisture, no sunlight and nutrients to grow.
- Mold growth.
- Condensation around windows and in high humidity areas such as bathrooms.
- Lingering condensation.
- Dampness that doesn't seem to go away.
- Dust build up in your ventilation system.
While other types of mold may have a fuzzy, light texture, black mold is typically slimy or wet. Some early forms of black mold have a powdery feel.