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HELP! Mold in a/c vent in closet

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  • HELP! Mold in a/c vent in closet

    I cleaned my master closet this am and there is mold inside the a/c vent cover/grate and underneath where the cover attaches. I am scared to death and don't know who to call for help. Please offer suggestions and/or advice if you have any.

  • #2
    Spray it with bleach or 50/50 water bleach solution. Should kill it.

    Clean up everything and dry it out, see if it comes back.

    Check for a leak or drip causing the mold issue....


    • #3
      Thank you. I checked as far back as I could in my attic (and of course now I can't get attic ladder closed back) and I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. My dog has been sick for a while and I was sneezing the entire time I was in the closet. Guess I know why now.

      Would you suggest calling mold specialists? You seem to know a lot about this kind of thing so I appreciate your advice.


      • #4
        Originally posted by sheltiemom View Post
        Thank you. I checked as far back as I could in my attic (and of course now I can't get attic ladder closed back) and I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. My dog has been sick for a while and I was sneezing the entire time I was in the closet. Guess I know why now.

        Would you suggest calling mold specialists? You seem to know a lot about this kind of thing so I appreciate your advice.
        A mold specialist is gonna run 600 to 800 to run air samples and have them tested by a independent 3rd party.

        Mold is naturally occuring and has been around for millions of years, In my opinion the average person is not gonna get sick from mold, and their are many species of mold.

        After you spray the mold, give it a few days you can spray Kilz in the can over it and it will act like a sealer to seal it in.

        Only you know your house, and if you think you dog becoming sick from this then maybe a mold remidiation specialist is what you need. I did this many years ago, and no longer have any contacts to provide you with.


        • #5
          I'm pretty sure there is a kit you can get at home depot to send a sample to a lab for identification if it would make you more comfortable.


          • #6
            Thanks. I sprayed the bleach/water solution on it. After researching more on the internet, I have an idea of one possible reason for the mold only in that one vent. I have 2 units and one of them cools only the master closet, bath and bedroom. That unit is pushing a lot of air through a smaller amount of space. Because my closet is usually a mess, I always keep the door closed. And I keep it very cool in that part of the house. I probaly need to leave the closet door open for ventilation, in addition to having the seal around the vent and A/C checked. SO wish Big Bear was well because he always comes to the rescue. I have a call in to one of the back up companies he recommended so I will just have to hope they call back.

            I hope that is the only problem. I will definitely check on getting the mold kit. I am hopefully overreacting and am praying it is an easy fix. Never had experience with any kind of any kind, hence the feak out.


            • #7
              Have you considered placing a small fan in the bathroom area and leaving the bedroom door to the rest of the house slightly open? There is quite a bit of moisture from the shower, lavatory and toilet in that space.
              If your mirrors fog over, some air circulation would help.


              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestion! I think the problem is actually bigger than the one vent. The register/return air vent has a lot of dust up in it and my neighbor thinks that could be mold, too. The rest of the vents in that area seem ok. Since that unit is seperate, I am hoping that whatever is wrong is just in that part of the house.

                My neighbor shared her Angie's List book with me so I could call hopefully a reputable compamy (since Big Bear is unavailable) and someone will be out tonight. Thanks again for all the advice and suggestions and please cross your fingers for me that it isn't too major.


                • #9
                  TallCoolOne is right, there are many kinds of mold, so I think you're panicking and thinking "black mold" immediately, which is probably not the case.

                  Glad you are catching the problem now, though, and hopefully it will clear up any allergen problems the dog (and family members) may be experiencing!


                  • #10
                    Just an update...I had an A/C guy come out Saturday (company from Angie's List, not Big Bear or any of the commonly recommended guys here) and he was basically useless. He would hardly even look at what I wanted him to and was really no help. I called an air duct cleaning company yesterday morning that got great reviews on Angie's List and the owner came out yesterday. He doesn't think I have a mold problem at all and I probably did overreact. He said he sees my particular issue a lot. Part of the reason I freaked out is that I looked at one of the air returns in the house and it was black inside. I didn't realize that they are painted black, so on initial view, I though it was covered in mold/mildew. Duh! Not the case. When I took the cover off, I could then see it looked like spray paint. My ducts are extremely dusty, though, and definitely need a cleaning. This has been a good learning opportunity for me on A/C vents, returns, etc.

                    As for the vent that originally started the whole panic, it's in the master closet, closest to that A/C unit in the attic. That unit only cools the master bedroom, bath and closet and I like to sleep with it really cool, so I have been running that unit as low as 70 at night. It is possible all that cold air, mixing with warm air from the attic and duct, along with the closet door being closed all the time caused the issue. In reality, it was a very tiny amount of mold/mildew and the bleach/water solution seemed to take care of it.

                    I am planning to sell the house soon so I can buy something smaller and easier to take care of, so I just didn't want any issues that would make it hard for me to sell, hence the freak out. I will be having the dirty air ducts cleaned this week and hopefully that will help take care of the problem. Thanks for the responses/advice.


                    • #11
                      Good news. Glad the second guy was helpful. It's worth the price of his services to get educated on something like that. As far as the first guy is concerned...wish you didn't have to pay him!


                      • #12
                        AC mold issues.

                        AC's often cause mold issues when temps are low leaving the indoor coil due to frosting on coil from improper charge, plugged filter, poor air flow design, or restrictions. The closest vent leaving the air unit has the coldest temp and the moisture tends to not evaporate leaving cool, damp dark area which is breeding grounds for mildew. The best fix is immediate, replace affected flex, long term, adjust air flow or increase it. This is very common in attic systems. Any other questions-


                        • #13
                          Another update...I had the air ducts cleaned last Thursday and bought an air purifier and so far, so good. The guys who cleaned the air ducts said there is no evidence of a mold problem anywhere and that what I saw was probabaly just "organic growth" and not actual mold. What I saw under the vent cover/grate looked more like mildew, not fuzzy, thick mold. And there wasn't much of it. They didn't find anything like that anywhere else in the house. I'm sure I overreacted.

                          A few days ago, I put a DampRid hanger in the closet and have been surprised how much moisture it has already absorbed. I am leaving the closet door open all the time now and running the exhaust fan when I shower, so I'm sure that will help.

                          It was a good lesson learned for me! I can move forward with trying to sell the house without any mold worries. Anyone looking for a one story on a huge corner lot across from 2 schools? LOL

                          Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!


                          • #14

                            If you don't mind me asking, but who did you call to clean your vents? My DD always seems to get a stuffy nose every time she goes upstairs. So I'm thinking the vents/ducts need to be cleaned.
                            I've noticed that my blinds get dusty very quickly. Ideas?

                            House was build 2005 and I've never had the air ducts cleaned. Is this something that has to be normally done every couple of yrs? I am from Idaho and I've never heard of cleaning ducts or vents. LOL
                            I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.