Cleaning Blackened Air Vents
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 19, 2021)
Have you ever walked into your home, and found that your air vents have become blackened around the edges? Well, if you haven't congratulations; if you have though, then you have a slight problem. Blackened air vents is often a sign of black mold growing in your air ducts. Cleaning blackened air vents is a start, but that is all, after you have taken care of cleaning your blackened air vents there is still some more work that needs to be done.
- Broom. First, start your task by sweeping off all the vent covers that appear blackened. While this step may sound overly simple, it is always best to start with the basics. By simply sweeping your air vents you will remove the vast majority of the allergens that can build up over time and help promote mold growth. Start your sweeping at the top of the vents, and work your way towards the bottom so you don't spread the grime around.
- Covers. After you have swept the covers, it is time to remove them, and clean them. While you are conducting the other steps in the cleaning process, soak your covers in a solution made up of one part bleach to four parts water. This will help you to clean the covers while also killing any mold growth on the covers themselves. Usually all you need to remove the covers from the wall will be a screwdriver (usually a Philips head), be sure that you place all the screws in one location so that you don't lose them.
- Vacuum. Block up all the now bare air vents except one. At that one vent, use your vacuum cleaner and a large piece of cardboard to help clean out your ducts as much as possible. Cut a hole in the middle of your cardboard to pass the vacuum hose through, and place this against the open air vent. Vacuum up as much of the dust, dirt, grime, and mold that is in your vents as possible. Repeat this process at each of the vents, being sure that you have blocked each of the air vents before starting on the next vent.
- Filters. After cleaning your ducts, go ahead and change the air filter. A clogged, damaged, or otherwise no longer working air filter can often lead to a growth of mold in your air ducts. Typically speaking, your air filter should be replaced ever couple of months.
- Covers. Once you have completed cleaning your ducts, and the vents, it is time to replace everything. Be sure that your vent covers have completely dried, and are clean, before putting them back where they were.
- Call the professionals. After you have done these basic cleaning steps, it is always a great idea to call in the professional cleaners. This is to ensure that the entire black mold infestation has been removed from your home, and that there won't be a resurgence of the problem.
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