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Mold refers to a wide variety of fungal species that love making a home of porous and organic structures within the house, especially during the warmer, humid seasons. While metal is neither organic like wood or porous like cement, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you spot mold growing on metal parts within your home – including within the metal parts of your air condition system.
Yes, mold can grow on metal. Despite non-porous surfaces like stainless steel not being their preferred habitat, the build-up of dirt and other mineral debris on such surfaces usually attracts mold. Moisture and humidity problems will also facilitate mold growth on your metal structures both indoors and outdoors.
Can mold grow on metal? Does it stick?
Mold can grow on most types of metal surfaces given the right conditions. The good news, however, is that the removal of mold from metallic surfaces is usually a breeze, due to metal’s non-porosity. You should always aim to get rid of black mold on metal as soon as possible; to prevent the spread of mold spores to more-porous structures like drywall and wood, where removal becomes more difficult.
Signs of mold on metal air ducts
Mold bears a characteristic, unpleasant odor. If there’s a mildew-like, musty smell taking over the air within some of the rooms in your house, check your metal air ducts for the presence of mold. You can also identify mold infestation by checking for mold growth within your drip pans, and intake vents. If there’s patchy, black dust that doesn’t wipe off easily collecting around your metallic ductwork, chances are you have a mold issue that’s been festering for a while.
If you have fungal allergies, you’ll most likely suffer allergy symptoms like a running nose and skin rashes, which’ll be triggered by the mold present within your metal air ducts. Other physical symptoms that may be triggered by mold growth within your metallic HVAC parts include dizziness, nausea, weariness, and sporadic headaches.
Since you may not be able to access certain sections of the metal HVAC ductwork, it’s always wise to go with professional help for proper inspection and confirmation of mold infestations- if present. The HVAC maintenance professional should also be able to get rid of the mold growth within your metal air ducts.
Still, if you’re a DIY diehard and don’t fancy contacting a HVAC cleaning company, or generally abhor having to pay for home maintenance projects that you can do by yourself, you can get rid of mold within steel, brass, or copper air ducts and vents with the following procedures:
1. Clean the air ducts
You should clean your metal air ducts by wiping them with a soap detergent solution, then sanitizing them with an anti-fungal spray.
2. Replace the filter
Your HVAC filter is always prone to have dust buildups, and dust is a good source of food for mold since it typically consists of dead skin cells that mold can feed on. This, combined with the natural moisture from your AC system, usually makes for a perfect growth habitat for mold. By replacing your filter regularly (monthly replacement is recommended), you’ll be greatly minimizing the chances of mold growth on your metal air ducts.
3. Kill the Mold by Using UV Light
Ultraviolet (UV) light carries a special light frequency that inhibits mold growth by disrupting microbial DNA. Therefore, by inserting a UV light fixture within your home’s HVAC system, you’ll be able to keep your metal air ducts mold-free.
How to get rid of mold on metal surfaces
To eliminate mold from metal surfaces, follow the general procedure detailed below;
- Prep the metal surface by ensuring there’s proper air circulation around.
- Wear the necessary PPE gear, including a face mask and a pair of hand gloves.
- Pour two-gallons of warm water into a large-size bucket then add some detergent and stir the solution.
- Now, dip a sponge into the bucket and wipe the sections of the metal surface where there’s visible mold growth. Repeat this process until you’ve gotten rid of all the mold.
- Next, mix a gallon of water with a cupful of household bleach in another large-size bucket. Alternatively, you can pour away the solution in the first bucket, rinse it, and use it for this step as well.
- Re-wipe the surface – this time – with the bleach solution you made in the previous step. Let the solution stay on the metal surface for about half-an-hour to kill off any mold spores still left behind.
- After the 30-minute wait time elapses, use clean water to rinse off the bleach solution off the metal surface. Then, finish off by wiping the surface with a dry piece of cloth.
Benefits of Getting Rid of Mold in your Metal Air Ducts
By using the methods in the above sections to get rid of mold growth within your metal air ducts, or any other metal structures and surfaces within the house you’ll be able to prevent fungal-related health issues that are usually triggered by the release of mold spores into the air, including itchy eyes, skin rashes and reparatory problems like asthma.