It's easy to forget about the air ducts in your home since they are tucked up in the attic and out of sight. It's a good practice to check on your ducts occasionally, especially if you've had rodent trouble in the attic or mold in your home recently. If your ducts are leaky, then they should be sealed so you don't lose heat or cool air. If the ducts have signs of mold, rodent droppings, or an abundance of dust, they should be cleaned. Here's a look at some maintenance steps for your home's air ducts.
Seal Holes And Loose Seams
Since the air in the ducts is warm in the winter, a duct is a welcoming environment for a rodent. A rat or mouse can gnaw a small opening until it's large enough to slip through. Prevent this by examining your ducts every once in a while and sealing holes with duct tape or mastic tape. If the damaged area is very big, you may need to call a professional for help making the repairs. Another thing to consider is that rodents leave scent trails behind so a different rat could follow the trail and gnaw through your tape job. The repairs may need to be covered in hardware cloth to keep the rodents from coming back.
Clean Out The Ducts
If you know rats have been in the ducts, you should call a duct cleaning company to get rid of their droppings and debris. The company may push a camera through the ducts to take video and photos of their condition so you can see if they have nests or dust in them. Cleaning out ducts is a job for a professional that has the right equipment; otherwise, the dust can just spread throughout your home. The equipment used is usually a powerful vacuum hose that pulls all the dust out of the ducts and into a holding tank on their truck so dust doesn't fly everywhere. The cleaning tool they use on the insides of the ducts knocks off dust so it can be pulled out by the vacuum.
Sanitize And Deodorize The Ducts
Rodents spread diseases, so you may want the ducts to be sanitized after they've been cleaned. This kills dangerous germs left by the rodents and kills off mold that might be present too. In addition, you might want the ducts deodorized. This could be necessary if a rat died in a duct and the odor keeps wafting through a register and into your home. Deodorizing gets rid of foul odors from animals and mildew so the air in your home is more pleasant.
For more information, contact a duct cleaning professional.