|Mold Resources and Publications
|Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? - (excerpt on duct cleaning and mold follows,
please review the entire document for additional information on duct cleaning and mold).
(Click here to view the entire document)
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other
components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand
concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible
inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination
of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory
analysis for final confirmation. Some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample
sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that
If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively
cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will
EPA - Mold Resources
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air
continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting
whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper,
carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often
occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical
way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold
growth is to control moisture.
Available in HTML and PDF formats
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" [EPA 402-K-02-003]
This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up
residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. Molds can gradually destroy the things they
grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential
health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
Available in HTML and PDF formats. A printed version will be available late Summer 2002.
"Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" [EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001]
Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that
exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions. This
document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools
and commercial buildings; these guidelines include measures designed to protect the health of building
occupants and remediators. It has been designed primarily for building managers, custodians, and
others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance. It should serve as a
reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. Using this document, individuals with little or no
experience with mold remediation should be able to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the
situation can be handled in-house. It will help those in charge of maintenance to evaluate an in-house
remediation plan or a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor. Contractors and other
professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations in commercial buildings and schools may
also want to refer to these guidelines.
Available in HTML and PDF (5MB file size) formats.
Biological Pollutants in Your Home - This document explains indoor biological pollution, health
effects of biological pollutants, and how to control their growth and buildup. One third to one half of all
structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and
bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions -- including asthma -- and spread infectious diseases.
Describes corrective measures for achieving moisture control and cleanliness. This brochure was
prepared by the American Lung Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. EPA
Document Reference Number 402-F-90-102, January 1990.
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