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Question DetailsAsked on 11/17/2014

What to do about mold in Furnace/AC containment closet and on unit?

For the first time when having our Furnace/AC cleaned by service business, there is the odor and visual signs of mold in that containment closet. The Furnace/AC serviceman said his business does not handle the mold situation which occurs from condensation. I would like to try using Damp Rid to control the problem. What else can we do?

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1 Answer


When you said "containment closet" I guess you mean a utility room ?

Clearly you need the mold removed - and I hate to tell you, Damp Rid is not going to cut it unless you buy it by the pallet load, because if you have high humidity due to water vapor coming from a leak or basement walls or floors, you can have several to as many as 20 gallons a day of moisture available - andDampRid absorbs from about 1.2-2 pounds of water per poound of DampRid, at about $2.50/lb - so maybe several hours to a few days per $10 four pound bucketo the product. It might help AFTER you treat the mold and eliminate the water source, but otherwise in an unfinished basement environment you would commonly be going through pounds of it a day, at $2.50/lb roughly.

You need mold scrubbing and disinfection (bleach or specific mold killer and steaming usually), then treat the wall surfaces with something like Kilz to seal the remaining spores that you did not get into the surface, then paint with a mildewcide paint - a Kilz finish paint or other kitchen and bath paint with mildewcide, and preferably gloss to reduce grip for the mold to take on. You also will need to clean that room along with the rest of the house at intervals, not ignore it, to wash airborne mold spores and dust.

You also definitely need to locate and eliminate the source of the moisture that led to the mold - possibly seal concrete floor or exposed foundation walls, stop any water leaks contributing to it, reduce any moisture from sump pump or drainagesystem, and provide ventilation - possibly forced air in the room, or at a minimum vents top and bottom in the door (which code requires for furnace rooms anyway).

You said "for the first time" - which implied to me you have lived there for several years (so you know this is not a seasonal thing) and that this is a new condition - so look for what has changed, or new leaks in pipes or through foundation walls/slab. Can't say from here, but my guess is you are in a basement or crawlspace that is damp - if that is the case, you likely need to bring that room inside the HVAC "envelope" - keep it conditioned like the rest of the house, and that calls for an HVAC contractor once the mold/moisture issue is solved. Sometimes requires separate fan-driven dehumidifier, sometimes you can keep it under control by just providing a return air vent from the area to the furnace and a small hot air vent off the forced air ducting (or radiatior if steam/hot water) into the area to keep it warmer and move air. However, you HAVE to solve the water/mold issue first,or that will just lead to that area introducing mold into the rest of the system.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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