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Magic Sweep Blog

Improving Air Quality at Home

It is important to know how things in your home work, so that you are able to tell if they are in need of attention.  Some things will need to be serviced on a schedule, but air ducts can be tricky.  Because excessive amounts of dust can cause health problems, you should hire a professional to do annual maintenance.  For an appointment call the people of Magic Sweep Corporation today!

How do I know my air ducts need cleaning?

Have you heard? Ignoring your air ducts can result in respiratory difficulties. Call Magic Sweep today.

Have you heard? Ignoring your air ducts can result in respiratory difficulties. Call Magic Sweep today.

One of the main warning signs your air ducts need cleaning is when you see mold growing on the duct itself or any other part of your heating or cooling system.  Also, different types of rodents can house in the ducts, so you want to get them out.  Lastly, if your system has enough dust and debris collected where it is being released into the home, you will need to have that fixed.

What is air duct cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is a process that needs to be very thorough, so when you hire someone to do the job make sure they are qualified and will do the whole heating/cooling unit.  There are some chemical components under research, so make sure you talk this over with your technician before they use them.  During the initial inspection, they may determine that your air ducts are not in need of cleaning, however you should always have them checked.

How do you choose someone to clean your air ducts?

There are many ways to find someone, as with any other service.  You can look online, in the yellow pages, or ask family and friends.  Also, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) will have pointers for you.  A professional will do many of the following steps:

  • Open access doors to allow the whole system to be cleaned.
  • Inspect the entire system before working on it.
  • Use the proper combination of vacuums and brushes to clean.
  • Check for holes and make sure that if any are found they are properly insulated and sealed.
  • Follow industry standards for proper cleaning.

How do you protect your air ducts in the future?

  • Use high-efficiency air filters and change them regularly.
  • Seal off the supply and return registers during construction and do not run the heating/cooling unit until all dust is cleaned up.
  • Vacuum and dust your home often.
  • Know about your system.  For more information, click here.

Water & Mold & Your Chimney

Mold in your Chimney

If you have ever had water damage in your home then you already know the damage mold can do. It is notoriously tenacious and can be a serious health hazard to you and your family. What most people don’t know is that your chimney can be accumulating water damage and mold without you ever knowing. Once there are signs it has already begun to take its toll.

Mold can get into your chimney in a variety of ways but the most common is water seeping into cracks in the mortar that holds the structure of your chimney together. As the chimney expands and contracts with the rise and fall in temperatures, both from the outside air and from fires being burned in your fireplace, the mortar can crack and break leaving gaps. Water can get into these gaps and begin to grow mold.

Any moisture that accumulates makes a breeding ground for mold spores. Make sure your chimney is waterproofed.

Any moisture that accumulates makes a breeding ground for mold spores. Make sure your chimney is waterproofed.

Mold reproduces by releasing spores into the air. These spores can be breathed into your lungs and cause serious health concerns from allergic reactions to irritating asthma to possible permanent lung damage. The best way to prevent mold from spreading is to stay proactive in preventing it from getting into your home. One of the most important steps you can take is to have your chimney regularly inspected and cleaned.

When a chimney sweep comes to your home and you have concerns that there is mold in the chimney the first thing they will do is inspect the chimney. This is done with a variety of techniques but it will most likely involve a camera that is fed up the chimney to examine the inside of the flue. From this vantage point the chimney sweep can see any cracks that may have formed in the interior that could contain mold. They will also inspect the outside of the chimney to check for cracks or other entrance points where moisture can accumulate. If mold is found they will take additional steps.

In order to remove any mold that may be present in your chimney the sweep will use a special type of soap that, along with water, will remove the majority of the mold. It may also be necessary to wash the area in a mix of bleach and water to destroy any remaining organic material. This should cleanse the area thoroughly. It is always important to let a professional remove mold as the process can stir up the dangerous mold spores that can get into your lungs or eyes.

In addition there are things you can look for to help identify mold. Mold is usually green, black, or white and has a distinct musty odor. If you suspect that there may be mold in your home seek professional help immediately. The longer you wait the more mold can accumulate increasing your chances of being affected by the dangerous spores. Always have your chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis and you will minimize the chances of having to deal with this potentially hazardous situation. That simple preventative measure will go a long way in helping you be worry free this winter while enjoying your fireplace.