I'm planing on repairing/cleaning my furnaces cold air returns. They
are built using a couple of the houses floor joist, with a sheet of
drywall at the bottom of the "box". I'd like to paint the inside of
the ducts, and use a mildew inhibitor. I'd also like to use an
aluminium backed insultation sheet in place of the guypsum board that
was previously used.
Any suggestions? Should I paint the inside of the ducts, and what type
of material should I use replace the drywall material with?
Are you indicating that you are getting mildew in the ducts? This really
should not be happening. The air should not be that damp, unless what we
have here is an unheated space that relatively warm moist air from the house
passes thru. If moisture is condensing, then of course that drywall is a
terrible choice for boxing in the joists.
If you already have mildew, you need to chlorox the whole space and then
painting it would probably be good. Then either use the insulation board
(which I personally think is too flimsy and fragile), or sheet metal, which
you then insulate from the outside with insulation board (glue it on).
The house I bought was a bank repo. It sat for about a year with out
electric power or heat. The house doesn't have rain gutters, and one
of the basement walls has a crack that runs horizontal half way up. It
has a very damp basement, but no visable standing water. There is so
much himidity in the basment, that the gas pipes, and heat ducts have
rusted and I believe they should be replaced. I bought the place about
three weeks ago. It smells a little better, but still has that old
house musty smell. (It was built in 1972). I have hired a mason to
come in and dig up the basement wall and re-block the cracked portion,
but he hasn't started yet. Once I get it aired out/cleaned, and get
the walls some what water proofed I should be o.k. I also need to put
up rain gutters and grade the property so I hopefully won't have the
water problem anymore.
After that I'll fix the three rafters that the squirrels chewed in
half, and replace the cellulose insulation that they pee'd on, fix the
holes that the squirrels chewed in the soffets, and maybe in a couple
of years replace the 30+ year old shingles.
I'm a young single guy, so why did I buy this house rather than keep
renting? LOL. Home ownership, is this all worth it?...I just got my
summer tax bill, ouch!
If you had one squirrel there are probably more up there, a family. Get
moth balls and throw in attic. Does you air system have a supply and
return in basement, get a dehumidifier for the basement. Rust will
happen ,your pipes are probably ok, you can wire brush and paint them.
You probably have alot of mold down there, get a garden sprayer and
bleach, spray dark areas, if they lighten up it is mold , spray till
you get rid of it. Mold grows at 65 to 70% humidity, use a
dehumidifier..My basement was like that , I got 6 gallons of bleach
sprayed, and left for a few days. Squirels and rodents will get back in
if you dont seal all entrances, and even then It is Their Home they were
there first, they will eat through wood and thin aluminum to be warm
NO! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T DO THAT! The house I bought has aluminum
backed insulation boards instead of metal for all of the ducting. There is
an air return duct in the crawl space (dirt floor) that wasn't air tight or
even close to it. Because of the air gaps, nasty musty odors were rising up
into the next floor. Also, the insulation had black mold on it. I got a
HVAC contractor to replace the insulation board with metal. All the odors
from the vent are gone.
Then I found that there was insulation board for the ducting right next to
the A/C condensing unit. It's covered in mold on the inside. That will be
replaced in the next week or two.
Use metal. More expensive but maintenance free and will last you for the
rest of your life.
Did the HVAC contractor make a complete box out of metal, or just nail
metal where the insulation board used to be? From what you discribed
my houses' musty smell might be coming from the cold air return ducts
(in the basement). Back in my high school metal shop days, they
taught us how to make air ducts using a metal brake, and a bead
roller. I wonder if I could make my own ducts, or if they sell them
already made? I've been warned not to use duct tape to seal
them...ironically enough the experts say it's the worst product to use
for sealing air ducts...
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