Cleaning Duct Work?

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
For mobile home parts, click here.

Moderators: Greg, Mark, JD, mhrAJ333

Locked
thethump

Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:10 pm

Hello all, glad to find this site. Thanks for being here. I am working to move into a 1970's mobile home which is in bad shape, with major floor water damage, and had mice infestation

The duct work is very dirty (mice may have made it in some how), a single trunk box, approx 4x13 inches with registers cut right in the top, may be aluminum, feels flimsy. I don't want to cut the belly of this mobile, as I'm scared everything will fall out, in any case I will do so if possible.

Does anyone know if this main trunk is a single continuous box? My idea is to cut the belly, straps and drop the trunk and hopefully find that I can separate this thing in manageable pieces to clean via brush, water hose, soap etc.

I got a quote of $1,200 to replace it, but cash is tight.


User avatar
Yanita
Moderator
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:23 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the site!

I am going to move this thread to the HVAC forums. (Heating Venting and AC)

Robert (our on site tech) gets pretty busy this time of year, it may take a moment or two for this to get answered.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

shadow745
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:54 am
Location: Central North Carolina

Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:51 am

I have vacuumed out ductwork before and we had the ductwork in our previous home "professionally" cleaned and sanitized, but I haven't seen anybody having to take the entire ductwork system out for a major scrubbing like that. I know cash is tight for alot of us, but there may be so much damage from the water, rodents, etc. that total replacement might be the only feasible way to go. Later!
Do what you can today, as you might not be here tomorrow!

User avatar
Yanita
Moderator
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:18 pm

Hi,

I just re read your post, you mentioned water damage. Is there mold in your ducts...if so replacement of your ducts is what I would do.

To look in to the ducts, start with the very last/first one, remove vent cover and put a flashlight down there, go to the very next register with a handheld mirror. You should be able to see from register to register.

These ducts are very thin as you noted, to have them professionally cleaned generally is not an option, the equipment is to tough on our ducts.

If mice have gotten into the ducts then you have an opening somewhere that would need to be sealed.

Another thing, since this home received alot of floor water damage there is a good possibility that you need to open the underbelly anyways. You should check the insulation for water damage, any and all that got wet would need to be replaced. It is worthless once it has been wet.

Guess I need to move this back to the repair forum...LOL...follow me back.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

User avatar
JD
Site Admin
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Fresno, CA
Contact:

Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:12 pm

I have used a duct cleaning service (The Joseph Co. - Coit, a national company does this too) several times and have always has great results. Some very qualified people on this forum to not recommend these services because it may damage the duct work. From what I have seen from the people I have sub'd to, I really think it is a safe procedure. I also sub to licensed contractors, so they are responsible for their work and/or damage. Once they clean the ducts, they sanitize them to get rid of germs and such. The cost was around $400 the last time.

But if you have the air return vents in the floor, you could have a problem there. These return ducts aren't even ducts in older homes. It is just a space in the floor with the insulation exposed. This is also where the critters will like to trek. There is no cleaning in this area. Only pulling and resetting (or replacement) of the vapor barrier in that area to replace the insulation.

JD
☯JD♫
Today is PERFECT!

All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.


User avatar
Robert
Moderator
Posts: 6413
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:07 am
Location: Tennessee

Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:59 am

Hi,

There are companies that can do a good job,,however, there are far more who don't.

Homeowners won't/don't know what to look for and more often than not, will/do get ripped off on those services.

MH ducts are thin aluminum and cannot hold up to a lot of movement, force, etc.. involved in cleaning.


This is why I do not recommend it for homeowners.

If they do, please do your homework before hiring the work done.


In this case, I would recommend replacing and in doing so, upgrade to normal ductwork which can be cleaned easily.


Thanks,
Robert
Some people are Humbly Grateful, while some are Grumbly Hateful.................... Which one are you ?

Locked