These Home Remodeling Mistakes Will Cause Serious Problems For You
We’ve talked a lot about the strange things we’ve found in people’s air ducts. While that’s a shock, it’s not the only one we get. Sometimes, we find crazy mistakes people make during remodeling that causes serious problems for them. Problems they might not even realize. Do-it-yourselfers make these mistakes the most often – and there are a lot more of them now than there used to be – but even professionals have occasionally made these mistakes.
So, we’re going to look over the 5 most common home remodeling mistakes we’ve seen in our line of work.
5 Remodeling Mistakes We Commonly See
1. Painting Over A Dryer Vent
When one of our customers bought their house, they noticed that the dryer vent didn’t match the color of the house. This understandably bothered them, so they decided to paint over it. Unfortunately, this ended up also sealing the dryer vent. This caused so many problems because the air was backing up into the house. The clothes would never fully dry. The laundry room became overly humid, creating mold problems. The whole house became uncomfortably hot. While they didn’t have a fire, this was still a major fire hazard, as lint wasn’t able to escape the dryer vent. They’re quite lucky about that, to be honest.
We were able to clean it out and they’ve since reported no further problems.
2. Painting Over Any Ducts
We see this a lot. Instead of removing vents before painting over them, they’ll put tape over them instead. This is not a good idea for many reasons. For one, if you apply the tape wrong, paint can still get into the vent. Even if you apply it right, the sticky residue that makes tape stay in place might also cling to the vent. The end result is that the vent could get sealed, or blocked. Impeded air flow puts additional strain on your HVAC system, which causes it to break down faster. You also have to spend more time heating and cooling your house, which costs more money.
So, if you ever decide to repaint your home, remove the vents from your air ducts instead of taping over them.
3. Installing a Cabinet Or Appliance Over An Air Duct
Whenever we find unusually dirty air ducts, this is usually why. People will install a dishwasher, or oven, or cabinet, or something like that over an air duct. Just on its own, this is kind of silly, because it blocks the airflow coming out. It’s not as bad as accidentally sealing it with paint or tape, but it’s still not good. The other problem is that they don’t cover it before they do. They just leave the vent open without even a vent cover or filter on it. Dust fills up the vents fast and anything accidentally kicked under the appliance ends up down there.
The best thing is to avoid installing anything over an air duct. If you must do so, make sure you add a vent cover to it so things won’t get inside.
4. Putting Insulation in Air Ducts
Adding insulation is a common remodeling project. A lot of homes don’t have enough insulation to be energy efficient, so homeowners will often add more while fixing up other problems with their homes. But you can add insulation in the wrong place, creating health issues.
This is the most common mistake we see get made by house-flippers and Air BnB renters. They want to get the house in the best condition to sell, so they quickly add some insulation to improve its sale price. Not a bad idea . . . except when you put the insulation in the air ducts. Most insulation is made of foam or fiberglass. Not only does this impede the air flow, but it pollutes the air circulating through your house. In the case of fiberglass, which is a powerful irritant and potential carcinogenic if you breath it in, this is a serious health issue.
You should never put insulation in your air ducts. Never.
5. Running Cables Through Air Ducts
We see this more often in older homes than newer ones, but some house-flippers still make this mistake – especially the do-it-yourself types. Like all of the problems, it messes up the air flow, but it also makes cleaning your air ducts a nightmare. Even our non-brush system can cause problems with wiring. It can loosen and pull out screws, causing the wires to detach from their place. Loose objects like rocks, or toys (we find a lot of toys in air ducts) might damage the wiring as the vacuum sucks it up.
Furthermore, you’ll end up needing to clean your air ducts more often. If you ever have any electrical problems, you have to open up your air ducts to check the wiring. That removes the filter and lets more dust and grime in. You also have to create holes in your duct work to let the wires run out, which is just more ways dust can get past the filter. It causes nothing but trouble, so avoid doing it.
Take Good Care of Your Air Ducts
Cleaning your air ducts isn’t normally something you need to worry about. If you’ve got a good filter in place and your HVAC is properly installed, typically you’ll only need to clean your air ducts once every three years. If you do any of the 5 things listed above, however, you’ll find it becoming more of an issue. Each of these will make cleaning out your air ducts a more regular concern, because it will make it easier for them to get dirty. Not only that, some of them are health hazards and you really don’t want that. If you’re remodeling your home, make sure you avoid them.
If you take care of your air ducts properly, however, you’ll find yourself seeing a lot of benefits. Easier breathing, healthier living, better sleep, and a generally more comfortable living experience. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, experiencing greater than usual asthma problems, or similar issues, then your house might have one of these problems.
So, if it’s been a while since you had your ducts cleaned, you just moved into a new home, or you’re experiencing these problems, get a hold of us. We’ll clean out your air ducts and if there’s any problems with the house making it worse, we’ll find them for you. That’s what we’re here for.