Leaky Air Conditioning Grows Mold

Dear George,

My roommates and I have had a leaking air conditioner which made a whole in the ceiling and now mold is growing all along side of it, how do i go bye getting this checked out. The maintance people said put bleach on it but it doesnt go away

Signed,

Leaky

Dear Leaky,

First you have to stop the leak; then you have to clean up the mold, and finally you need to repair the damage.

So this starts with the air conditioner. Somehow you have to find a way to stop the leakage. You might consider using a small dehumidifier in your apartment close to the air conditioner to remove moisture from the air. It is the condensation from the moisture in the air that is leaking from your ac. And you do have to change the ac filter regularly–possibly more frequently than usual during times of high humidity.

If you bleach the moldy areas, the mold will only be eliminated if it is superficial. (What you see on the surface is only the tip of the iceberg. Think of how much of a plant is underground out of sight, and you will understand why it comes back after you bleach.) IF bleach does not solve the problem, the infiltrated areas should be professionally repaired or replaced.

IF you are not moving the ac unit to another location, you know the problem will re-occur; so be proactive.

Make sure that any replacement materials are designed to be water repellant–perhaps designed for bathroom use. That will help prevent the problem from reoccurring.

This means if you need to replace drywall, use bathroom quality cement board, high quality primer, and–I’m not recommending a specific product here–but something like Zinsser’s mold-resistant paint applied to the new, clean surface will be a smart way to go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.