Leaking Air Conditioner Mold

Dear George,

My roommates and I have had a leaking air conditioner which made a hole in the ceiling and now mold is growing all along side of it. How do I go about getting this checked out? The maintenance people said to put bleach on it, but it doesn’t go away.

A Drip


Dear Drip,

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

So, the repair starts with the air conditioner (AC). It is likely the condensation from the moisture in the air that is leaking from your AC. To stop the leakage, one thing to check is the evaporator coil drain tubing–examine it to verify that it is undamaged and unobstructed.  Also, check the evaporator air filter, making sure it is not restricted so as to prevent excessive frost. The frost might possibly drip outside the evaporator condensate drain pan.

Think of the roots of a plant that are underground out of sight, and you will understand why the mold comes back after you bleach. Because bleach does not solve the problem, the materials of the contaminated areas should be professionally replaced.

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

If you’re in California, you can contact us about getting tested. You can schedule a professional mold inspection (also referred to as a mold assessment) by Bye Bye Mold™ at 1.800.686.1992 or you can e-mail us via our user-friendly contact form.


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