The Dangers Of Do-It-Yourself Ductwork Repair

3 December 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


It can be very tempting to handle your ductwork repair, especially when you want to save some money. The problem is if you use the wrong materials, you could end up with a much larger problem that you would need a professional to repair. Before attempting any type of repair work on your home's ductwork, you need to know what areas require very special attention to get right.

Wrong Type of Screws

Leaking seams for ductwork is one of the most common problems a homeowner will face with their HVAC system. Seams leak for a number of reasons, though one of them is when someone uses the wrong type of screws.

Since most ductwork deals with different temperatures and moisture levels, the screws are susceptible to corrosion if non-galvanized ones are used throughout the ductwork. Without this protective coating, the screws will corrode and then break after some time. When this happens, the seams will loosen and start to leak your hot and cold air into the space around the ductwork.

Another common problem is using screws that do not lock. Most locking screws keep themselves in place, so the air pressure from the HVAC does not make them wiggle loose. When attempting to repair leaking seams, you have to pay very close attention to the type of screws you use, so the problem does not reoccur after a shorter time span.

Improper Adhesives

The adhesive that you will find around the outside of your ductwork is a specific material used for residential HVAC systems. You do not want to confuse this adhesive with traditional glues, since most commercial glues contain Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. These compounds are hazardous to your health if you breathe them in, which is why you need to know which adhesives work best for ductwork repairs.

Mastic is a malleable adhesive that stays sticky, even after you apply it. This adhesive has the consistency of mayo and it will have the appearance of thick glue, which is why many people confuse this product with a regular commercial glue that you can find at a home improvement store.

The covering for most mastic repairs will include a shiny metal tape that holds the mastic in place. This tape is to keep the mastic from coming off when your ductwork expands and contracts due to the change in temperatures from your HVAC system. You should not confuse this tape with duct tape, because they are two separate products.

For those with experience and knowledge, many home improvement tasks are easy. However, your home's ductwork needs special attention, because some materials you may use can create a bigger problem. Therefore, it is usually in your best interest to have a professional HVAC company like Total Maintenance Inc work on this one area of your home.


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