Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the quality of existing ductwork is an important consideration. You might want to look into hiring a contractor instead of a general home inspector to inspect your home if you have older ductwork, particularly floor ducts.
If your home currently has air ducts in the floor and there are no issues, there’s no reason to panic, and having floor ducts shouldn’t turn you away from purchasing a house. Floor ducts are more prone to a few issues than ceiling ducts, and it makes sense to hire a contractor to inspect your ducts if they are installed in the floor.
Floor air duct problems
One of two problems affect air ducts in the floor:
- They may not be sealed to moisture well enough.This can invite mold and mildew. You don’t want air blowing over mold or mildew and into your home!
- The materials they are made with may be outdated. Like any piece of technology, there have been improvements in better and more efficient ways to build air ducts over time. Older materials like metal fittings may be more like to rust out and require replacing.
How can you tell if there’s a problem?
Here’s where the contractor comes in. Many contractors will have a camera on a long scoping arm that they can use to investigate your floor ducts. It’s unlikely that a home inspector will have that piece of equipment readily available.
If you have a contractor scope your existing floor ducts, it’s best for you to be around when it happens. You want to make sure it’s your own ductwork that you’re seeing. A good contractor will be glad to explain to you what they’re doing, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your investment is being put to good use.
After you’ve had the ductwork scoped, your contractor can help you figure out what solutions you may want to choose from. You may decide to flip the ductwork to the ceiling, or simply look for a different house to purchase, but either way you’ll be making an informed decision!