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Fiberglass Ductboard replace or no?


jbean
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This is an odd question.  My wife and I bought a house built in the 80s.  Had our inspection and nothing crazy popped out.  Fast forward 2 weeks to being in the home, we are doing our normal painting, updating etc..  The handyman I hired was painting by the vent and called me in to look.  Said I should hire someone to do a vent cleaning.  I called and they came out, after spending an hour (no charge) they explained I have older ductboard and they could not clean them.  They also said we have loose fiberglass strands, and pulled a few that were stuck in the vent louvers.  Not a big pile but the size of a nickel.  They suggested I call someone to possibly reduct the house.  The issue is its an A frame and there is no crawl space or attic space.  My guess is they would have to cut drywall?

If they inspector had mentioned this, we would not have bought or had it replaced or negotiated based on this.  How bad is something like this?

thanks

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I've installed that product many times, long ago. It was very popular for a while. It can be cleaned only on the aluminum foil side (outside). If it's disintegrating or dirty, get a professional to replace it with something else. Don't mess with it yourself.

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Are all the ducts made from ductboard or just the return-air duct? It's very common to use it in return-air ducts - particularly in Florida. Less common in supply ducts. 

Unless the ducts are damaged, I wouldn't replace them. The fiberglass lining tends to catch a lot of dirt, but not release so much. That's why it looks so gross. If you don't believe me, install some little filters behind the supply registers (and maintain your return-air filter). You'll find that the little supply filters don't catch anywhere near the amount of dirt that you imagine is there. 

 

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Thanks, I am thinking to just leave it.  Maybe put something outside of a vent to see if its actually releasing fiberglass.  What was picked out could have been there for years.  In order to replace, it would require drywall to be cut in many places.  I want things safe but if there is no concern, then it can wait.  As for me doing myself, no way.. I would have no clue what I was doing and would probably make things even worse.   It looks like everything is made of ductboard.  

 

Thanks all for the comments, I appreciate the assistance in this.

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