Clean Your Exterior Vents to Keep Mold and Pests Away

Time: 2-3 hours

Mold, mildew, pests — gross. Vents around the exterior of your home stop moisture buildup that attracts all three. But when your vents are blocked by debris or gunk, air can’t circulate and green stuff starts growing (We’re not talking about grass). No fear, read on to learn how to clean your exterior vents to keep mold and pests away.

What's in it for you?

  • Easier air circulation in your home
  • More efficient heating and cooling
  • Mold-free living

Clean Your Exterior Vents to Keep Mold and Pests Away

  1. Identify your foundation and eave vents. You’re looking for rectangular grates about one-foot wide and six to eight inches tall. Foundation vents are by the cement blocks near the foundation and eave vents are near the roof.

  2. Remove any obstructions. Grab a pair of gloves and remove leaves, dirt, animal waste, and gross stuff that’s on the outside of the vent. Bag it all up and dispose of it properly (We recommend composting).

  3. Wash and vacuum the vents. Pull out your trusty shop vac and plug it in outside — or plug it into a 20-foot extension cord that’s plugged in inside. Don’t have a shop vac? Any vacuum with a hose attachment will do the trick. Vacuum the foundation vents to remove residual debris or dust. Follow that up with some soap and water to increase air circulation and prevent mold buildup. Rinse and repeat until all your foundation vents are clean.

  4. Repair broken vents. Inspect your vents for breaks or holes while you clean — it’s as simple as running your finger along the surface and feeling for inconsistencies. Bonus points (and bonus cash) for taping up any broken vents you find.

  5. Do it again — for your eave vents. Remember, these vents are close to the roof so you’ll need a ladder and a spotter. Safety first, people. Position your ladder near an eave vent, climb up and pull out dirt, leaves, sticks, and animal debris. Vacuum and wipe down the vent with a sanitizing wipe. Rinse and repeat. Done.

Pro Tip: Call animal control if you find any cute critters have made a home in your vents. These professionals can safely relocate these adorable animals.

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