Homeowners have many responsibilities and concerns. Owning your own home comes with a lot of projects and maintenance needs. Keeping up with everything is not the easiest thing for a homeowner. Oftentimes a homeowner needs to reach out and hire a professional to maintain the needs of their home. Also, keeping your family safe and healthy is a huge part of owning a home. In Florida, that can involve keeping your home free and clear of mold and mildew growth. Is mold common in Florida homes? Mold loves moisture and high humidity. Since Florida has both, mold growth is highly possible.
Let’s take a look below at what mold is and how we can prevent it.
What Is Mold
Mold is a naturally occurring fungi that floats around in the air. Because mold is made up of spores, mold is able to float from place to place virtually undetected. Mold is very common in buildings and homes, especially in areas with high humidity and moisture like Florida. Mold spores are spread by wind, water, and insects. Spores act like seeds and form new mold colonies when the proper conditions are met.
How Does It Happen
Unfortunately, there are many ways a mold issue can arise in or around your home. Mold spores are virtually everywhere and love to settle in on some damp and dark areas. Let’s take a look at the more popular places for mold growth to appear.
- Flooding – mold loves any place a puddle has formed. If you allow water to sit and collect from leaks or rain inside or outside of your home, mold will grow. Do your best to minimize and repair all leaks.
- Roof leaks – when it rains, the water will penetrate areas of the roof that have damage and leak. This water seepage will create moisture buildup in the attic space or the ceiling of your home.
- Plumbing damage – if you have broken pipes that leak or even spray water out, you will likely only become aware of the damage when mold forms.
- Exhaust fans don’t work – if you have bad ventilation in your bathroom or kitchen, the steam that is present from a hot shower or cooking promotes mold growth. Eventually, you will begin to see mold take over in those main areas.
- Hygiene – allowing moisture to buildup on your sheets and pillows from sweat, as well as going to bed with a wet head can promote too much moisture in the room. Mold spores love moisture.
- Sprinklers – when sprinklers hit the side of your exterior home walls, moisture builds up and mold and mildew thrive. Always true in areas of the yard where no sun is present.
- Humidifier condensation – allowing a humidifier to run too long can generate condensation. This means that all surfaces will be too cold and mold spores will settle in your condensation areas.
- Open doors and windows – leaving your doors and windows open for a fresh breeze is a great idea. However, keep in mind that the humidity levels in the home will rise and allow for a mold breeding ground in the home.
How Would I Know
Believe it or not, it can be fairly simple to identify mold in your home. Most of the time the mold is present in very obvious places. Keep an eye out for mold in the shower grout lines and your wall space near the exhaust vent. Here are the ways you would definitely know mold is growing.
- Smell – a musty and dirt-like smell is noticeable in the air where the mold is present.
- Sudden Health Issues – you begin to have respiratory and allergic reactions. Mold can limit your breathing, cause watery eyes, and other auto-immune responses.
- Mold Spores Present – obvious signs of mold spores is when they are visible. Be aware of your surrounds and where mold would most likely appear.
- Water damage or leak – mold will breed in areas of the home that have been damaged by water. The dampness and constant moisture in those areas create a breeding ground for mold.
What Can I Do To Prevent It
Preventing mold spores is not an easy thing to do. Always remember that if there is excess moisture in your home, you will be very challenged to eliminate mold. Excess moisture and water from leaks in your roof, plumbing, or even windows, can promote mold growth. Also, make sure that your bathroom exhaust fans and your kitchen exhaust fan works to keep the steam from creating condensation on your walls.
It is recommended that you maintain a humidity level of less than 50 percent in order to keep mold away. You might want to consider using a dehumidifier in your rooms that have a high tendency of moisture. Also, remember to only use your air conditioner when it’s hot and humid outside. This keeps the interior of your home cool and free from excess moisture.
Finally, be sure to limit long hot steamy showers. The steam from your shower will gravitate up and out towards your ceiling and walls. This becomes a breeding ground for mold spores to settle in. You can avoid this by running your exhaust fans for about 20 minutes after you have stopped your steam shower.
How Much Does It Cost
Mold remediation can be rather expensive. It is best to perform preventative maintenance as often as possible. In Florida, it can be very easy to lose the humidity and moisture battles. So, make sure that your AC unit is functioning properly. Most companies will change a $20 per square foot fee to remove mold.
Small mold removal projects cost about $600. Keep in mind, that the larger the mold invasion, the more you are going to spend on removal. This includes everything from the type of mold to the materials damaged. In addition, having mold removed from your air ducts or attic can be rather expensive. You are looking at a national average fee of $3,000 to $7,000.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now you know that mold is common in Florida homes, you will want to take a look around your house. One area to check is the caulk around the kitchen and bathroom sinks. It is important to make sure that you replace the caulk so water or pests don’t get in. This will also help avoid mold growth.
Another area to take a look at is the pool deck. We love our swimming pools in Florida, but mold can grow easily on the pool deck. Use a scrub brush, bleach, water, a pressure washer, and a vacuum if this happens.
Lastly, make sure if you find a mold problem you get it under control. The last thing you want is to leave the home during mold remediation. Sometimes rooms can be sectioned off, but other times leaving the home is necessary.
When Do I Call A Professional
Calling on a professional home inspection team is your best bet when dealing with mold. Making sure that your family’s health and safety is secure should be the priority. Once a home inspection team finds mold in the home, you will need to contact a mold remediation company. Luckily, the home inspection team can recommend a reputable local mold remediation team. Keep in mind that you might have to relocate the family while you are having the mold removed.
In Florida, keeping your home dry is nearly impossible. You can do all of the preventative measures and still end up with an issue. As homeowners, we don’t always see what is causing the issue right away.
Always remember that if you have a home inspection conducted yearly, you can avoid having to pay big fees and repairs. The moment that you notice mold growth in your home, you will want to reach out to your local home inspection team. Reach out to Honor Services for your Home Inspection and Mold Inspection in Brevard County, FL