Mold can cause extensive damage to homes and even harm our health. Every year, billions of dollars go towards remedying the negative effects of mold. And, unfortunately, Florida has become a hotspot for mold-related issues, so it’s important to prevent mold growth whenever possible.

Due to the high humidity levels in the summer, peak hours can average at a 90% humidity level when only 55% is required for mold to spread. Given this knowledge and the heavy damages mold can bring, it’s important to know how to prevent mold from growing in your Florida home. 

What Exactly Is Mold? 

Mold comes from tiny particles of fungi that cause the decomposition of many organic materials. It can grow on nearly anything from wood to even paint. Mold produces microscopic cells, also known as mold spores. Mold spores rapidly spread from the area of origin under the right conditions. For example, damp areas are prone to indoor mold growth. 

There are over 300,000 types of mold, but Florida most commonly has these three species: Aspergillus (found on rotten produce), Cladosporium (a black or green mold from damp spots), and Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as black mold which poses a danger to health). 

The impact of mold is unanimously negative. When it comes to health, mold can cause allergic reactions, asthmatic episodes, lung infections, and, in severe cases, neurological issues. 

mold growth risks

As for the impact on your home, it really depends on how quickly you catch signs of mold. A remedy can be a quick and easy fix or it can cost thousands in damages if it spreads to areas such as air ducts.

That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on your Florida home while you’re away with a home watch partner like Income Realty Home Watch! We can catch early signs of mold from the start and prevent the issue from spiraling. 

Preventing Mold Growth

Whatever mold grows on has the risk of being gradually broken down. This means your furnishings and home’s structure can be damaged, so it’s important to keep an eye on things like indoor humidity levels. The key to avoiding this scenario is by controlling moisture. 

Moisture control comes in two forms: drying wet surfaces from leaks/spills and reducing humidity. The following are a few steps you can take to control moisture: 

Managing Humidity 

Humidity levels must be below 55% to avoid indoor mold growth. With an average of 74% humidity in Florida, this can be quite a feat, even with an air conditioner. Here’s what you can do to succeed in bringing down the humidity levels of your home: 

  • Have your thermostat set to Auto
  • Swap the AC filters for new ones 
  • Clean out the condensate line 
  • Purchase a dehumidifier 
  • Boost your home’s ventilation by use of an air conditioner or something else
  • Decrease your home’s temperature

Managing Water Leaks 

If you have an issue with water leakage, you have just 24-48 hours to get the situation under control before mold begins to grow. 

water leaks and mold

To avoid water leaks and dampness in your home, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Clear out the gutters routinely 
  • Have a professional determine the water leak’s source and repair it
  • Incorporate mold inhibitors into your paints prior to painting
  • Use mold-killing products when cleaning your bathrooms
  • Remove carpets that are wet and can’t be dried immediately  

Preventing Mold as a Seasonal Resident 

A huge number of Florida residents are seasonal. Snowbirds take refuge here for the winter and often close up their homes in the summer for over 6 months at a time. As a seasonal resident, you know the routine of preparing your home for your departure, including checking up on things like the central air conditioning system.

The general chores of bringing the patio furniture inside and storing your vehicle are all part of the norm. However, what often gets overlooked is that these items can be prime sources for visible mold growth. Also watch out for smells, as residents often notice mold odors before they spot the issue. 

This can smell like an earthy or musty odor and can cause nasal and sinus irritation. If you notice either of these things in your home, you may have a mold problem.

As we’ve mentioned, mold will not grow when your indoor humidity level is below 55%. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely in the clear. Mold has a nasty habit of lying dormant. If any issue were to occur, these mold levels would spike rapidly. Employ systems like air conditioners or a dehumidifier to prevent a mold problem.

For example, if your vehicle isn’t properly stored in a controlled environment, mold can eat away at the leather seats and steering wheel in your absence and go unnoticed until your return. Prevent mold growth by getting on top of this, including inspecting places like your air conditioner.

snowbirds mold problems

If you’re a seasonal resident in Florida, it’s highly recommended to get help from a home watch company like Income Realty Home Watch. We can make the right steps to ensure your home (and vehicle!) is protected from mold risks while you’re away and make sure your air conditioning is without a mold problem.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance policies are excellent to have, but they also show the importance of having a home watch company by your side. Not all policies will cover mold-related problems and the ones that do have a strict timeline for action.

If you’re away while a mold problem begins, you may return and find that your coverage period has already passed. Being a seasonal resident will not count as a valid excuse for the delayed response.  

Areas of High-Risk

Routinely inspect drain lines, AC units, and drain pans as they are areas with a high risk of mold growth. Other areas include basements, roofs, and water sources like the laundry rooms, bathrooms, or any place with a sink. Pay close attention if you want to play a role in stopping indoor mold growth and mold spores.

If you’re a seasonal resident and are away for a large chunk of time, it’s vital to turn off your water. This will slash the risk of water leaks. Additionally, hire the services of a home watch company like Income Realty Home Watch. We can inspect your HVAC units, air conditioners, and other areas of risk for mold. 

Bottom Line

If you’re going to be away from your Florida home for a significant amount of time, hiring a home watch company is your best bet at keeping your property secure. Mold growth is a major hazard to the state of your home, from air conditioning units to bathroom corners, and can be challenging to get under control should the issue have time to escalate in your absence

Income Realty Home Watch is the #1 home watch company in Miami Dade County. Homeowners trust us to keep their homes safe while they’re away. You can rest easy knowing your property is in good hands! Contact us today to learn more about our home watch services. 

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