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.
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 spores, which rapidly spread from the area of origin under the right conditions. For example, damp areas are prone to 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.
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. 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:
Humidity levels must be below 55% to avoid mold growth. With an average of 74% humidity in Florida, this can be quite a feat. 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
- 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.
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.
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 mold growth.
As we’ve mentioned, mold will not grow when your 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.
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.
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.
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 mold issues begin, 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.
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 and other areas of risk for mold.
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 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.