Florida’s Tropical Climate Means More Homes Have Hidden Mold: Here’s How You Can Tell If It’s In Yours

Florida's Tropical Climate Means More Homes Have Hidden Mold: Here's How You Can Tell If It's In Yours

Anyone who calls it home knows that Florida is a great place to live, work, and play. But its near-tropical climate makes humidity control, flood protection, and mold and mildew prevention significant areas of concern for every homeowner here. If your Central Florida home has recently suffered water damage, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends you address any potential mold damage within 24 to 48 hours of water damage.

Central Florida Restoration Solutions offers mold damage remediation, restoration, and removal services that help you identify and destroy hidden mold and keep it from coming back. Our mold damage restoration process ensures superior results that bring you peace of mind after a water disaster at your home.

Water Damage By The Numbers

Did you know that about 14,000 homeowners in the U.S. experience a water damage emergency at home or work daily? Or that the annual cost of water damage is up to $20 billion? The most expensive damage is caused by flooding, but other causes include:

  • Faulty plumbing
  • Leaky appliances
  • Washing machine failures
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Water heaters

The EPA suggests you regularly check for leaks to protect your home from damage due to these events.

Why Mold Is So Prevalent in Florida

Florida’s dense humidity makes homes in the state particularly vulnerable to mold accumulation and spread. Add to that its susceptibility to natural water-related disasters like hurricanes, and it’s easy to see how mold and mildew would make themselves at home in your property.

Making mold prevention and removal a top priority is essential to protect your home from the significant damage mold can do. Staying vigilant with indoor cleaning is an integral part of avoiding the problem altogether. However, there are times you’ll face the threat of mold damage from something entirely outside your control, like a burst pipe or flooding situation.

Keep in mind that no matter how small a leak might seem or how contained a water issue appears to be, it requires immediate attention to avoid mold taking hold. A local home restoration company like CFRS can help by detecting leaks in your Central Florida home and doing any necessary remediation work.

How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow From Water Damage?

Once mold infests your home, it starts to spread in as little as 24 hours. While it’s tempting to try and handle the problem yourself, mold removal and remediation generally require a level of expertise most homeowners don’t possess. Instead of putting you, your family, and your home at risk, it’s usually advisable to contact mold damage professionals and leave the job to them.

Roof Leaks and Mold

Another common cause of hidden mold growth in the home is a roof leak. Once water finds its way into your home through a crack or hole in your roof, it quickly goes to work penetrating all types of porous materials, including insulation and wood. Worse, the problem can get bigger and cause severe structural damage and widespread mold growth long before you discover it.

Keep in mind that minor roof leaks are often difficult to detect. The sudden appearance of mold in the attic or on ceilings could be the first indication something’s wrong.

Many of our customers tell us they thought a leaky roof was merely a structural problem they needed to deal with. And that they were surprised to learn they might also need to manage a number of safety and health issues. To prevent this type of slow but devastating water damage in your Central Florida home, you should address a roof leak without delay.

Tips For Safe Mold Cleanup

In most cases, handling a mold problem is not a DIY project, especially if you or someone else in the home have a respiratory problem or are immunocompromised. That’s because most people who attempt to clean up mold themselves use methods that prolong the process and potentially spread the mold. They also tend to use products like bleach, which, when inhaled, can be harmful to people with certain health problems.

If you want to attempt to clean up your home after it suffers water damage, here are a few things you can do before the water damage restoration company arrives.

  1. Dry out the interior as quickly and as much as possible. Open windows and doors and use fans and dehumidifiers to speed the process.
  2. Remove any porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours, as they can remain a source of mold growth.
  3. Clean wet surfaces with water and detergent to help slow or stop mold from growing.
  4. If the mold infestation is a result of natural flooding and can’t be removed with a detergent solution, you can mix a cup of bleach and one gallon of water and use that, though this job is often better left to the pros who can also determine what category of water you’re dealing with.

A final note: If floodwaters have entered or damaged your HVAC system, don’t turn it on. Once submerged, your home’s heating and cooling equipment becomes a breeding ground for microorganisms, including bacteria and mold. Leave the disinfection and cleanup to the pros.

10 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth in Florida

Any type of mold growth can cause harm to the people who live in the affected property. The prevention of indoor mold in your Central Florida home can significantly improve the healthy well-being of residents. These tips gathered from certified mold inspectors, mold remediation specialists, and environmental hygienists can help you prevent mold problems in your home.

  1. Control indoor humidity: Experts say that because mold grows best at about 70% humidity, you should keep your home’s year-round indoor humidity to less than 60% through adequate ventilation and the use of air conditioning and dehumidifiers. They also recommend minimizing the number of live indoor plants you have, as they can increase indoor humidity due to frequent watering. And remember to always use the bathroom exhaust fan or open a bathroom window to expel humid air to the outdoors.
  2. Check humidity levels: You can use what’s called a digital hygrometer to check humidity levels in every room and other areas of your home. Keep a log so you know which rooms might need further mitigation efforts.
  3. Get rid of accumulated organic dust: Do this by cleaning in-window air conditioners, central AC equipment, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers every three months. Mold loves organic dust and dirt as much as they do moist spots!
  4. Install HEPA filters: These go inside your HVAC system to capture and remove airborne mold spores.
  5. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner: This will remove deposited mold spores from carpeting and rugs.
  6. Use a DIY mold test kit: Use this to check the outgoing airflow from HVAC duct registers and window air conditioners as least once a year.
  7. Routine inspections: You’ll want to look over your home’s roof, attic, walls, floors, and exterior siding for signs of a leak, water damage, and mold growth. Also, look inside the attic, garage, and laundry room or area, as they often have higher humidity levels than the rest of the house. And keep in mind that mold can be many colors, including white, black, blue, green, yellow, and pink.
  8. Inspect vulnerable areas: You should check around the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room plumbing for water leaks, damage, and mold growth.
  9. Monitor people’s health: Those with health issues in particular, as it could be made worse by mold. Signs of health problems from mold infestation include sneezing, chronic tiredness, headaches, skin rashes, itchy and watery eyes, and breathing difficulties. If anyone exhibits these or any other symptoms, call or visit a doctor promptly.

Finally, trust your nose! If you smell a musty odor, it’s probably mold, either visible or hidden, within AC equipment, walls, ceilings, the crawl space, or any other place mold gravitates to.

Your Mold Questions Answered

Once they learn just how complex mold and mold damage can be, people have a lot of questions! Here’s a quick rundown on some of the ones we hear most frequently.

Why does mold keep growing?

Think of mold spores like a plant’s seeds, even though they’re much smaller. Many plants spread their seeds via wind and water. Mold reproduces in a similar way via the production of tiny spores that can easily travel long distances. Mold spores can even survive in environments that don’t support mold growth. They just need to wait for water, food, the right temperature, and the right amount of oxygen to proliferate.

What can mold grow on?

You name it, and mold can probably grow on it. It grows on organic materials like wood and paper products, as well as synthetic materials like adhesives, paints, and man-made textiles. It can’t digest inorganic materials like glass, metal, and concrete, but it can digest the dust, dirt, and organic residue on them, which is why you’ll often see mold on these inorganic items. No matter where mold is found, it’s crucial to remove it swiftly and thoroughly to reduce mold damage.

What causes mold to grow so fast?

The short answer is moisture, oxygen, food, darkness, and warmth. That said, some molds can grow in near-freezing conditions; fortunately, that’s rarely an issue in Central Florida.

How does mold affect the surfaces it grows on?

Mold digests the carbon in the surface it grows on. Any material mold feasts on ends up damaged or degraded, and unchecked mold can cause staining, unpleasant odors, cosmetic damage, and structural degradation of many surfaces. Mold’s digestive enzymes eventually completely destroy materials as they spread, so it’s important to identify, remove, and remediate mold as soon as possible.

Mold Damage Services You Can Depend On

It’s imperative for people living in the Sunshine State to know how to prevent mold and mildew in their homes. For more than 25 years, CFRS has worked with Central Florida homeowners, local home inspectors, contractors, roofers, adjusters, and insurance agents to help them manage any water or mold damage in their property.

We know how overwhelming dealing with a mold infestation can be and want to make the remediation, removal, and restoration process as stress-free as possible. Our friendly and skilled technicians ensure your worries are few and your satisfaction is complete.

When you need a qualified mold damage restoration company to remove mold and mitigate damage in your home, CFRS is the one to turn to. We have the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed to manage mold damage in your Central Florida home and return mold levels to acceptable limits.

And because every home’s mold damage is different, we customize our mold damage restoration solutions to your unique needs. We also offer water damage, fire damage, and smoke damage solutions you can trust. Contact CFRS today for mold damage and any other restoration services you need to keep your home and family healthy and secure!

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