Mold in your Florida home can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Sadly, not many people realize they have a mold problem until certain illness symptoms arise.
What is mold?
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. They are a natural part of the environment and can found almost anywhere that oxygen and moisture can be found.
While a significant number of molds are harmless to most, some are actually toxic. All molds can be hazardous to people with asthma, allergies, weakened immune systems or mold sensitivities.
Different molds thrive in different conditions but most like warmth, high humidity, and a food source (plant matter, foodstuffs, paper, and wood).
You can find the most common types of molds around plumbing pipes, under sinks, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, drywall, basements, and bathroom.
When Should You Call a Mold Inspection Specialist?
“When should I get a mold inspection?” This is the most common question Florida residents ask when they suspect they could have a mold problem.
Here are the hidden signs of toxic mold to be in the lookout for in your home:
1. There was flooding in your home.
Was there a time when flooding occurred in your Florida home? That could have provided a great environment for the growth of mold. Occurrences of flooding always guarantees that mold is on its way.
Leaking sink pipes or overflowing bathtubs provide perfect conditions for mold growth.
2. You are tired all the time.
Are you hitting the snooze button and can’t seem to wake up during the day? Mold could be the problem. A feeling of fatigue is a possible sign of mold, as mold usually affects everyone differently.
3. You use a humidifier.
Sure, it may be doing wonders for your skin. However, with incorrect settings, it could be providing good grounds for the growth of mold in your home.
Mold grows well in humid conditions. If you are constantly humidifying, then you may be feeding mold all that extra moisture.
4. Your house smells musty.
If there is a musty smell lingering in your house, it could be a sign of trouble. Mold or mildew in the walls is the most serious cause of musty smells in houses.
Admittedly, musty smells in your home could be caused by a number of things, from moisture to old food and everything in between.
If you have taken the trash out, steamed the curtains, and washed the carpet without dislodging the strange reek, chances are it could be mold.
5. Your seasonal allergies never subside.
Do your seasonal allergies just seem like a year-long cold? If so, your endless sniffles could be as a result of mold.
Studies have shown that mold exposure can mimic or even worsen existing seasonal allergies.
6. Your asthma mysteriously worsens.
If your symptoms seem to improve during the day while you are working and worsen in the evening when you are at home, mold could be the problem.
Most mold species don’t bother individuals who don’t have breathing problems but can aggravate asthma for people who already suffer from the condition.
7. You find dark or colored spots on your walls.
Mold can appear in a myriad of colors, textures, and shapes. It can look like anything from an innocuous-looking grey fuzz to green, dripping slime. In other words, mold can sometimes be pretty noticeable and sometimes it can’t.
If there are dark or colored spots on your walls, it could be worth double checking them. You may come to realize that the root problem is uncontrolled humidity or plumbing leaks.
8. Your heating or air conditioning smells weird.
One subtle sign of mold is a smell from your heating system or air conditioner. In particular, standalone air conditioning units are prime spots for mold growth.
They are dark, damp, and often exposed to warm temperatures when not in use. The likelihood of mold development also increases if you place an air conditioner in a heated basement or closet.
What Happens During a Mold Inspection?
For the most part, mold inspection involves a visual inspection of a house. No special equipment is required besides a functioning flashlight and other light tools like a camera and a moisture meter.
Mold inspection also involves the inspector asking the homeowner a few questions regarding the problem. The inspector will then proceed to do a visual inspection of the home to look for any signs of mold.
If the inspector suspects mold could be growing in the home, he or she will then talk to the homeowner about developing a remediation plan.
How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost in Florida?
Mold inspection costs are usually affected by two main factors:
A) The size of the property. If the property has large square footage, then expect a higher cost.
B) The location of the mold. If the mold is located in hard-to-reach places, then expect the inspection to take longer and to cost more.
On average, for a small to medium sized house (below 4,000 sq. ft.), expect a mold inspection to cost between $300 to $500. For a larger home (more than 4,000 sq. ft.), expect to pay from $700 to $900.
How do I Find the Right Mold Inspector?
Finding a good mold inspector will involve checking licenses, qualifications, and references. You will also want to find out other crucial details:
- Their turn-around time. You want them to have enough time to write a good report, but not so long that they delay the repairs.
- If they can do the repairs themselves. This can be a conflict of interest. Ideally, choose a company that only specializes in mold testing and not both.
Preventing mold should be a regular part of maintaining your Florida home. Mold prevention is imperative to your health and well-being. If you suspect any of the aforementioned signs, contact a mold inspection specialist immediately.