Worried about toxic black mold?
Learn when Florida mold home inspections are necessary and when they’re not.
Despite popular opinion, molds are a natural and even beneficial part of our environment.
In fact, certain molds can be downright enjoyable in the right context (penicillin and blue cheese, for example). Some lumber molds like Ceratocystis and Ophiostoma are common in houses and present no danger to the structure or its occupants. (Mold home inspections for these types of mold would simply cause undue panic and waste money.)
But there are many more mold strains that can cause severe damage to your home and have serious adverse effects on your health. Prime examples include Stachybotrys (commonly referred to as “black mold”), which has been associated with everything from headaches to cancer; and Aspergillus, which can cause severe infections in the lungs and other parts of the body.
Florida: Paradise For People…and Mold
Mold spores are nearly always present inside and outside your Florida home. The problem arises when these spores begin to multiply. Once the mold has found a sustainable food source inside your home (i.e. drywall or wood), the colony will put out increasingly more spores into the air.
Since it is enclosed in the walls of your home, these spores will exponentially populate your air and cause the negative health problems mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, the hot, humid weather that makes Florida such a dream location also makes it a prime breeding ground for mold. Add extra moisture to the mix—like rain from one of our many thunderstorms—and you have a mold breeding ground.
Do I Need a Professional Mold Home Inspection?
Florida homeowners are often terrified by the thought of “black mold” infesting their home and causing a host of structural and health problems. But just because a mold is black doesn’t mean that it’s “toxic black mold.”
Here in Florida, homes will always have mold spores in the air. Mold is present throughout the State of Florida; it is impossible to keep all of those spores from entering your home. The problem arises when the indoor air has a higher level of mold than the outdoor air.
You should call a professional mold inspector if:
- You are immunocompromised or have a mold allergy,
- Your home has had recent water damage, or
- You have reason to suspect a mold infestation (i.e. you can see or smell it).
If you have good reason to suspect there might be mold in your Florida home, call a professional mold inspector as soon as possible to perform indoor air quality testing and confirm the presence of mold in your home.
How Mold Home Inspections Work
The first step in a mold inspection should be an IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) or MAS (Mold Air Sampling) test to determine what irritants or possible mold strains are present in the home.
As mentioned before, not all mold is toxic black mold, despite the color. A visual inspection alone will not indicate how dangerous a mold growth is. Only mold testing can accurately identify the specific strain of mold in your home.
During your inspection, we will also look for signs of mold, past mold growths that could become active again, or areas with signs of moisture that could lead to future mold problems.
Next, any samples collected during the mold testing and home inspection will be sent to a certified lab for analysis and identification of the exact nature of the problems found.
Thermal imaging can also be useful in detecting the presence of water that could lead to a mold problem. For example, if you smell a musty odor but have not had any recent water damage, thermal imaging can be used to determine if there is a hidden leak inside your walls causing the mold growth.
Mold home inspections must follow strict requirements to get an accurate reading of the air quality inside your Florida home. Don’t trust this process to just anybody. Always make sure you hire an inspector that is certified to perform mold inspections and beware of prices that are too low or too high.
The typical Florida mold inspection should cost between $375-500, depending on the size of your home.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Florida Home
Mold remediation is costly and inconvenient, so the best method is to prevent mold from growing in the first place. The key here is reducing moisture inside your home.
Mold develops in areas where moisture is present for an extended time. If your home remains dry, the mold will not be able to grow. Fix any plumbing issues as soon as possible and dry the water-damaged area and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
It’s also important to ensure entry points to the outdoors, such as windows and doors, are sealed properly to keep condensation and water from entering your home during storms.
If your air conditioner allows you to adjust your indoor humidity, set it below 50% or as low as possible to prevent your air from being mold-friendly.
EDC Home Inspections located in Oviedo, FL, can help keep your Florida home mold-free.
We are Certified Master Inspectors as well as InterNACHI Certified Mold Inspectors, which enables us to effectively inspect a home for moisture control effectiveness.
If your home has an earthy smell; you have been experiencing persistent headaches, colds, or sinus problems; or you have had water intrusion; you should call a mold inspector. We can put your mind at ease and help you return your home to being the haven it was meant to be.
Give us a call today at 407-417-2999 to schedule your inspection today.
This article was last updated on January 13, 2020.