Homeowner's Academy

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Florida’s Mold Danger

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Jul 18, 2014

mold-300x199Where To Check for Mold in Your Home

Mold is a major source of distress and illness in Florida because it can flourish on almost any surface, even on the soil in your garden. Mold is potentially dangerous, comes in thousands of varieties, and loves humid environments. The reason it is often found in our homes is that building materials contain the nutrients that molds love, while bathrooms and air conditioners provide the moisture that helps it grow quickly.

If you spot mold early, it’s usually harmless as long as you clean it. Unfortunately, long-term exposure to mold can cause significant health issues for many Americans. Exposure can give you respiratory problems that mimic hay fever, coughing, and irritation of the throat.

People’s Trust especially suggests that seniors stay on the lookout for mold because older Americans and those with existing respiratory or other chronic diseases are at a significant risk of developing fungal infections in their lungs.

Common Mold Sources

Many items we use every day can become mold sources if they’re left out and gather moisture. Paper and cardboard products that sit around are among the most common sources of mold inside of homes, as is the caulking around bathtubs and toilets.

However, ceiling tiles, wooden floorboards and siding, wall paper, insulation, and carpet are also common places where mold will grow. When any of these become wet, you should mark it and either watch for mold growth or replace ahead of time just to be sure.

Mold commonly grows near water damage in your home, such as leaking roofs, leaking or broken pipes, condensation accumulation on windows or doorways, and even near the catch trays below some potted plants.

Eliminating Mold in Your Home

Thankfully, many mold cleaners on the market can safely and immediately get rid of mold on the common surfaces in your home. Cleaners often specialize on different surfaces and you can get something specifically tailored to your needs.

If you find mold on a porous surface, such as untreated wood or ceiling tiles, it is often best to replace these. Porous surfaces give mold a space to grow that you can’t always reach, so you may not be able to completely clean it.

If you want to create your own cleaner, mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water. This can be used on most surfaces in your home. When using bleach, never mix it with other chemicals and always wear clothes that provide adequate coverage of your skin.

For mold in your AC, the Center for Disease Control recommends that turn on a dehumidifier at night or during the day if your unit runs all day. Clean any of your filters regularly or try using disposable filters that you should replace each month.

Exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom should also be used to discourage the growth of mold. Another great tip for bathrooms and kitchens is to remove any carpet in these rooms. If you use floor mats or rugs, be sure to clean them regularly.

When water damage is causing your mold issue, contact People’s Trust to see if you can make a homeowner’s claim about the water damage. We can walk you through the process and also give you advice to help prevent further problems. One of our favorite tips is to install non-burst hoses on your appliances to help keep water damage away.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company