With the heat and humidity that always comes with the Florida summer, along with the ever-present chance of a hurricane tracking across the state from now through November, practically every home becomes a potential hotspot for mold testing.
All that moisture in the air, warm temperatures, and dark places inside walls and in attics create the ideal environment for mold to get established and start growing out of control.
Mold is a living organism that, like all forms of life, lives for one primary purpose – to reproduce. Yes, it’s there to make more mold. It spreads mainly by releasing microscopic spores into the air. Eventually, they land and if they settle in a spot that provides water and nutrients within the right range of temperatures, you’ve got a mold problem.
And it is a problem because before long that mold will release more spores into the air inside your home, which can make you and your family sick if you inhale it into your lungs.
A hidden health hazard
For the most part, mold stays hidden because it thrives best in dark places. If a mold infestation gets a foothold in your home, you might get lucky and actually notice a dark discolored spot on a wall or ceiling, indicating that there’s probably a colony spreading on the other side of the drywall.
In many cases, however, the colony establishes itself in an area that can’t be seen and the mold can’t be detected, except with special testing equipment. That means the first sign of mold you experience could be a persistent musty or earthy smell you find unpleasant. Even worse, you may not suspect a mold infestation until you and others living in your house start getting sick – sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy eyes – symptoms that just won’t clear up on their own.
And while mold can be a danger to everyone’s health, children and the elderly are, particularly at risk. Anyone who’s had a recent severe health problem or surgery may also be at risk if their immune system has been weakened.
What should you do if you suspect mold?
Mold often follows a water intrusion event inside your home, such as a busted or leaking pipe in the plumbing that’s inside your walls. And this time of year, a severe storm with high winds, such as a hurricane or even the afternoon thunderstorms that pop up every day, can cause the rain to come down at a sharp angle, almost sideways at times, which can force it up through the soffits and into the walls.
The key to preventing a mold infestation if this happens is to get rid of the moisture as quickly as you can. However, successfully getting rid of mold as a do-it-yourself project is a long shot at best, and because the health of everyone in the household may be at stake, it’s not recommended. To be certain whether you have a mold infestation and how extensive it is, it’s a good idea to contact a company that can do the proper testing, like Healthy Home Environmental Services.
We are licensed and insured to provide testing in both residential and commercial properties. Lab results are guaranteed to be delivered the next day for mold analysis. And because we do not offer mold remediation services or receive compensation for referrals, our results are completely objective and unbiased.
For more information about the services we provide at Healthy Home Environmental Services or to make an appointment, please call 407-395-4549 or request more information on our website.