Mold is one of the most common problems that central Florida homeowners face. Mold can develop quickly based on time and temperature and may grow as fast as 24 to 48 hours within the home when water or moisture is present.
Some of the best things about living in central Florida, the warm temperatures and proximity to water, unfortunately make it the perfect environment for mold.
Despite everything that is known about mold, there are still a lot of misconceptions. Once you bust the myths, you will have a better understanding of mold and its impact on your health and home in Florida. We’ve put together a list of nine common mold myths and the truth behind them. Use this information to your benefit when you encounter that all too common occurrence in Florida: a mold problem.
9 Mold Myths debunked
Myth 1: Mold has no benefits
Truth: While mold can affect your health due to long-term exposure, some molds can also be beneficial. The mold found in natural environments helps decompose organic material, allowing other organisms to grow. Certain molds, such as Aspergillus flavus, are used in the production of cheese. Some molds are used in medicine, as well. For example, the Penicillium mold was instrumental in developing Penicillin, the first antibiotic to be discovered. However, immunocompromised individuals exposed to high levels of various types of molds may develop health-related effects.
Myth 2: Repeated mold exposure won’t make me sick
Truth: Although not everyone is affected when exposed to mold, all molds can cause health-related illness or distress, especially among people who already have respiratory issues. Common symptoms associated with mold exposure include coughing, watery eyes, congestion, headaches, and even memory loss and dizziness. Researchers at Rutgers University have recently discovered that mold exposure can lead to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.
Myth 3: There should be no mold in my home
Truth: The truth is that mold spores are present everywhere, including within the built environment and the outdoors. The air you are breathing contains mold spores, and completely eliminating it is almost impossible. Common reactions are related to the unusually high concentrations of mold in your home. Greater amounts of mold can pose health risks and cause significant damage to your home if you do not take care of unwanted and high levels of moisture that can lead to mold infestation.
The EPA reports that homes should maintain an indoor relative humidity of 30-50% for health safety. With Florida’s average outdoor humidity at 74%, Florida homeowners should do whatever they can to remove the extra water from the air in their homes. This can be accomplished with a dehumidifier or through most air conditioning systems.
Along with the humid Florida air from outside, clothes dryers, cooking, and showering can all add humidity to the air inside a home.
Myth 4: Mold is always visible
Truth: Many people think that just because they can’t see it, it’s not there. Seeing isn’t believing when it comes to mold, as not all types of mold are visible. Therefore, it’s best to rely on smell to detect mold. If you smell a musty odor, it can indicate moisture and mold likely being present. Professional mold remediation companies like ours can help determine if mold is an issue in your home.
Homeowners in the Lakeland and Plant City areas of central Florida would be wise to check attic spaces, garages, and air ducts for signs of mold.
Myth 5: You can identify the species of mold that’s growing in your home
Truth: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there are anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of mold and fungi species — far too many to identify. However, some of the most common homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Myth 6: Using bleach is a good way to kill mold
Truth: Many people use bleach as a mold removal solution in their central Florida homes. However, they are unaware that bleach does not kill mold or mold spores. It only bleaches it. Eventually, you see the mold return in areas where moisture is present or where high humidity is common, such as in showers in the bathroom. Cleaning and maintaining surfaces using a mix of household detergent and water can be effective in stopping mold from becoming an issue. Also, exhaust fans in bathrooms can keep humidity low and is an effective way to limit growth in a Florida home.
Air purifiers can clean the air but do not get rid of the mold at its source. Read Can Air Purifiers Remove Household Mold Spores?
Myth 7: You shouldn’t worry about a small spot of mold
Truth: In reality, a mold problem can become a bigger issue if the moisture problem is not addressed. What’s more, mold can spread to any organic surface, as well as to the heating and ventilation system in your Florida home. This can result in widespread damage and costly repairs.
Myth 8: You can clean up mold infestations yourself
Truth: Even infected areas smaller than 10 square feet require professional mold removal services. In fact, efforts in removing mold may accelerate mold growth if not properly contained and remediated. Well-trained certified mold remediation professionals have specialized equipment and know the necessary techniques to get rid of mold much more efficiently.
The Florida Department of Health does not provide mold testing and does not recommend testing for mold yourself, or sampling the air for mold using a kit.
Myth 9: Once the mold is gone, it won’t come back
Truth: Removing mold is one thing but resolving the water issue is something else, particularly with Florida’s high rainfall average and high water table. The only way to completely stop mold from returning is to resolve high humidity, moisture, or water problems that cause mold to grow promptly, three difficult things to accomplish in central Florida.
As you can see, mold is a serious, often misunderstood problem that can grow even more problematic for central Florida homeowners if it isn’t taken care of properly. That’s why PuroClean of Lakeland mold remediation experts follow the IICRC standards for professional mold remediation and eliminate mold using the latest, most effective techniques.
For 24/7 mold removal services, contact PuroClean Emergency Restoration Specialists today!