Any type of mold growth that occurs indoors can harm the health of occupants, which means that it is especially important to prevent the growth of mold in Florida homes, offices, and workplaces. Making sure that the air is clean and mold free is key to the health of Florida residents.
Here are the top twelve tips to help you prevent any type of indoor mold problems in homes, condominiums, apartments, and other structures.
1) Keep the humidity in your home less than 60 percent throughout the whole year. Having adequate ventilation and air movement through use of air conditioning dehumidifiers will be the best defense against mold growth in your home. Indoor mold grows very easily when the humidity in your home is above 70 percent. Also, you should minimize the presence of indoor plants, which also raise the chance of mold growth and increase the level of indoor humidity due to the need for frequent watering.
The biggest causes of mold in homes for Florida residents are roof leaks, plumbing issues, humidity, internal air conditioning condensation, dust accumulation, and ground water coming up through cracks in the concrete flooring.
2) You can keep the levels of humidity low in your home by (a) not using a humidifier to increase the level of humidity, (b) never hanging wet clothing or linens indoors, (c) not taking a shower or bath without turning on the exhaust fan or opening a window to expel the humid air outdoors.
3) You should use a digital hygrometer to check the humidity levels in all rooms of your residence, business, or rental property. Record the percentage of humidity present in all rooms, and also record the dates in a log book.
4) If you have any, clean the window air conditioners, the central air conditioning equipment and ducts, air purifiers, and dehumidifiers about every three months to get rid of any accumulated dust or dirt or mold growth. This dust and debris makes perfect food for the mold to feed off of, therefore producing even more mold spores. Air conditioners enable mold to grow through the internal condensation of water, and they also blow the mold spores around and into your living spaces.
5) Install HEPA filters in your HVAC duct registers, the return air registers, and the fresh air supply intake to capture and remove any airborne mold spores from the airflow. You can also use a portable HEPA air filter cleaner to remove any airborne mold spores.
6) Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean the carpeting, rugs, and mop the tile floors daily to remove any deposited or landed mold spores and dirt or dust. You can also use borax laundry detergent or boric acid powder in warm water to wash down all walls, floors, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets and surfaces, as well as furniture and appliances at least once a month for the same reason.
7) Perform a mold test on the outward air flow from the air coming in from the windows, air conditioning unit, heating and ventilation, and the HVAC duct registers of each room once a year.
8) Use your nose to detect mold. If you smell a musty or moldy odor, chances are there is mold growing whether it is visible or not. Some places that mold likes to hide includes ducts, walls, ceilings, attics, or the crawl space.
9) Inspect your roof, attic, siding, ceilings, walls, floors, rugs (both sides), wooden furniture, and behind the furniture on a regular basis for water leaks, water stains, water damage, or mold growth. If there is mold growing, it will cause visible discoloration of the wood and other building materials. Mold can be many different colors: blue, green, white, yellow, brown, or even pink.
10) Inspect the inside of the attic, crawl space, basement, garage, or exterior siding on a regular basis for water stains, mold growth, or any type of water damage. These areas have a high level of humidity and water intrusion problems that can lead to mold growth. Mold will then begin to grow in an upward, downward, or sidewise direction; this will then impact the adjoining floors, ceilings, and walls.
11) Check your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms (anywhere that may have plumbing appliances) regularly for water damage, leaks, or mold growth.
12) Monitor the health of the residents or employees. Are any of your family members or employees feeling sick? Are they experiencing a chronic cough, sneezing, headaches, difficulty remembering things, skin rashes, or breathing disorders? These are all symptoms that can be associated with mold growth.
If someone is suffering with these health problems, your residence or business should be inspected for mold.