25 Facts About Mold
As Southwest Florida’s mold testing experts, we’ve learned more than our share of facts about mold over the years. During that time, Mold Inspectors of Florida has also seen the countless ways that mold can damage homes and businesses while risking the health of anyone inside. Part of our mission is to spread our knowledge to every resident and business owner in the area.
Our Top Mold Facts
1. Mold is everywhere! Whether there are signs or not, mold spores are in the air, in our water, and on just about every surface, both inside and outside.
2. Some types of mold can be beneficial. From cheeses to penicillin and other medicines, most of us use some form of mold almost every day.
3. Not all mold is the same. You’re probably familiar with toxic black mold and the white spots that appear on your cheese, but it can come in many forms. With over 100,000 varieties of mold, it can come in nearly any color with different textures and smells.
4. Over half of US homes have mold. That statistic is even higher in Southwest Florida, where our high humidity levels encourage mold growth. Even newly built homes can have a mold infestation.
5. Mold spores are present everywhere. But did you know that mold itself can grow and spread anywhere? It feeds on organic material, but that doesn’t mean that inorganic materials are immune to mold growth. Mold can feed on dust and skin cells, allowing it to grow on any type of surface.
6. It’s alive! Mold is a living organism, similar to plants. Unlike plants, mold doesn’t need sunlight to reproduce. It can reproduce on its own with help from moisture and a food source.
7. Your homeowner’s insurance only covers mold under very specific circumstances, usually only when it’s caused by an event that is covered.
8. Mold grows in as little as 48-72 hours from first exposure. The growth might originate from dormant spores already lying in your house or new contamination.
9. One of the most sinister facts about mold is that it often exists without the homeowner’s knowledge. It can live under flooring and behind walls, growing and spreading until the home requires major repairs and remediation.
10. In most cases, the presence of mold indicates a much bigger problem. If you keep your home well-ventilated with low humidity, the cause is usually some type of water damage or a structural leak.
11. Household cleaners don’t kill mold – even those made specifically for mold. That’s because it can grow below the surface, so even a thorough spray of bleach isn’t powerful enough to fully solve the problem.
12. If bleach doesn’t kill all the mold, then neither will paint. All that paint will do is add a layer on top of the problem while mold keeps growing underneath.
13. Trying to clean up mold by yourself usually worsens the problem. For example, you could miss an infected area that you can’t see or unintentionally spread spores to other areas of your home.
14. Mold causes more damage to wood than fire, flooding, and termites combined! Because wood is one of mold’s top sources of food, it can slowly eat away at the structure of your home from the inside out.
15. Mold spores are microscopic and can be dormant for years while waiting for the right environment to grow and spread.
16. Infants that are born into a mold-infested environment are much more likely to develop asthma later in life.
17. About 25% of people are naturally susceptible to mold, meaning one in four faces worse symptoms in the face of mold.
18. Are you experiencing allergy-like systems or worsened asthma? It could be more than seasonal allergies alone. For example, when you breathe in mold spores, it can cause reactions like sneezing, watery eyes, and even respiratory complications.
19. Mold exposure also causes skin reactions similar to a rash. You can touch it without even knowing, and symptoms could take time to appear.
20. If you have chronic sinus infections, the culprit could be a mold problem. Mold causes almost all cases of chronic infections – above 90%!
21. The destructive properties of mold are a nightmare in your home but play a vital role in nature. It breaks down dead leaves, rotted wood, and other organic materials.
22. There’s more than one way to test for mold. At Mold Inspectors of Florida, we use a combination of infrared thermography, moisture meters, and testing strips to determine the presence of mold.
23. Mold doesn’t just cause damage in your home! It can grow in your vehicle or at your workplace, making it easy to spread to other locations.
24. Infestations reduce your property value. Some mold is so harmful that infected areas must be removed, like drywall or roofing.
25. Ignoring mold will cost you. If not covered by insurance, you could be facing thousands of dollars in remediation costs alone. That’s not counting home repairs caused by an infestation, increasing that number into the tens of thousands in some cases.