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Think your home has mold? Here's what to do

Florida's humidity certainly isn't helping the problem.

TAMPA, Fla. — Here are some easy things you can do right now to look for the warning signs of mold.

In your bathroom:

  • Check moisture issues near plumbing areas. Look around shower and in between shower tiles.
  • Under the sink, look for water staining and water damage.

In your kitchen:

  • Look under the sink. If there have been several repairs, check for water damage or leaks.
  • Check cabinets for water damage.

On ceilings:

  • Look for staining, changes in color or texture. Those are red flags.
  • A roof leak could start as a little stain and then will progress over a few months.
  • If staining hasn’t changed, the leak may have been corrected. But you still need to check to see if there’s moisture, which could lead to mold.

Humidity and Mold

Humidity is always high in Florida. It’s always a good idea to keep the humidity down. Keeping it below 60 percent will ensure you don’t have mold. Whenever you start to see mold forming on your belongings, on the air condition vents, on the window frames, anything that would sweat if there’s high humidity, that’s a red flag there’s a moisture issue.

How to use a moisture meter

A moisture meter is used to look for moisture, so look for inconsistencies. Behind tile in a bathroom for example, there’s potential for moisture.

At your hardware store

Grab a moisture meter. It’s less than $50 and is an early detection tool. Anywhere you have water stains or discoloration, the moisture meter will let you know if it’s moisture related. It will help you decide if you need to call a professional.

Grab a hydrometer. It’s less than $10. It can stick on your fridge. If you notice it’s high, you can adjust your air conditioning.

If you find mold, what can you do here in Florida?

If you’re a renter: 

  • Talk to your landlord or complex management.
  • Get documentation.
  • If you’re not satisfied with their response, you can file a complaint with the Division of Business of Professional Regulation.

 If you own your home: 

  • You’re on your own.
  • Use the videos and tools we’ve shown you to identify where the moisture is coming from.
  • Call a professional to get it remediated as soon as possible. It needs to be taken care of quickly.

Click here for tips from the Better Business Bureau on hiring a mold remediation or mold assessment contractor in Florida.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a guide to mold and moisture in homes. Click here to learn more.

If you'd like to learn more about the assignment of benefits, click here.

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